K-061 Adilcevaz, Turkey

 1 Li gundê me ʕeșîr bûn, mesele gundê me ʕeșîr bû. Gundê Bekira digotin.
Our villages were tribes, for example our village was a tribe and was called the village of the Bekir.
 2 Yê me zaten ji Erdîșê hatibûn, zanî, ji geliyê Zîlan hatibûn. Ev ḥer sê/ ev ḥer sê gundê Elcewazê da zêde Kurd tunebûn, Kurmanc tunebûn zanî.
Our people were from Erdis and came from the Zilan plain. In those three/ in those three Elcewaz villages there weren’t many Kurds, there were no Kurmanj, you know.
 3 Taybetî ew hebûn yanî, gundên Çerkeza hebûn, gundên Tirka hebûn.
Usually there were/ there were Circassian villages, there were Turkish villages.
 4 Gundê me ra digotin Filistan. Mesele, derdorê sê, çar gund bûn, jê ra digotin Filistan. Kelîma Filistanê jî ji Êrmeniya dihat, ji fila dihat.    
Our village was called Filistan. Surrounding it there were three or four other villages called Filistan. The word Filistan came from the Armenians, from the Christians.
 5 Fila.        
Christians.
 6 Berî gundê fila bûne, piștî alayên Ḥemîdî ketine destê aylên me, îca eh û/ yanî kulamên Erdișê çi dengbêjî hatine gotin li gundê me jî dihatine gotin.
They were once Christian villages, then after the Hemidiye regime they came into the hands of our family, so uh and/ so the Erdis stories or poems were recited in our village and are still recited now.
 7 Çanda Serḥedê ye?
It’s the Serhed tradition?
 8 Çanda Serḥedê ye, çanda Serhedê bû, çanda Serhedê bû, ser wan digotin. Ser kuștiya zehf kilam digotin. “Filan kesê lê da dey ḥev kuștin”, nizanim çi falan ewa […] ewana digotin.
It’s the Serhed tradition, the Serhed, they called it the Serhed tradition. They told stories about the victims. Like “That man took the gun and killed ten of them” or I don’t know, they would say things like this.
 9 Mesela kulamê geliyê Zîlan carna dihatine gotin. Ser geliyê Zîlan kulam dihate gotin, me digo qey ḥeta yîrmî üç nîsanê da jî bi me didane gotin.
Sometimes they told stories about the Zilan plain. They told stories about the Zilan plain, I used to say/ they even used to make us tell them on the 23rd of April.*
 10 Celal xoce hebû, xelqê Mûradiyê bû; Kurmanc bû, ewî müdürê mekteva me ya gund bû.
We had a teacher Celal, he was from Muradiye; he was Kurdish, he was the principal of our village school.
 11 Mekteva me ya gund du qat bû, ortaoqul hebû li gund.
Our village school had two floors, and there was a middle school in the village.
 12 Îja müdür ew bû, ewî roja yirmi üç nisanê da ew çêdikir, qoro çêdikir. Qoroyê Kurmancî me digo.
So that principal/ on the 23rd of April, he organized a choir. We would sing in the choir in Kurmanji.
 13 Îște kulama “Geliyê Zîlan, Geliyê Zîlan” de hebû, “Geliyê Zîlan, Geliyê Zîlan, Daykê daykê dayka min”.
There was this poem “Zilan plain, Zilan plain”, “Zilan plain, Zilan plain, mother, mother, my mother”.
 14 Tabî me nizanibû yanî, îja ewanê mesele qeymeqam bîle bihata ewî jî guhê xwe didayê da, nizanbû kesî, li geliyê Zîlan çi bîye, çi nebîye.
Of course we didn’t know/ the district governor used to come too, he would listen, nobody knew what happened or what didn’t happen in the Zilan plain.
 15 Pîra behsê dikir, pîrê gund zehftir behsa geliyê Zîlan dikirin, behsa Ûris dikirin.
The old women/ the old women of the village often talked about the Zilan plain, and about the Russians.
 16 Ûris, heta wê derê hatine?
Did the Russians come that far?
 17 Mesela pîrekê pîr/ erê, erê hatine. Yeke pîr hebû navê wê Seyran bû. Çavekî wî her tim tê da ew dihat, hêsîr dihat çavê wî da, çavê wî da hêsir dihat.  
For example an old woman/ yes, yes they came. There was an old woman whose name was Seyran. One of her eyes was always/ there were always tears in her eyes.
 18 Îja, pîr devê goma ku dibû ʕesir, li ber sîha goma rûdiniștin, li ber sîha dîwara rûdiniștin jinê pîr behsê Ûris dikirin, digo Ûris aha hat, Ûris nizam aha kir digo
In the afternoon the old women used to sit in the shade in the neighbourhood, the women and the old women sat in the shade of the walls and talked about the Russians, they said the Russians came, the Russians did this and that.
 19 Ûris dihat digo Ûris zehf baș bû. Mesele behsa Ûris dikirin, digo Ûris zehf baș bû, digo mesela mêr bigirtana mêr nedikuștin.
They would say the Russians came, the Russians were good. For instance they would talk about Russians and they would say the Russians were very good, they would say for instance if they captured men they wouldn’t kill them.
 20 Hespê wana jê distandin, tivingê wan, hespê wana lê distandin, mêr berdidan.
They would take their horses, they would take their rifles and their horses and they would let the men go.
 21 Yek jî digo wextê ku meriv bêje, Ûris dihat ku me bikuje, me digo “Ya/ ya Baẋ” em berdidan. “Baẋ” ûrisî ew e: “Xwedê” dêmek,
Also, they used to say, people said, when the Russians came to kill us, we would say “Ya Bagh”, and they would let us go. “Bagh” in Russian means “God”.
 22 Xwedê.
God.
 23 Digo me digo “Ya Baẋ”. Yek jî digo Ûris zehf ew bû/ Ûris mesela pey jinê bedew diçû.
When we said “Ya Bagh”, they used to say the Russians were very/ for instance the Russians went after beautiful women.
 24 Digo jinê bedew serçavê xwe tenî dikirin. Serçavê xwe tenî dikirin, bo seva nebin, seva eskerê Ûris qarișîyê wana nebin.
They used to say that the beautiful women would blacken their faces. They blackened their faces to avoid harassment. So that the Russian soldiers wouldn’t approach them.
 25 Erê șerê mezin çê bûye wê demê da navbera Rûs û kurda.
Was there a long war during that period, between the Russians and the Kurds?
 26 Tabî çêbûye, mesela, niha wele Mozelan heye, dibêjin zozanê Mozelanê, ez karim ser ayila xwo bêjim: Kalkê min ê Meʕrûf, Meʕrûf aẋa dibêjin.
Yes, there was, for example, there is Mozelan, it’s called Mozelan hill, I can talk about my family: my grandfather Meʕrûf, he’s called Meʕrûf Agha.
 27 Yanî aẋayê ʕeșîra Bekira bîye, kalkê bavê min e.
He was the Agha of the Bekir tribe, he’s my father’s grandfather.
 28 Wî çaxî ewa alayên Ḥemîdiyê da bûne jî, ḥezar û nehsid çardeyan da wextê ku Ûris tê ser geliyê Zîlan da digre, ewa gund bîye.
At that time he was in the Hemidiye regiment, in 1914 when the Russians attacked the Zilan plain, he was in the village.
 29 Kurê wî Ûsiv heye, Ûsivê Maʕro dibêjine. Ew jî ber bêderê bîye.  
He had a son Ûsiv, he was called Ûsiv Maʕro. He happened to be on the threshing floor.
 30 Milet tê gund divê, “Maʕrûf aẋa” dibê “Ûris Ûsiv kușt”.
The people came to the village and said “Maʕrûf Agha” they said, “the Russians killed Ûsiv”.
 31 Wextê ku dibê Ûsiv kuștin ewa hespê xwa siyar dibe panzde ḥev sîwaran va, diçe pêșiya Ûris digre.
When they said that they’d killed Ûsiv, he mounted his horse and together with fifteen other horsemen, intercepted the Russians.
 32 Panzde ḥev sîware xwa va diçe pêșiya Ûris digre, hetanî/ nîvro bû ḥeta ʕesrê șer kirin.
With his fifteen horsemen he intercepted the Russians and they fought from midday until the evening.
 33 Gule li vira wî dikeve zanî. Gule li sûretê wî dikeve, ewa wira dimre, çarde hevên dinê-ș pê ra dimrin. Wana wira çal dikin.
The bullet hit him here, you know. The bullet hit his forehead and he died there, the other fourteen also died with him. They buried them there.
 34 Niha jî dibêjin șehîd e, mesela wira ew heye, gundek e.
Now they consider him a martyr, for instance there is that village.
 35 Navê gund Komir e, wextê tu diçî ser rê, ciyê wana heye, panzde ḥeb wir da, dibêjin șehîdê Maʕro.
The village is called Komir, when you are on the road there is a site for them, for the fifteen, called the Maʕro martyrs.
 36 Mezelê wan nîne?
Is there no tomb?
 37 Mezel heye, heye toplî mezar dibêjin. Çarde, panzde ḥev wira da çal kirine dibêjin șehîdê Maʕro.
There is a tomb, a common grave, it’s called. Fourteen, fifteen, are buried there together, they call it the martyrs of Maʕro.
 38 Îja tiștêkî ez din te ra bêjim, mesele go wî çaẋî Kurmanca ku Êrmenî/ file bikuștana, go serê wan jê dikirin.
I will tell you something else, for instance at that time if Kurmanjis killed Armenians, Christians, they would allegedly remove their heads.
 39 Serê fila go jê dikirin, cinazê wana xira dikirin.  
They would allegedly remove the Christians’ heads to defile their corpses.
 40 Kalkê-mi Maʕro/ li gundê me du aylê fila dimînin, kalkê Maʕro nahêlê kes qarișî wan be. Nahêle dibê yanî “hûn qarișî vana nabin”.
My grandfather Maʕro/ two Christian families lived in our village, my grandfather Maʕro didn’t let anyone bother them. He didn’t allow it, he would say “don’t bother them”.
 41 Wana aylekî ew bû/ navê “Tûmo” digotin, “Alakê” digotin nizam kê.
These families were so/ they would call them “Tûmo”, or “Alakê”, I don’t know.
 42 Kalkê Maʕro/ vana êvarê/ navê ewê jî Tayjdîn bîye. Navê yekî Ermenî jî go Tayjdîn bîye.
My grandfather Maʕro/ that evening/ his name was Tayjdîn. The Armenian man’s name was Tayjdîn.
 43 Vana êvarê, ga mayê wana falan go hazir kirin, vana dișîne aliyê Îranê, “divê hûn herin xilaz bin”.
That evening, they were tending to their cattle and he sent them towards Iran, saying “you must escape”.
 44 Waxtê ewna xilaz dibin, waxtê îja digîjine ordîyê Ûrisa dizivirne geliyê Zîlan dîsa, Êrmenî.
When they escaped, when they reached the Russian troops they turned back to the Zilan plain, the Armenians.
 45 Waxtê kalkê Maʕro dikujin, yekî Ûris diçe ser dibê “em ê serê wî jêkin”.
When they killed my grandfather Maʕro, a Russian stood over his body and said “we’re going to cut his head off”.
 46 Divê Tayjdîn wê wî wextî naz dike, zanî, tê xwe davêje ser cinazê wî, dibê “eva kirîvê Maʕro ye” divê “qariș nebin.”
At that point Tayjdîn recognised him, you know, he approached his body and said “this is our godfather Maʕro” he said “in front of us.”
 47 Divê wî em xilaz kirine, cinazê wî xira nakin. […] wira hîștin, gazî jina kirin pașê, go werin, go mêr newêrîbûn biçûna, mêr ḥemû direvin diçin.
He said, he saved us, don’t defile his body. They left him there and then they called the women, they said come, they said the the men won’t go, and all the men escaped.
 48 Jin pașê diçin, wek kefen jî zanî dêrê ser xwa derdixin, dêra wek kefên wana dikin, wana wisa çal dikin.
Then the women came and used their clothes as a shroud, they removed their garments and buried them like that.
 49 Yanî êwe dîsa em bêjin ji qetlîama geliyê Zîlan, berê xwe dane Elcewazê wan deran?
So we can say that after the massacre of the Zilan plain, your people headed towards Elcewaz and those areas?
 50 Tabî, tabî, geliyê Zîlan yê ku sirgûn dikin, zaten sirgûn dikin, yê dikujin dikujin, qismekî wan jî dișînin ḥefsa Edenê.
Right, right, the people of the Zilan plain, those who emigrated had emigrated, those who were killed were killed, and some were sent to Adana prison.
 51 Yê me piștî ḥezar û nehsid pêncî ew ʕefûya Demoqrat Partî dertê/ yê me li ew ê/ yê me qismekî wana, sê çar bira bûne, qismekî me Tekîrdaxiyê bûne, qismekî me Denizlîyê bûne û qismekî me Sînopê bûne, qismekî me jî Aydînê bûne.
After the exoneration of the Democratic Party in 1950 our people/ those of/ those of us who were pardoned, there were three or four brothers, some of us were in Tekirdag, some were in Denizli, some were in Sinop, and some were in Aydin.
 52 Ewna vedigerin tên tabî gund tune. Dewletê dest daye ser.
They returned and of course there was no village! The state had confiscated it.
 53 Bêcîh dimînin, digo me ser riya Elcewazê, Erdîșê çadir girtibûn yanî.
They became homeless, and they set up tents on road between Elcewaz and Erdis.
 54 Berê em bêjin panzde, bîst gundê wan hebûn, wextê hatibûn destê wan tiștek tine.
Before that they had maybe fifteen, twenty villages, but when they came back there was nothing.
 55 Îjar pașê tapîya dinihêrin, tapiya da ew ḥer sê gundê Ermeniya, gundê fileha aliyê Elcewazê, ev ḥer sê gund ser nave kalkê min-ê Maʕro bûn.
So then they checked the documents, and in the documents those three Armenian villages, the Christian villages near Elcewaz, those three villages were under the name of my grandfather Maʕro.
 56 Na, ser/ ser navê kalkê Biro bûne, birê kalkê Maʕro ye. Em jî îște warîsê wî bûne, warîsê wî bûne, divê hûn karin herin wa gundê xwe.    
No, they were under the name of my grandfather Biro, he was the brother of my grandfather Maʕro. We were his heirs, we were his heirs, he said “you can go to your villages”.
 57 Yê me diçin wira hê, diçin awayê fila bûne, mesele go em çûn hê xaniyê fila hebûn.
So our people went there, and they still belonged to the Christians, for instance my father said that when we arrived there were still Christian houses.
 58 Belkî xera bûbûn, çêkiribûn. Hêj tê bîra mi, mesele ez biçûk bûm xaniyê fila tê bîra min yanî.
Maybe they were destroyed, and then they built them again. I can still remember, for instance when I was little, I can remember the houses of the Christians.
 59 Merekê wan bin ʕerd bûn, duwarê wana aha ser ʕerdê bûn, ʕerd kula bûn, a hinde ser ʕerdê bû, merek digotin zahf tarî bû.
Many of them were underground, the roof was on the ground, and they dug it into the ground, they said the rooms were very dark.
 60 Mesele, bavê mi digo, wextê biçûktiya bavê mi, ew merek filan wira mane, hindir da wek mal, wek xanî bi kar anîne.
My father used to say, when he was young, that those rooms remained there, that they were inside. They used the houses.
 61 Yanî xwe li wir veșartine?
So they had hidden there?
 62 Na, na, çûne êdî wira û pașê êdî xwe ra hêdî hêdî mal çêkirine. Pêșîyê xaniyê fila da maye, pașê ew çêkirine/ pașê pez mez standine, tabî go yê ku îja wira zengîn mabûn, yê ku mesela sirgûn nekiribûn ewna wira zengîn bûn, yê ku sirgûn kiribûn gêrî hatibûn tiștekî me tunebû.
No, no, they went there and then they built their own houses. At first they stayed in the Christian houses, then they built these/ then they got livestock, of course those who were already there remained wealthy, and those who hadn’t emigrated were wealthy, but those who had emigrated and returned, we had nothing.
 63 Go îja ʕeșîra nava hev digeriyan, ʕeșîr/ recî dibêjin ya, go recî dikirin. Recî yanî mal tov/ berhev kirin.
So when the tribes travelled, the tribes/ we say charity, they collected charitible donations. They collected charitable seeds.
 64 Her gundî/ go mesela biçî her gundê Bekira, yekî çêlekek da, yekî mîhek da, yekî bizinek dida, wî çaxî wî șeklî kalkê mi nêzî çarsid, pênsid pezî jê ra top dikin. Û hêdî hêdî dîsa durima wana baș dibe.
In every village/ for example you’d go to every village of the Bekir, and one person would give a cow, one would give a lamb, one would give a goat, and at that time my grandfather would gather around 400-500 livestock in this way. And gradually their situation improved.
 65 Yanî dîsa bi rêncberiyê, çandinê mijûl dibin newilo? Ekonomiya wê demê …
So they were involved in agriculture and sowing seeds, right? The economy of that time…
 66 Tabî, tabî, mîtanî berê nabin, ew dibin yanî xilaz dibin, mesele naçine șehir. Bi sala newêribûn herin șehir.
Of course, of course, they were not like before, they survived, (but) for example they wouldn’t go to the cities. For years they avoided the cities.
 67 Ji ber ku dewletê ewana kuștine, newêrbûn, newêrbûn biçûna.
Because the state had killed them, so they didn’t dare, they didn’t dare to go.
 68 Go mesela ʕeskerek bihata gund mêra hemû xwe vedișart. Kes nedima, kes newêribû bivîya muxtar.
So for instance, if a soldier came to the village all the men would hide. Nobody would stay, nobody would dare to become the head man.
 69 Va șêst heftê sal derbas bûye ji tirsa …
So they spent 60-70 years in fear …
 70 Tabî , tabî tirsa, go hê jî ew nebû. Kalkê mi ku behsa dewletê digo digo “kurê mi” digo, “hûn nizanin, dewlet bi ʕerebaya ga, kêvrîșkê digre.”
Of course, of course, in fear, it still doesn’t happen. My grandfather/ I still remember from that year/ my grandfather said, when it came to the state, he would say “my son” he would say, “you don’t know that, but the state captures the rabbit with an oxen cart”.
 71 ʕerebeya ga.
Captures the rabbit with an oxen cart.
 72 Kêvrîșkê bigre.Yanî nayê aqilê mereva ku ʕereba ga nikare kêvrîșkê bigre. Erebaya ga zahf hêdî diçe, kêvrîșk jî zehf zû direve.
Well you can’t imagine that an oxen cart can catch a rabbit. An oxen cart moves very slowly, and the rabbit runs very fast.
 73 Ewî her tim wisa digo, yanî ji dewletê zaḥf ditirsiya, ʕecayêb ditirsiya.
He always used to say that, as he was very afraid of the state.
 74 Ew travma ye…
It’s traumatic…

* April 23 is National Children’s Day in Turkey.