Love is in the air and on the streets for the residents of Muratlar, a scenic village in northwestern Turkey's Çanakkale province.
"Street of Love," a dusty road located in the village, hosts a unique event once a year for single men and women looking for a potential bride or groom. A local tradition persisting for decades, the event is held simultaneously with the annual farmers convention, hosting people of all ages including young residents and widows as well as people from other villages.
Many couples in Muratlar first met at the venue. İsa Korkmaz, the village headman, is one of them. "People dress up for the walk here," he told an İhlas News Agency reporter, pointing to the road stretching more than 1 kilometer, where women take a stroll clad in traditional garb and well-groomed men stakeout potential bride-to-bes. One of those women, Korkmaz's wife, was just a young lady from a neighboring village when she encountered Korkmaz on the road.
Nearby villages are not the only places that local singles flock from. Cem Davran, 23, met his future wife Arzu Kenaroğlu on the road last year during a visit that made headlines in recent years. A native of İzmir, Davran grew curious about the venue when he saw it on television. "I was just a visitor but I actually fell in love [with Arzu]. We got engaged four months ago," he told the Doğan News Agency.
İsa Korkmaz says the tradition dates back several decades, though the 55-year-old headman does not know when it first started. He says the parade is an opportunity for couples to date prior to marriage.
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