The Beekeeper relates the touching story of Ibrahim Gezer, a Kurdish beekeeper from southeast Turkey, and his unusual experience of integration into the seemingly conservative heart of today's Switzerland. The turmoil of the decades-long conflict between the Turkish state and the armed Kurdish guerrilla movement, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), robbed Gezer of everything that he had: his wife, two of his children, his country, and over 500 bee colonies—his means of making a living. He has been left only with his love for bees and his unshakeable faith in humanity. Displaced from his home and livelihood, the beekeeper discovers a new life in Switzerland.
Human Rights Watch has in several reports documented the Turkish military's forcible displacement of Kurds and evacuation of thousands of villages in southeast Turkey in the 1990s, as well as the enforced disappearance and killings of thousands of Kurds. For many years there was no justice for these crimes in Turkey, although over the past few years there have been a few prosecutions of the military in a few of the thousands of cases. Human Rights Watch continues to press for accountability for past abuses as a key element in a peace process and to uphold the human rights of Kurds in Turkey.