GROUND MINUS TWO
FROM THE BOOKCOVER “Ground Minus Two”
“This was the land of people living unaware of each other”
They were oblivious to each other’s existence… three people in this desolate corner of Southeast Anatolia. One journalist, one youngster from among the locals, and one army captain in command of a remote military outpost… during four days of havoc right in the midst of terrorist activities.
Salman, a village grocer with two brothers among the ranks of the terrorist organization PKK; Army Captain Tayfun, whose wife had finally gotten pregnant through in vitro fertilization after years of trying; and journalist Ufuk who made it to the Southeast to cover the stories… all living their own drama… and in fact all unaware of what is really going on around them, but barreling down on a collision course.
Hakan Evrensel, an active soldier himself during this conflict– also one of the most genuine, brave, and important witnesses of the 15 years of terror in that region and the author of the book “Tales from the Southeast” – tells an amazing tale about four days of endless tragedy, written as little notes on scraps of paper by a pencil carried in his uniform’s vest pocket… a pencil smeared with blood, gunpowder and mud.
An excerpt from the book:
“How many times had this kid saved his life? How many times had it been? He tried to count but soon gave up, since he just could not collect his thoughts anymore. His focus was on the single bullet he had fired a moment ago… and now he was on his way to see the results. A human being, he had had in his cross hairs, and taken down knowingly and willingly… a human that had collapsed like a sack of potatoes right where he stood…. all by means of a single bullet. The same human who had unleashed a hail of fire onto Ramazan, splitting his skull into pieces… the same human who had executed Puik. As the blades picked up speed and the engine roared, he realized that the helicopter was about to lift off. For one last time he wanted to have a look at its ghastly cargo, but the cloud of dust, thrust up in the air by the downdraft of the blades, was engulfing the chopper, making it impossible to see inside. Ramazan’s lifeless body, just like his soul was slowly rising up to the sky. As the Sikorsky took off, dipped its head, and rapidly made it out of there, the dust started to settle”.