On 28 April 2018, Janet Biehl self-published a minicomic commemorating the Global Action Day for Hasankeyf and Sûr, inspired by the testimonies she heard at the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal on Turkey and Kurds in Paris on 15-16 March 2018. We are publishing it on Jadaliyya together with the author's note in order to bring awareness about the destruction of these places to a larger audience.
Today people in 20 countries are taking part in Global Action Day for Hasankeyf and Sûr, trying to save Hasankeyf from inundation and protesting the destruction of Sur.
Hasankeyf is an ancient settlement on the Tigris River where humans have lived for ten thousand years. The Turkish state is building a big dam there that is on the verge of flooding Hasankeyf, severing continuity with part of our historic legacy and displacing thousands of residents whose families have lived there for generations.
Sûr is a neighborhood in the nearby city of Diyarbakir that is also ancient, as well as diverse and multilingual. Sûr was a jewel of an urban space where people of different religions and ethnicities lived cheek by jowl.The Turkish state demolished much of Sûr in a war crime in 2015-16.
A few months ago, when my friend Ercan Ayboga, a longtime organizer, announced this action day, I wanted to contribute, but organizing is not my forte. In March I heard Ercan testify, about the destruction of Sûr, at the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal on Turkey and Kurds in Paris. The whole event was so moving, I decided to try my hand at writing a minicomic about it (even if ”comic” is a strange word for a war crime).