southeast turkey

“I was like a flame in the kings’ hands” (Kilamuwa Palace Inscription)

This Phoenician inscription from ~830 BCE was found in a palace excavated in modern southeast Turkey.  It illustrates a historical tension between the local population, which was Neo-Hittite, and the ruling elite, which was Aramean.  King Kilamuwa claims that not only did he fight off external threats, he also appeased and protected the indigenous population; his own name is Hittite, not Semitic, reflecting a desire to assimilate.

I am Kilamuwa bar Hayya.

Gabbar reigned over Yauday, but he was useless.

Then there was Bamah, but he was useless.

Then there was Hayya, but he was useless.

Then there was my brother Shaul, but he was useless.

But I am Kilamuwa son of Tiamah; what I did, my predecessors could not do.

My father’s house was surrounded by imposing kings; each of them reached out to devour us.  But I was like a flame in the kings’ hands, a flame consuming beard and hand alike.

The king of the Dannuni was imposing over me, so I hired the king of Assyria against him.  He traded me a maid for each sheep and a man for each tunic.

I am Kilamuwa bar Hayya.  I sat upon my father’s throne.  Before, under earlier kings, the indigenous people moaned like dogs.  I, though — to some I was father; to some I was mother; to some I was brother.  I took one who had never seen a sheep’s face and gave him ownership of a flock; I took one who had never seen a cow’s face and gave him ownership of a herd — and ownership of silver and gold.  In my time, those who had not seen linen since youth were clothed with sea silk.  I myself held the indigenous peoples by the hand, so that they felt the warmth of an orphan for its mother.

But if any of my descendants takes my place and destroys this message, may the indigenous people not respect the aristocrats, and may the aristocrats not respect the indigenous people.  And if anyone destroys this message, may Ba’al-Ṣemed, whom Gabbar chose, destroy his head; and may Ba’al-Hammon, whom Bamah and Rakkibel chose, lord of the house, destroy his head.

100 Days in Prison and a Lawyer Shot Dead: Turkey Still Won’t Let Our Journalist Go

Dec 7, 2015 — By Jake Hanrahan for @vicenews

December 5 was Rasool’s hundredth day behind bars. He is seemingly no closer to being released, or even sent to trial, than he was when Phil and I had to leave him behind some 89 days ago. Rasool is caught in a state of limbo. Turkish authorities say they’re still investigating — an investigation that has gone on for one hundred days with no progress or end in sight. And things are getting worse.

One week ago today, our lead lawyer, Tahir Elci, was shot dead in Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey. He’d been giving a press conference in the Sur neighborhood, calling for peace between Turkey and the PKK. His last words before a bullet struck him in the head were, “We don’t want guns, clashes [or] operations in this region.”

Tahir was 49. He leaves behind a wife, a daughter, and a son. I watched his funeral on the television. One of his daughters, Nazenin, screamed “Bavo ez bimrim!” (Let me die dad!), as she walked with his coffin. Thousands of people walked behind her, all showing their respect for Tahir and his lifelong dedication to human rights.

We’re still battling to get our friend and colleague Mohammed Rasool free from prison. You can help by signing the petition for his release

See-see Partridge (Ammoperdix griseogularis)

…a species of Ammoperdix partridge that is known to occur from southeast Turkey through Syria and Iraq, east to Iran and Pakistan. It is replaced mostly in Egypt and Arabia by the closely related sand partridge Ammoperdix heyi. See-see partridges are typically seen in dry, open and hilly country, where it will feed on a wide variety of seeds and the occasional insect. 


Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Galliformes-Phasianidae-Perdicinae-Ammoperdix-A. griseogularis

Image: Tommy Pedersen

Lawyer’s death rocks Turkey

Police are searching for unknown assailants after a prominent Kurdish lawyer was killed during an attack on a gathering in southeast Turkey Saturday. Tahir Elci’s death is the latest in a wave of violence that has re-ignited since a truce between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party fell apart in July. Kurds say the government is involved with Islamic State, which has been blamed for three recent attacks on Kurdish activists. - AFP News Agency

Find out first with the Breaking News app.