Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
Across the northern Middle East, the Kurdish people form significant minorities in Turkey, Iran and Iraq, and there are other sizeable Kurdish settlements in neighboring counties. If these culturally distinct people were allowed to organize, the rulers of the nations they live in fear they would form a break-away nation in which they would be the majority population. This not unreasonable fear is compounded by the repressive and occasionally genocidal actions of those governments. Beko is a rare drama in which these issues are seen from a Kurdish perspective. In the story, when Beko's brother goes missing while attempting to avoid being drafted into the Turkish army, Beko is beaten up by authorities. He decides to try and find his brother and travels through Syria to Iraq. It is 1988, and the Iran-Iraq war is just ending. For Kurds, this means that their homes and villages, which have been constantly bombarded by either side, are now just possibly safe to return to. Alas, 1988 is the year Saddam Hussein decides to test his chemical weapons on his Kurdish population, and Beko barely survives. Along with a blind girl who also survived the gassing, he manages to make it to a community of exiled Kurds in Germany and finally discovers what happened to his brother. It seems he was eventually drafted, and was killed in conflicts with Kurdish guerillas, which is exactly what he had hoped to avoid by fleeing the draft.
brother, chemical-warfare, community, Iraq, race-relations, blindness [physical], Iran, Turkey