The main border crossing between Silopi in southeastern Turkey and the Northern Iraqi town of Zahko is by far the busiest of all transport routes into Iraq. An estimated 60,0000 tonnes of imports and exports pass through the borders every day.


April 2004
In recent months, the Turkish corridor has gained a reputation for serious congestion, with queues at the border significantly affecting the flow into Iraq. An average wait is around 24 hours, while the queues on the Iraqi side of the border are getting longer by the hour.

The borders are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, handling an average of 4,000 vehicles per day. Hot, arid, dusty roads and a graveyard of rusting trucks that have been abandoned due to breakdowns or hijackings besiege the single-laned road into the neighbouring country.

On this road, where the majority of these pictures were taken, lies Cizre, a Turkish town that sits on the border of Iraq and holds a strategic position for all Turkish military outposts in the southeast.

To many, the town is no more than a truckers stop, but Cizre’s position makes it a haven for anything and everything to do with the business of HGVs Рgarages, mechanics, a range of black market dealings, and a spot of smuggling.

The people who live in the surrounding area seem to fit in effortlessly with the incessant rumbling of decrepit trucks and the noise of exploding tyres.