Kurdish nomads, known as ‘Kocers’ in Kurdish, live outside the cities and migrate from one plateau to another in the mountains of Kurdistan.
Kocers earn their living through agriculture and livestock breeding in the rural areas. They stay in one area for a brief period before moving on to follow their traditional migration routes. However, due to the ‘politics of war’ as practiced by the Turkish state, the migration routes of the Kocers have been severely restricted. Many plateaus and pastures are restricted due to the Turkish state’s designation of these areas as “temporary safety zones” until the end of the year.
The plateaus on Mount Ararat, between the provinces of Ağrı (Agirî) and Iğdır (Îdir) are among those “safety zones” which have normally been the migration areas and routes through which Kocers earn their livelihood and live during several months of the year.
Due to the declaration of these “security zones”, Kocers will not be able to migrate to the plateaus on Mount Ararat this spring. Therefore, the Kocers face serious problems regarding how they will feed and cater to their animals. Curfews and bans have been declared on their migration routes. Their very livelihoods are at stake.