The Birds Don't Need Visas?
OK, here I am, in a country that his been the very motivation of my being, Kurdistan, the land of the Kurds. But, I also landed in Kurdistan where the Turkish crescent and white quarter moon and star was flying high in what us nationalist Kurds call the capital of Greater Kurdistan, Diyarbekir. Anyways, we will pick up this philosophical argument later on. I got of the plane, waved to the machinegun totting welcome committee in Battle Dress Uniform, picked up my back, fought my way through interesting looking undercover police officers in civilian clothes [the gun gave them away] and caught a taxi just outside of the airport. No need to mention, an involuntary donation was made to Diyarbekir’s finest, it felt “great”, and every penny will be used to torture a Kurd [The Ata Turk Police Fund].
I was always told that Karwan Saray is a must for every traveling Kurd. So, I asked the taxi driver to take me to Karwan Saray Hotel, no need to say he gave me the scenic route to the hotel, got out of the taxi made arrangements for the Taxi to pick me up in the morning and get started towards Iraqi-Kurdistan. I could hardly sleep that night, the excitement was too much to handle, I was staying at a hotel my great grandfather stayed in the late 1800s when he traveled to Constantinople, I probably stayed in the same bed, and it smelled like it was from the late 1800s. Woke up at 5:00 am sharp, the driver waiting for me at the reception, checked out and hopped in the car. It was wonderful, we passed the village of Sheikhmous, well what used to be the village of Sheikhmous, apparently the villagers were terrorist Shepard who broke the most dangerous law of the land, which is being a Mountain Turk of the Black Sheep People, AKA Kurds.
I was treated really nice by the Turkish police at the Mardin checkpoint, they made me get out of the car, opened my luggage to make sure nothing was stolen, they checked my pockets to make sure I had all my money and made me stand 45 minutes outside just to make sure I had enough fresh air, they were so sweet and caring, especially the nice soldier who kept joking with me by pointing his rilfe at my chest, I’m sure it’s a wonderful past time of the Turks. After another involuntary donation to the Turkish military I was on my merry way towards Kurdistan, well, Southern Kurdistan. I came upon another military checkpoint, we got out again, we played the gun pointed at chest thing again, made another donation to the United Turkish Soldier Fund, because after all a Turk is a terrible thing to waste and we were on our way towards Cizera and Silopi.
We past a few more checkpoints made a few more donations and played more Turkish rifle games and from afar I was the Mountains of Doom, also known as Mount Cudi. The closer we got to the border the friendlier the Turkish soldiers became. Especially the one who kept calling me Peaches or Pic, I heard Turks call all their guests Pic, it means friend. I went through a few more border points, made more donations, my bags were checked 6 times by 6 different Turkish “entities” just to make sure I had all my stuff, a few gifts were taken from my luggage, yet again these nice Turks kept taking stuff from my luggage, they were so considerate, they wanted to make sure my bag wasn’t too heavy to carry, they are so sweet. I went to 14 passport checkpoints, asked where I was from, I told them Kur….Iraq, the soldier smiled and waved me through, they don’t like the ‘K’ word in Turkey, and they say if you say it 5 times, you will have bad luck for 7 years. While going through all this, I kept looking at the birds flying back and forth from one side of the border to the other, it made me feel good, at least the birds of Kurdistan are not required to pay donations. I was finally allowed to cross the border in to Kurdistan.
To my surprise Barzani’s KDP also required an involuntary donation to the Barzani Endowments of Peace and Equality. I was later told the money is for infant orphaned Kurds of Masif Salahuddin. $50 well spent, I guess, hey its ok, I also involuntarily donated at least $50 to the Turkish soldiers. The KDP were also very considerate, they made me open all my luggage, took some things to make sure my luggage was easy to carry, but they were polite, they told me they were going to take it, besides who needs expensive aftershave, and I guess my grandmother really didn’t need her blood pressure medicine, the KDP soldier needed it more than she did anyways, and by the smell of him, he needed my after shave as well. Gosh, it does feel better to give than to receive. Took another taxi and drove to my hometown! Yessssss, I made it alive, and if it wasn’t for the nice Turkish soldiers and the wonderful KDP border officers, my luggage would have been to heavy and my wallet would have been heavier and might’ve eventually caused my back aches.