Another fighter laid to rest

14/11/2014 § Leave a comment

Funeral 1

Dust billows on the road ahead, and out of it a clutter of flags. And voices. Angry, defiant.

funeral 2

The body of another fighter killed in the struggle for Kobani jostles on heavy shoulders, the coffin draped in Kurdish red, green and yellow. From the scruffy border town of Suruc, the funeral procession winds its way to the cemetery. The PKK youth, chins out, at its head. Elders, with moustaches and cummerbunds, and ululating women behind.

funeral 3

Unlike most killed in Kobane, he is to be buried on the Turkish side of the border. Having survived his injuries, he was rushed to hospital in Suruc, but succumbed to the wounds. And so his body, dressed in white cloth, is lowered by straining arms to the dirt, cries ringing out across the scrub.

Funeral 4

But as he is laid to rest, the fierce atmosphere drops away. The flags seem to hang limply now. Tears are shed. Families drift from the fresh grave, to find where their lost ones lie. Gathering – huddled around the headstones – mothers, grandmothers and children tend the graves of the 58 other fighters buried here.

Funeral4

And as the low slung sun cuts through the trees, shovels are taken up and dirt piled frantically on top of the lost comrade. Next to the low mound, a new grave waits for the next to fall.

Funeral 5

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You are currently reading Another fighter laid to rest at MUSTACHES AND KALASHNIKOVS: Stories from Kurdistan.

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