Who were they?

I took this photograph in 1976. My memory about the location is faded, but I’m pretty sure it was in Turkey. I presumed the couple were a father and daughter, though maybe he is her grandfather. Hopefully not her husband! They were farmers, and I’d taken an earlier photograph of her playing with younger children in the fields. They seem relaxed and happy.

In that photo, I think he is sitting under a tree. I do clearly remember him approaching me and indicating that he’d like me to take a photograph of himself with her.

He didn’t ask to be photographed with any of the other younger children who were there. Nor did he want a photo of just himself.

I remember sensing pride and dignity about him.

There was no internet in those days, so I couldn’t offer to email the photo to him. And it was long before digital photographs, so I couldn’t show them the photo on the camera viewer. So they never saw this photographic portrait of themselves. They did not speak English, and I did not speak their language. Nor was there an interpreter available.

His jacket is interesting. It seems to be an old army woollen shirt that has been well kept. It’s double breasted, so it may give a clue for those who know about old army jackets. He has quite long hair. You can see his ‘pony tail’ to the right of his face, curling down below his collar. It’s not grey hair, so maybe he isn’t as old as he looks?

She is very colourfully dressed with big hoop earrings in her ears. Possibly they were Kurdish?

I know so little about these people – but they remain in my photo collection, and my brief meeting with them was one of those encounters in life that you never forget.

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