Zülfü Livaneli: Huzursuzluk (Disquiet)

The latest addition to my website is Zülfü Livaneli‘s Huzursuzluk (Disquiet). A Turkish, Istanbul-based journalist, Ibrahim, learns that Hussein, whom he knew as a child when they were growing up in Mardin, near the Syrian border, was killed by Neo-Nazis in Germany. He goes back to Mardin and finds out that Hussein, a compassionate man, had been helping in the refugee camps and, in particular, had been helping the Yazidis. Hussein had fallen for a Yazidi woman, Meleknaz who had a blind baby and had broken off with his Turkish fiancée, even though Yazidis and Muslims cannot intermarry. Much of the book is about the suffering of the Yazidis at the hands of ISIS but it is also about Ibrahim’s attempt to track down Meleknaz and find out why Hussein had been shot (but only injured) in Mardin and been killed in Germany. He (and we) learn a lot about Yazidi culture and religion but Livaneli also tells an excellent story about racism, sexism and the differences between moderate and extreme Islam and also about how someone can change.

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