KURDISTAN 

the parts in Iran & Eastern Turkey

Our encounter with an ancient land without formal recognition

> Journeying nearly 1 month across the Kurdish regions of Iran & Turkey <

This is leg two on a longer journey traveling overland across most parts of Kurdistan in Iraq, Iran and Eastern Turkey. On leg one of this journey we made a deep exploration of Kurdistan in Iraq. Here, on leg two, we explore the Irianian and Turkish part of Kurdistan.

 

This part is more remote and rural. There are only a few larger Kurdish towns such as Mahabad and Sanandaj in Iran, and Diyarbakir (a sort of capital for Kurds) and Van in Turkey. We start out in Sanandaj, the capital of the Iranian Kordestan province. A super friendly place where we stayed with a local Kurd who drove us into the mountains and many small Kurdish villages during several days. We found the Kurds in these areas to be the most traditional across all of Kurdistan. Especially around Howraman and Paved thay are very traditonal and speak peotic Hurami. We then continue along the border with Iraq towards Sardash, Hasanlu, Orumiyeh and Razi, and from there we cross into Eastern Turkey. Here, we explore the most significant Kurdish towns and villages.

Traveling around these parts of Kurdistan, we saw that most Kurds live in small villages in remote mountain regions. A typical Kurdish house is made of mud-brick with a wooden roof. In the summer, the family sleep on the roof where it is cooler. Some homes have under-ground rooms to use in the winter to escape the cold. There is rarely indoor plumbing or heating. Water is carried into the house in jars and cans from a central village well. Around Van, we saw how a few remaining nomadic Kurds live in tents made of blackened hides. Traditional Kurdish dress is becoming rare but it can still be seen many places. Kurdish women wear colorful skirts and blouses. Men wear baggy, colorful pants with a plain shirt having very full sleeves, tied at the elbow. Bright-colored vests and sashes are worn over the shirt. Most men wear a silk turban on their head. One striking thing about Kurds, which we saw very clearly, is that Kurdish women freely associate with men in most gatherings. 

If Middle East adventures excites you, check our pages on travels in Syria and greater Middle East, Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea, and a long trip on the Hippy Trail through Turkey and Iran.

 

Selected pics:

 

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© Anders M. Pedersen & Jakob M. Pedersen

All photos have been taken by Anders & Jakob.

    Homely dinner in Mariwan

    In Mariwan, which was our base for a couple of days, we slept on the floor (carpet) in the house of our driver. Kurds are extremely hospitable!