DOGUBAYAZIT AND OUTSKIRTS
I have been mistaken: the people here are not Turkish, they are Kurdish. And they are quite adamant about it. I have been pulled up more than once for asking the Turkish word for something instead of Kurdish.
As time goes by I am becoming more informed about how well known Donald was and the local people's opinion of him.
As I walked through town today with my guide and interpreter (who is well known here, and popular it seems) the owner of an internet cafe came out of his shop to greet me because he thought I was Donald. When Zaffa (my interpreter) told him who I was the man began to exclaim how sad he was about Donald because he liked him and often joked with him. Surprisingly, this man said that he had been unaware that Donald was missing.
I had already been told by one man that in his opinion Donald wouldn't have been murdered by religious extremists because he didn't think that anyone here would do such a thing. But I spoke to another man who knew Donald and he told me that he had heard people before he went missing saying, 'He is saying bad things about the prophet.' When I asked him if he thought that someone local might have murdered him, he said, 'Maybe.'
Someone asked me for my name in the hotel lobby today, and a local businessman overheard me and asked if I was the brother of Donald Mackenzie. He agreed to meet me for an interview. While we briefly spoke, he was able to inform me on something about which I had always been unsure. And that was in which year Donald had first come to Dogubayazit and Ararat. He told me it was 2001. He was quite certain. I had always thought it was about '04. That means he had been coming here over a period of 9 years. Remembering that each time he came he would stay for months. In Safer's words: 'He lived here.'