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Back into Turkey (again!)

sunny

Early start for the border. It transpired to be a pretty efficient affair with a prompt departure from Zakho, a lone taxi transfer to the Iraqi side of the border (known as Ibrahim Khalil), and after getting my stamp, straight into a share taxi for Silopi. Having been pre-warned by Ant that this border could be problematic, the Turks were very thorough in weeding out anything remotely Kurdish seemingly, but the bag searches were more rudimentary than expected, just a lot of waiting around. In 2 hours we were through though, and the towns of Silopi and Cizre were both a blur as the locals herded me from one dolmus straight to another. I was struggling to get my brain back into Turkish mode though, and still being a Kurdish area I was never sure which tongue to speak. The road passed by more great mountain scenery and the River Tigris, women wearing lilac scarves picked cotton in the fields and an APC sat by a roadblock in a village. Thankfully I received only a smile. I remembered I had gained an hour but would quickly lose it again upon entering Iran, bizarre! I arrived in Sirnak at 2, much earlier than I had even hoped for, an unlovely town but with a great location slapped on a moutainside with top views. It made a further good impression upon arrival when the first thing I spotted was a beer shop where the guy came out and offered me tea. If only it was always like this! The hotel was also right across the road and afforded fantastic views of gigantic mountains from my room window. In the lobby I also caught the end of Castaway with Tom Hanks, about a guy returning to civilisation, another surreal TV coincidence! The locals had been quick to tell me that all the people were Kurds and all the police and army Turkish. This area had a particular reputation for unrest and indeed it had been out of bounds for foreigners until recently, it was still not totally assured that I would be able to proceed to Hakkari the next day as intended. Within the first hour a large army convoy passed through town with a turreted armoured car sporting a heavy machine gun like a Spandau. 2 Huey helicopters also throbbed overhead making their presence deliberately known I guessed. After what the guy at the hotel said I was left confused, perhaps I had to register with the local cops but wasnt sure, I left it to chance, it would not have surprised me. They wanted to hang on to my passport all the same. In the room I also had my first local encounter with porn channels, which were pretty full on and more than what I expected to find in Turkey. They were all Italian exports but had suitably jazzy oriental titles, my favourites being Sexy Arabia, Juicy East and Arab Girls 69. Police that ya bastards.

KURDISH VOCAB USED

Chowani - Hello
Wuruh - Come
Harah - Go
Az Bash - I'm fine
Supas - Thankyou
Guluk Supas - Thanks Very Much
Bibure - Sorry
Sahr Chava - Upon my eyes (standard greeting)
Dizanim - I know
Her biji - Cheers
Idi - Again
Chandhay - How much?
Chuneenuh - No problem
Bele - Yes
Na - No

1 - Yek
2 - Du
3 - Se
4 - Chwar
5 - Panj
6 - Shesh
7 - Hoft
8 - Hesht
9 - No
10 - De
15 - Panze
20 - Bist
30 - Si
40 - Chil
50 - Pencha

Posted by andyhay 00:00 Archived in Iraq

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