Monday, January 16, 2006


Tests confirm that 12-year-old Fatma Ozcan died of bird flu. She is the fourth Kurdish child to die from the disease. From AP:

Preliminary tests have confirmed that a 12-year-old girl who died was infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, raising Turkey's death toll to four, health officials said Monday.

Fatma Ozcan died Sunday in the eastern city of Van, but initial tests had been negative for H5N1. The Health Ministry ordered more tests after her 5-year-old brother, Muhammet, tested positive. Officials said those confirmed her infection, raising the number of human cases in the country to 20.

Five patients had been discharged from hospitals as of Monday afternoon, leaving only 11 still in treatment, the ministry said.

Authorities hastily buried Fatma on Sunday evening, wrapping her in a special body bag to contain any virus, following a quick prayer by torchlight at a snow-covered cemetery. She was from Dogubayazit — where three siblings died of bird flu 1 1/2 weeks earlier.

According to Reuters, Fatma's brother is still in critical condition in Wan. He had previously tested positive for bird flu. Reuters also reports that, although there are 20 other confirmed human bird flu cases in Turkey and Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, none of the others are in a life-threatening condition.


Murat Altinbasak said...

Off topic, but I thought I'd share it here where it will get the proper exposure. Tell me folks: Is Fikret Atay "Turkish" or "Kurdish" or both? Controversy rages in Turkish Yahoo Group circles. Click here:

Mizgîn said...

You should ask Fikret Atay what he is. And someone should check a map. The last time I was there, Êlih was not close to the border with South Kurdistan.

Murat Altinbasak said...

If I could make it to his art exhibit, I would.

Nistiman said...

I agree with you Mizgin - Fikret Atay should decide whether he sees himself as a Kurd, a Turk, a Turkish Kurd, or a Turk with a sub-identity, etc, etc... Just because someone is ethnically a Kurd should not dictate that he or she should necessarily see him/herself as a Kurd. It happens that a person gets assimilated - either by circumstance or by choice.

I would like him more if he acknowledged his Kurdish roots or identity since it seems that in his creative works he gets his inspiration from his personal Kurdish experience of life in Batman/Êlih.

I also understand, however, that a person may have sympathies for his/her Kurdish roots and yet feel like a Turk. If (hypothetically speaking, of course) Atay can live with that, so can I.

Mizgîn said...

Roj baş, Niştîman. When I first read the question about identity, my mind immediately flashed on Ziya Gökalp, and that which determined identity according to him. It seems to me that most of the time, there is so much pressure to assimilate, that to remain Kurd is the big and difficult choice.

I have noticed that this choice then becomes a long string of constant, personal choices, by which individuals struggle against oppression. For example, the choice to purposely speak "bad" Turkish, ie. Turkish with many "Kurdisms" or with a Kurdish accent and rhythm, even though one is able to speak Turkish perfectly because one was forced to learn it in school.

There are also highly visible examples of personal choices, like the contrast between Ibo Tatlises and Ciwan Haco.

Everyone has to live with their own choices.

idobatman said...

I think you want fikret atay to decline his being kurdish just for your own satisfactıon.he is a kurdish artist and doesnt need to say an extra thing besides his work.everything is clear on that works.if you watch the fast and best you can see that his works are enough

idobatman said...

and how can you critisize someone without knowing anythink about him ?