photography and multimedia journalism association

Leaving Kobani

Syrian Kobani and Turkish suruc have been sister cities for nearly a hundred years. They were mostly inhabited by Kurdish people, related by blood, businesses, and their common culture. When Ottoman Empire collapsed and independent Syria came into being, the cities found themselves in different countries. But only when Turks mined the border in 1950's, Kobanians became brutally cut off from Surucians.

Kobani was besieged by the Islamic State's fighters from mid-September 2014 for four months. The city and the province got depopulated, and yet Suruc had to accept the refugees from behind the minefields. In a few days, a quarter of a million peopole broke into Turkey, with tens of thousands remained in Suruc, in hope of a quick return to Kobani.

Kobani tragedy is only a part for over four years long war in Syria. The war has resulted with 300,000 people dead and a million wounded; a half of inhabitants of the country become homeless, and four million people had to emigrate. For rest of the world all these numbers are only gloomy statistics. Only the media attractiveness of Islamists and European fear of extremism will catch our attention to the besiged city for a while again. But, although the Islamic State will pass away, the war will remain.

Maciej Moskwa