Remembering journalist Deniz Firat

Deniz Firat was one of the first journalists to report on ISIS attacks in Kurdistan. On August 8, 2014, she reported for the last time by telephone from the front in the Maxmur refugee camp and was hit by a piece of mortar shell.

Deniz Firat was one of the first journalists to report on the attacks of the so-called ISIS in Kurdistan in 2014. She was from Van province and lived with her family in the Maxmur refugee camp in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq). In August 2014, ISIS attacked Maxmur in addition to the Yazidi settlement area of Shengal (Sinjar) and other locations. The camp had to be evacuated. Deniz Firat documented the events on site with her camera and was killed on August 8.

Deniz Firat was born in 1984 in Çaldıran district of Van. Her family was systematically politically persecuted by the Turkish state. Instead of seeking refuge in Europe or moving to western Turkey, the family chose Kurdistan and crossed the Turkish-Iranian border to the east of the country. Deniz Firat's sister Binevş joined the guerrillas there. The Iranian regime also left the family alone, and the parents were arrested. Deniz and her sister Sarya were left alone and did not know what had happened to their parents for two months. After their release from prison, the family crossed the Iran-Iraq border to Zelê camp in southern Kurdistan. The camp was bombed by the Turkish air force and Delil, Deniz's little brother, died of an illness because there were no facilities for medical treatment.

After that, Deniz and Sarya also joined the guerrillas. Deniz was still very young and learned to read and write only in the mountains. After the experiences of her childhood and youth, the guerrilla meant a whole new way of life for her. She expressed her attachment by saying, "I can't live without the mountains, I can't breathe without my friends, nothing has meaning without work, and I can't exist without the struggle." She spent many years with the guerrillas in Qandil, Rojhilat, Behdinan and Botan.

In her media work, she placed great emphasis on her Kurdish mother tongue. Her last place of operation was Maxmur. When ISIS attacked the camp on August 6, Deniz stayed with her camera and phone with the fighters defending Maxmur against the Islamists. On August 8, she reported from the front lines by phone for the last time and was hit by a shell fragment. Her work is continued today by the journalists of RAJIN.