Several years ago, while in the collecting process for the book, Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History, a photographer friend of mine in Holland sent me this image with the following note:

Dear Susan,
This old photo was in our archive. We never use it. Nobody ever asks for it. I don’t know where the original comes from and I don’t know how we got it. But, I will offer it to you if you can use it for your project.


There was no date or caption. Though we’ve sent this image to several people, we still don’t know the story behind this picture.

Susan Meiselas
author of Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History
April 28, 1998

Who took the photo: a Danish photographer
Who is in the photo: innocent Kurdish students
Where it was taken: in northern Kurdistan,south east of Turkey
When it was taken: 1980s when a rasist turks try to kill kurds like arminians

this photo show to the whole world how racist Turkish government was against innocent Kurdish people in the past.

i like to see the Turkish government apologise of killing 1.5 million armenians and act like democratic government.

andy, historian
United Kingdom,, June 13, 2009

Who took the photo: Turkish fascist oficers
Who is in the photo: Kurds
Where it was taken: Kurdistan-Diyar Bakir
When it was taken: 1982-2009

The Fascist TURKS are KILIING kurdish people


Memo, Poet
Kurdistan, January 31, 2009

Who took the photo: kurdish teacher
Who is in the photo: kurdish student which been forced to lie down
Where it was taken: kurdish secondary school or high school
When it was taken: between 1980 to 1990

turkish troops and military use in terror activity and harming and killing civilian in kurdish area especially with kurdish student to not following politics, or not even celebrating their own new years as call it (Newroz) which is 21st of Mach, also speaking kurdish was even forbidden until 1992,i know it from the vehicle and the building which that kind of Vehicle and Building only can be in turkey to use not iran or iraq or syria,

the army uniform ,because i wanted to know a bit more that what kind of uniform they wear then it could be more easier to recognize what is it exactly on that photo.

Mittany, student
EU,, December 03, 2008

Who took the photo: A KURDISH JOURNALIST
Who is in the photo: KURDS JUST KURDS
Where it was taken: IRAQ
When it was taken: 1991


well the truth but i think kurdish people now the truth...........

LONDON UK,, July 04, 2008

Who took the photo: some turk
Who is in the photo: KURDISH CHILDREN
Where it was taken: DIYARBEKIR/KURDISTAN/turky
When it was taken: 21/03/1967


KURDISTAN,, February 11, 2007

Who took the photo: dunno
Who is in the photo: dunno
Where it was taken: dunno
When it was taken: dunno

Everytime same thing..


Who took the photo: Turkisch newpaper
Who is in the photo: the kurds
Where it was taken: Kurdistan of turkey
When it was taken: 1980

its after the military coup of 1980.
that was for turkish military samiting normal.

soma one, April 01, 2006

Who took the photo: Turkish
Who is in the photo: kürdish
Where it was taken: Turkey
When it was taken: 1998

Captured terorists or future terorists who are probly in Europe now helping other terorists. They are little lucky that they are not taken somewhere in Kuba and have fair tr.

Türk, Turkey, August 08, 2005

a nation is composed of people of like genes. a country is an area that was claimed through treachory (war/killing). under the UN (united nations) a nation has the right to preserve itself. it is called soverenty. the kurds if they are in their home teritory and in a majority have the right as a nation to govern themselves and not submit to foreign rule. the turks are clearly not allowed under human rights acts in the UN to control the mountains occupied by the nation that has been there before them. one thing we all must acknowlege is that all kingdoms (domain) were achieved through killing and unethical conquest. even the queen of england has no land which was not gotten but by killing. she by no means represents the good people of her domain. all people must realize this before we can become true humans and rightfully separate ourselves from the brute beasts.

Who took the photo: Western Journalist
Who is in the photo: I dont see any faces any specific clothes. There are soldiers a
Where it was taken: As the Danish text mentions: somewhere in Tukey
When it was taken: I would say any time between 1970-1985

I can only comment:
It can be the military coup times of early 1980's. They can be any turkish nationals (whatever may be the ethnic background say it Turk, Kurd, Arab, Albanian, Balkans, Greek, Armenian...can be a mixture too...) taken away (arrested!) by the military coup authority.
If it is 70's then I would say prisoneers in a military prison.
(whatever may be the ethnic background say it Turk, Kurd, Arab, Albanian, Balkans, Greek, Armenian...can be a mixture too...) Probably taken in because of extereme left or right terrorist acts...
Mid or late 80's : Suspected Kurds taken by the military. Suspected of being a member of armed separaistst terrorist group called PKK. It can be after a harmless demonstartion or it can be after a military operation following a bloody terror attack on civilians by PKK.

I want to say something:

Nobody hurts anybody for pleasure.
You act ... and you get a reaction ...
Such photos...I saw british soldiers doing the same in Ireland, French soldiers in Algeria, Japanese soldiers in China and imagine just today American soldiers in few different locations on earth.

And I must say I feel sorry about the future whenever I read or see Greek, Armenian or Kurdish youngs, as well as Turkish youngs grown up only with hatred and usually has one sided views through brain washing....

Have a good day...Dont go to extremes...try to understand people for a peaceful future...

Burhan Gelgor, Photography
Istanbul, May 21, 2005

Who took the photo: iraq government
Who is in the photo: kurdish prisoners
Where it was taken: diyarbakir
When it was taken: 1998

captured kurdish rioters caught by turkish soldiers after abdullah och alan was jailed in 1998

aram jabar mohammad, scotland, March 27, 2005

Who took the photo: dont know
Who is in the photo: Kurds whose dreams of freedom will never die even after death
Where it was taken: Turkey (where a racist government rules based on its racist ins
When it was taken: ~1980s when such acts by racist turks inspired the half Turkish

This photograph displays the cruelty racism and greed makes a savage man do. It is an image taken in the 1980s but seen everyday, even today in Turkey where racist savages call themselves a "democratic government". The leaders of Turkey and Turks as a culture with the exception of few, are so far behind in the art of society that they have yet to grasp the concept of democracy. To them the savage Ata-Turk is the mother of democracy, as they take pride in his savagry and hang his wolf face figure at all democratic government offices, and public places. With this thinking even the most optomistic of social scientists know that the turkish society is millions of years behind in the science of society and it will be thousands of years if ever, before they move away from thier racist ideologies and start to grasp the concept of democracy

I would like to see this photo posted in Anchara instead of ata-turks wolf face figure. As a reminder of how racism drove the great society that is Turks to perform such savage fullish acts in the past, and how much they appreciate their humble kurdish neighbors in Kurdistan have replied to thier savagery by teaching them the concept of democracy.

Khasraw, Social scientist
Austuralia,, January 28, 2005

Who took the photo: Turkish photographer
Who is in the photo: Bare handed Kurdish democracy seekers
Where it was taken: In North Kurdistan in Turkey
When it was taken: In early 80's

This picture is more likely taken when Turkish troopers were looking for kurdish fighters (PKK) in Kurdistan region who tried to distribute the fear image among kurdish people in order to stop them from rising for their rights against the cruel and racist government.

Who took the photo: Unknown
Who is in the photo: Kurdish civilians
Where it was taken: In a kurdish city
When it was taken: More than likely it was taken just after the 1980 military coup

Such armoured vehicles were widely used by the turkish police in the 80's. And the picture was probably taken by a danish photographer. Scandinavian journalist travelled a lot to Kurdistan after the military coup.

Where was it taken?

Yuksel Koch, businessman
UK, May 27, 2004

Who took the photo: No idea
Who is in the photo: Probably a security check after demonstrations or acts of viole
Where it was taken: Anywhere in the Middle East
When it was taken: within the last 2 decades

Isn't it funny that we always have Greeks & Armenians who are experts on anything anti-Turkish? Where were these same so called "human rights activist" when hundreds of thousands of Bosnians were killed right next to the so-called "center of democracy" Greece? Or how about the millions of others killed in atrocities in the last decade around the globe? Of course since it had nothing to do with Turkey, it didn't concern them. They are ready to attack Turkey whenever they get the chance, even by falsifying documents & twisting the truth. Remember that the so-called "freedom fighters" cost the lives of over 37,000 people in Turkey, most of whom were Kurds. They viciously killed women, children, the elderly as well as teachers, officials and policemen/soldiers. Kurds are free in Turkey, like any other citizen; as long as they do not rise against the state and fight for "dividing" the state. This is the natural right of any country, and there is no country in the world that will stand-still while it is being torn-apart by inside & outside forces keen on dividing up Turkey. Greece doesn't even allow the Turkish minority to elect its own religious cleric, arresting him numerous times. Armenia is the true terrorist state, as was evident with the assassination of its Prime Minister & several members of the Parliament a few years ago in Yerevan, Armenia. The Armenians have developed violence and terrorism into an art form, and adopted it as their own mean of "official policy". Both countries still have the nerve to criticize Turkey. Look at yourselves in the mirror before offering advice!

Mehmet Celebi, Chicago, USA, January 21, 2004

Who took the photo: You took it
Who is in the photo: Bunch of arabs fallowing orders
Where it was taken: Somewhere middle east
When it was taken: Judging by the armor vehicle, 1985

1985 is not history, 500 years is history.Who is to say who these people are and what they do?.Over 4000 known conflict today in the world, this picture was taken in only one of them, I do not see the relation to Kurds.

What is the purpose of putting picture most likely has nothing to do with any situation and later cry that ever happened. That's is patatic.

Smial Sashoom, Md.
New York, December 18, 2003

Who took the photo: Must be a turk
Who is in the photo: Kurds
Where it was taken: In kurdistan (turkey)
When it was taken: In the 80's

I dont understand you people. This is the way we were upressed. And instead of coming up and fighting for the honour of this people, we are asking ourselves what is the origin of this foto. WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO FIGHT ANYONE BECAUSE WE HAVET HAD THE RIGHT TO HAVE OUR LAND.

Rawaz Muhammed Rashid, Holland,, October 16, 2003

Who is in the photo: kurdish men
Where it was taken: in turkey

arizuzis goldman, banker
u.k,, September 25, 2003

Clearly the photograph depicts Kurdish civilians being rounded up and intimidated by Turkish soldiers who can be seen standing to the sides of the photograph with an armoured troop carrier to the back.

Sadly such sights are all too frequent in Kurdistan of Turkey. I would hazard a guess that the picture is from the 1980s when the crackdowns on the Kurdish population were particularly fierce under the pretext of fightng the PKK.

Rebwar, Law student
Scotland, September 19, 2003

Clearly Kurdish civilians are being forced to lie down with their hands at their heads, intimidated by Turkish troops who can be seen in the outer reaches of the photograph with an armoured troop carrier centre back!

Such spectacles are sadly only too typical in the Kurdish South east of Turkey.

Rebwar, Law Student, Scotland
September 19, 2003

Who is in the photo: innocent towners
Where it was taken: diyarbakir
When it was taken: 1980's

this is very similar to the the gathering of local kurds in the military rule during early 80s in n.kurdistan. it has a high probability of being in diyarbakir where people faced rough times.

Who took the photo: arm men in an army base
Who is in the photo: alot of kurdish prisoners
Where it was taken: baghdad
When it was taken: 1950

i think that it's showing how kurdish should fear other people and try not to become anything

Who is in the photo: kurds being oppressed
Where it was taken: probably eastern turkey

Who took the photo: i dont know
Who is in the photo: the kurds who are fighting for kurdistan and there is the turki
Where it was taken: probabaly in turkey

may be they wanted to fight for their country but got court by the turks and got arrested

Gulen Coban, Student
London,, April 03, 2003

Who took the photo: ?
Who is in the photo: Kurdish people
Where it was taken: Turkey
When it was taken: 1930-1940

I remember my grandfather telling me a story about how him and his villagers where trying to get somewhere i cant rememeber where or why becouse this story was told me a long time ago. He told me that as they were on there way to wherever they were going they were stopped by the turkish police or government. He said they asked them some question and when they found out that none of them could speak turkish they made them all lay on they ground while they searched them a few were against them doing this so they were pulled to one side and the others were let free to where they pleased without sayingor doing anything the rest of them went on there way. The people were pulled to one side were never seen again. I am not saying this is the answer of the picture but something like this was told to me when i was young by my grand father so im saying this could have been the picture of this event or maybe not hope this has helped.

Guney Yadirgi, student
England,, March 26, 2003

Who took the photo: Danish photographer apparently
Who is in the photo: ?
Where it was taken: Turkey
When it was taken: 2 May apparently

All the text is in Danish, and here is a translation: "2 May archive and photo" followed by the address in Copenhagen, followed by the phone number. To the right it says: "Date:" (no entry), "Subject: Turkey, MUST be returned", "In case of publication the following MUST be mentioned:" and what appears to be the photographer's name. If you want to know more, ask a Danish colleague to investigate that address in contral Copenhagen (the phone numbers have changed since then).

Ulf, geographer
Sweden, March 24, 2003