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(Milliyet Newspaper, 20 February 2012)
A shepherd named Yemirhan (68) lives by himself in Yukarı Çarkıcı village
near Iğdır and he doesn't even know his surname. Yemirhan says that 'from
what I've been told, when my father died my mother got married and left. I
was raised by whoever was around. I don't know who I am.'
Yemirhan lives in a two-room shack and makes a living shepherding. When
he got sick he needed an identity card so the village chief, Mustafa Ağgün,
applied to the Iğdır Population and Citizenship Bureau to get an identity
card for Yemirhan who's been a shepherd in the village for years.
Yemirhan estimates his age at between 65 and 68. He said that because he
became ill for the first time in his life he needed to get an identity card,
adding that 'people like me are rare in Turkey. Let alone a card, I don't
even have a surname. I don't know who my mother or father are nor
where I was born. Ever since I can remember I've been a shepherd. When
the weather got really cold recently I got sick. I can't breathe. I'll go to
the doctor but I don't have an identity card. I asked for help from the
village chief and thanks to him it's being done. I live in a little two-room
place that belongs to a villager with my sheep. Long ago I was told that
when my father died my mother left me to go with her new husband.'
Village chief Mustafa Ağgün stated that Yemirhan has been in their village
for ten years and he added that 'I not clear who he is or where he came
from. When he got sick the other day we brought him to the doctor. They
didn't want to examine him but when we explained the situation they looked
at him and gave him some medicine. We informed the social services
provincial directorate and they'll come and get him.'