From the small quayside at Geva? it is no more than a twenty minute boat ride to Akhtamar, an island in Lake Van. A short journey laden with meaning, for Akhtamar is full of heady symbolism. It is a peaceful spot. The island's rocky shores have never been beaten by violent waves. Here in a mountain basin at over sixteen hundred metres above sea level, Turkey's largest lake and its wild surroundings are all tranquillity.
A display of white painted stones on the slopes of Akhtamar Island proclaims a stark message reminding visitors that the Motherland is indivisible, and so alluding to the contested status of the island. Historically part of Kurdistan, politically part of Turkey, but spiritually part of Armenia. Whose Motherland?