Yashar Kemal's Eagles

1960Gökçedam, 80000 Gökçedam Köyü/Osmaniye Merkez/Osmaniye, Turkey

When I returned to the village (Gökçedam) in the spring of 1960, there was not a single eagle — neither in the mountain nor in the village. When I asked the people what happened, they said, "It was the fault of the horse plague.""What's the connection between the horse plague and eagles?" I asked. "Whenever the horses died from the plague, they would spray them with disinfectant," the peasants told me. "One morning we woke up and saw our fields littered with dead eagles. Even in the mountains, you couldn't take a step without tripping over a dead eagle.