Igloos built by Turkish security forces in eastern Turkey’s Hakkari province wowed guests on Sunday as part of the ongoing snow festival.
The fourth Snow Festival kicked off recently in Hakkari’s Merga Bütan Ski Center to help develop the city’s winter tourism potential.
The city's gendarmerie forces and special operations police built spacious igloos by cutting and stacking hard snow blocks. The icy structures can accommodate nearly 25 people.
The igloos were also furnished with seats and tables made out of the snow and illuminated by candles.
People visiting the festival area dropped by the Turkish flag-draped igloos and wished the security forces success in their operations.
Hakkari Governor Idris Akbıyık and his spouse Sevim Akbıyık also visited the igloos and drank tea with the security personnel.
"Those igloos look beautiful. They are bigger and different than the previous ones,” the governor said, referring to the igloos built in past festivals.
"They have made the festival even more colorful and they have attracted a lot of attention."
Once notoriously associated with PKK terrorism, the province of Hakkari has received investments in recent years, as life in both the city of Hakkari and the province's rural areas returns to normal.
For instance, the population of wild animals has drastically increased, especially in the mountains. Wildlife has started to descend into suburban areas thanks to the lack of violence and explosions that once plagued the area. There has been a particular increase in the number of mountain goats, bringing joy to Hakkari’s animal lovers.
The PKK terrorist group clashed with security forces in urban areas in 2015, but the strategy collapsed because of successful counterterrorism operations and the lack of cooperation from the people in the region.
Several cities sustained significant damage during the clashes. Since then, the government has invested billions in repairing infrastructure and public services in the region. Widespread reconstruction efforts in the southeastern region were launched, including housing, health and education projects, restoration of historical buildings, mosques and churches, and recreation work, under the leadership of the Environment and Urbanization Ministry.