“We are not the children of Adam and Eve. God created Peacock Angel at the beginning of humanity and he created his own people. We are his children”.”Our people and our religion is Yazidi” by saying they define themselves in different social categories. Their belief system has roots in ancient Mesopotamian religions and Zoroastrianism. This is a society that beliefs in the infinity of the world and the nature. They believe that God, who created the world, would never destroy it. They pray three times a day, facing the sun. Wednesday is the day of rest. They believe that the first man was created on Wednesday. They celebrate this creation in April with a feast called “Red Wednesday”. They define wars as a genocide and not participate. They walk around with white clothing to symbolize peace.What a great irony such a society to live the genocide 74 times.They had to leave their country because of this belief. YPG fighters have created a security corridor for them. Twenty days and nine hours later they reached the border with Turkey on foot.
They live in the state and municipal camps in Turkey. Approximately 14,000 Yazidi are giving struggle a life today in those camps. They are experiencing the same pains from a 100-year-old woman till new-born babies.Their future have been destroyed and dreams demolished.To documenting this tragedy I visited 5 major camps between 4 December and April 22. I shared their lives and listened their stories and took their photographs.
I interviewed quite a lot of people in their camps at Southeastern of Turkey. I asked them about their lives at the camp, about how they came to be there and what their expectations were from the future. What they all have in common is their unwillingness to return home. They don’t want to be reminded of what they have been through out there. All they want is to live and practice their faith peacefully in a free and democratic country that will have them. As you listen to these stories, you don’t even want to imagine what has been happening, let alone imagine yourself in their shoes.
People tell you a lot of stories during live interviews. However, what struck me the most was the words of 17-year-old high school junior Halime:
“I studied for 10 years. Look where I am now.”
A sea of shattered dreams, a future full of uncertainty and a wait full of hope.