Turkey • Zehra Doğan’s drawings for Roboski

zehra dogan roboski

Planned at first for publication in December 2018, on the anniversary of Roboski, we had taken the wise decision of delaying this article for after Zehra’s liberation from jail.


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On December 28 2011, 34 residents of the village of Roboski, 19 of which were minors, were torn from life by aerial bombings by the Turkish army. In this border region, 8 years later, impunity still reigns and the families are still subjected to constant repression by the authorities.

At the time, Erdogan had spoken thus: “A group of 30-40 people, people and mules. From the air, it isn’t possible to know if it’s Ahmet or Mehmet. The Turkish army did its job with sincerity.”

Since then, vistims have died again and again… Like so many others, this massacre has still not been officially recognized.

Ferhat Encü, deputy for Şırnak who lost his brother and 9 other members of his family in this attack, was jailed on December 4 2016 along with other deputies and Kurdish men and women. He has not ceased repeating: “Our fight for Roboski will continue”…He was liberated on February 15 2017…then thrown in jail again, as has become the custom in Turkey.

In order to commemorate Roboski, a prisoner we know well, author and journalist Zehra Doğan drew from her prison.

Here are two unpublished works, done with the limited means available in jail, using recycled bedsheets with artistry…

(click for a larger view)
Zehra Doğan Roboski
“Roboski”
Zehra Doğan, December 2018, Tarsus prison.
Cigarette ashes, tomato paste, tea, coffee.
Zehra Doğan Roboski
“Roboski”

Zehra Doğan, December 2018, Tarsus prison.
Cigarette ashes, tomato paste, tea, coffee.
Photos : Jef Rabillon

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Renée Lucie Bourges
REDACTION | Auteure, traductrice et interprète

Née au Québec dans une famille franco-irlandaise, elle a vécu et travaillé comme rédactrice et traductrice en Amérique et au Moyen Orient. Elle réside dorénavant dans le sud-ouest de la France d'où elle écrit des romans en anglais, et fraternise au quotidien avec tous les autres funambules de son espèce.  |
*A word to English-speaking readers: in all instances where the original text is in Turkish or Kurdish, the English version is derived from French translations. Inevitably, some shift in meaning occurs with each translation. Hopefully, the intent of the original is preserved in all cases. While an ideal situation would call for a direct translation from the original, access to information remains our main objective in this exercise and, we hope, makes more sense than would a translation provided by AI... | iknowiknowiknowblog.wordpress.com
Renée Lucie Bourges

REDACTION | Auteure, traductrice et interprète Née au Québec dans une famille franco-irlandaise, elle a vécu et travaillé comme rédactrice et traductrice en Amérique et au Moyen Orient. Elle réside dorénavant dans le sud-ouest de la France d'où elle écrit des romans en anglais, et fraternise au quotidien avec tous les autres funambules de son espèce.  | *A word to English-speaking readers: in all instances where the original text is in Turkish or Kurdish, the English version is derived from French translations. Inevitably, some shift in meaning occurs with each translation. Hopefully, the intent of the original is preserved in all cases. While an ideal situation would call for a direct translation from the original, access to information remains our main objective in this exercise and, we hope, makes more sense than would a translation provided by AI... | iknowiknowiknowblog.wordpress.com

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