2013 – 60 min. – Documentary – Colour – Turkish, Kurdish
The documentary, begins with a photograph of primary school children taken in 1989 in the courtyard of their school in the village of Befircan or Karlı, to use its given Turkish name, in the Yüksekova district of Hakkari province.
In a corner of the photograph it is possible to see the rainbow that comes out after every fall of rain in this region.
23 years after the photograph was taken, one of the students in the photograph (İrfan) returns to the village for the wedding of another student (Aysun). Most of the other class mates in the photograph will be at the wedding with the bride Aysun too.
As İrfan sets out on his journey towards the village, we also depart on a journey starting in 1989 with the 10 people in the photograph.
As part of the village’s recent history, we follow the emergency rule period and the establishment of the position of village guardianship. The village gradually becomes a frequent stop both for PKK militants and the soldiers of the Turkish army.
Detentions, oppression and beatings begin. They are followed by more and more young people of the village leaving for the mountains to join the PKK.
We begin to listen to the memoirs of the one-time students from their high-school and university years.
This documentary, focuses on the experiences of children at a village primary school in the '90s under war conditions and the oppressive environment brought on by war and their longing for peace.
Statistics reveal that such ‘disappearances’ were part of a state implemented strategy , especially throughout the ‘90s. The victims of this policy, that was carried out mostly as part of the war with the PKK, were members of the civilian population.
Acting as witness to these events, Hafıza Merkezi has produced a documentary based around a primary school photograph taken in the early ‘90s in a region where war became a part of daily life. The aim of this documentary is to shed light on the last 20 years of the war via witness accounts of children who grew up in the region. Officially referred to as the ‘future of this country ’, it is unfortunate that not all children have the chance to lead a life of similar standards across this country. We documented the lives of children growing up in the Karlı (Befircan) village of the Yüksekova (Gever) district of Hakkari (Colemêrg) province.
olarak geçmişte yaşanan zulüm pratikleriyle yüzleşilmedikçe
We made this film so that those prepared to listen may hear to stories of what took place, what the civilian population suffered in the name of a ‘struggle against terrorism’ - so that all this never has to be repeated again.
We will be pleased if our film contributes to the mutual understanding of the different people of Turkey, and the establishment of a democratic, egalitarian and just society .
Information about the producer and the film crew.
Established in 2011, Hafıza Merkezi aims to document systematic, state-sponsored, gross human rights violations in line with universal standards, to document and follow lawsuits in which public officials that have committed crimes against humanity stand trial, to disseminate information to wider sections of society on the truth regarding state-sponsored violence, its reasons and outcomes. Hafıza Merkezi believes that confrontation with systematic and gross human rights violations that have occurred in the past, and the recognition and reparation of harm caused by such violations are prerequisites of social peace and democracy.
Dilek Gökçin graduated from the Department of Cinema and Television at Mimar Sinan University. She embarked on her film career in 1980, working as a director’s assistant for leading directors such as Metin Erksan, Ömer Lütfi Akad and Okan Uysaler. Her short film Slope (1986) was awarded the First Prize of the International Jury at the 32nd Oberhausen Short Film Festival. She taught the “Screenwriting Techniques” course (1988-1990) at the Cinema and Television Department at Marmara University. She has written numerous scripts and directed various documentaries, television series and commercial films.
Director: Dilek Gökçin
Producer: Murat Çelikkan
Text: İrfan Aktan
Music: Ulaş Özdemir
Camera: Hamdi Akyol, Cenk Örtülü
Sound Recording: Zeynel Koç
Lighting: Sidar Güllü
Film Editor: Dilek Gökçin, Cenk Örtülü, Baptiste Gacoin
Sound Studio: Melodika
Sound Supervisor: Taylan Oğuz
Sound Design: İlker Çiftçi
Sound Mixer: Cenker Kökten
Production Asistant (Yüksekova): Erselan Aktan
Kurdish-Turkish Translation: Erselan Aktan
Turkish-English Translation: Nazım Dikbaş
After Effects: Fatih Irmak
Graphic Design: Sera Dink
Colour Correction: Esra Çora
in the film
In 1995, in the bunker close to his family’s house, four PKK militants and one local villager of Befircan were killed. Their house was evacuated and he and his family moved to the Makhmour Camp. His sister Emine, his older brother Selahattin and two of his cousins are still there. After living there for 7 years, he was captured and arrested in Turkey, and served a 6 year sentence. Presently, he is renovating his house in Befircan.
She graduated from the Department of Geography at Van Yüzüncü Yıl University. She continues to work as a high school teacher in Yüksekova.
He graduated from the Faculty of Literature at Van Yüzüncü Yıl University. She continues to work as a high school teacher in Yüksekova.
After finishing Yüksekova High School, he graduated from the Faculty of Communication at Ankara University. He currently works as a journalist.
After finishing Yüksekova High School, he graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Istanbul University. In the 1990s his father and maternal uncle were detained, tortured and given prison sentences. Kenan continues to work as a high school teacher in Yüksekova.
He graduated from the Faculty of Languages, History and Geography at Ankara University. He continues to work as a high school teacher in Van.
He graduated from the Accountancy Department of the Yüksekova Multi- Programme High-School. He presently continues his higher education at the Open University. In the 1990s, his father was detained and tortured on the basis of an informer’s statement, and remained in custody for five months. His father was released when the informer retracted his statement.
After completing the Van Anatolian High School, he graduated from the Department of Guidance and Psychological Counselling at Boğaziçi University. He works at a private company in Istanbul.
He graduated from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Dicle University. His maternal uncle Abdullah Canan was murdered following his ‘disappearance’. His maternal uncle’s son Bahattin, a PKK militant, was killed in a clash in 1992. His body was tied to the back of a panzer and dragged in public. Özgen, Özgen currently works as an electrical engineer in Yüksekova.
He dropped out after his third year in primary school. His younger brother İsmet, who had joined the PKK at the age of 13, was captured wounded on the Diyarbakır highway in 2012 and imprisoned. In 1995, his paternal uncle Selim Akın was forced by army special force members to bring out the bodies of the four PKK militants killed in the bunker in Befircan, unknowingly triggering a bomb in the bunker in the process that cost him his life. Rıfat continues to work as a labourer in Yüksekova.
After completing Yüksekova High School he prepared for university exams. He suffered numerous incidents of police violence because of his name. He later managed a private school in Yüksekova. He now lives in Yüksekova and works in trade.
Some of the former students in the class photograph could not take part in the shooting because of scheduling difficulties, some did not want to speak, and some others were said to be in the mountains...
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