Turkey’s far east embraces normalization

Published 03.05.2013 18:25
Updated 03.05.2013 18:30

The villages of Aktütün and Bağlar, located in the previously high-terrorism zone of Şemdinli in the southeast province of Hakkari, are gaining a new lease on life due to the ongoing resolution process.

Residents of the villages of Aktütün, located 65 kilometers from the Iran and Iraq borders and Bağlar, which is at 25 kilometers' distance are finally experiencing peace with the halt of the sounds of weapons which has lasted nearly four months now. With the hope of lasting peace now settling in amongst the village locals, the residents of these two villages celebrated this ongoing resolution process by hosting a grand feast and performing traditional dances.

Villagers who no longer want their villages to be recalled as the grounds of conflict and military operations decided to host a feast prepared by sacrificing six lambs accompanied by 70 kilograms of rice, which they shared with commanders on duty at the Aktütün Gendarmerie Station.

Villager Cafer Gezer commented, "We are all extremely pleased that the bloodshed has come to an end. Today we are celebrating peace. I hope this positive atmosphere will continue."

Hacı Arif Çiftçi, a 65-year-old opinion leader in the Bağlar village which was forced to evacuate all residents for three months last year due to security issues, stated, "Due to the conflict last year we were unable to tend to our vineyards and gardens. We couldn't prune our trees and we were forced to sell our livestock. This year villagers are planting new fruit trees and are planting our fields and our livestock are able to wander the fields."

Explaining that a short while back soldiers who were visiting the village told them to buy livestock and to go out in the fields again, Çiftçi went on to state, "Ever since the resolution process started we have yet to hear news of a soldier being killed. Hopefully this will continue for the rest of our lives."

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