Date posted: October 30, 2013
Thousands of [Hizmet] businessmen and volunteers from Western Turkey spent this year’s Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) in East and South East of the country so as to strengthen the brotherhood between Kurdish and Turkish citizens, and extend a helping hand to Syrian refuges. The provinces in Eastern and Southeastern Turkey have significant Kurdish populations. People in these parts of Turkey suffer poverty and various social problems. Further, each province in those areas hosts tens of thousands of Syrian refugees.
Hizmet movement (aka Gulen movement) has been implementing social projects to improve the dialogue between the segments of the society such as Turkish-Kurdish, poor-rich or peasant-urbanite and also to help eradicate poverty.
In this respect some 2,000 businessmen visited Diyarbakir, 210 visited Mardin and hundreds visited Kilis. Businessmen from Istanbul, Izmir, Gaziantep, and Konya, who came to share the joy of the holiday with Syrian orphans and with the needy locals of Mardin and Diyarbakir, distributed meat and presents and received blessings in return. 210 volunteers from Bakirkoy district of Istanbul were met with flowers and the show of the local folk dance team in Mardin airport.
Villagers experienced emotional moments when they learned that famous businessmen like Faruk Gullu and Hazim Sesli came down to their village for exchanging eid congratulations. Volunteers distributed meat in Merkez Baglar and Sur districts of Diyarbakir. 90-year old Fincan Cicek hosted the businessmen from Izmir in her house. Granny Fincan laid a table and treated the guests rice and chicken. Guests, who could not hold back tears, expressed that Granny Fincan did not just lay a table for them, but in fact she opened her heart to them. Granny Fincan who became a sister family with Karagoz family from Izmir, saw her guests off with blessings: “May God give us glory and honor, and raise you near the post of prophets [in the hereafter].”
55 Hizmet volunteers from Istanbul, Konya, and Gaziantep distributed meat and gifts to Syrian refugees in Kilis. They also visited shelters and hospitals hosting Syrians. Then, 4,000 people were treated a meal in social facilities of Kimse Yok Mu Association. Some volunteer families could not hold back tears when they witnessed the situation of Syrian refugees, many of whom are orphans. Fatma Misri from Syria, who had to spend the Eid away from her homeland, lost her husband in the war. She told that she has been living in Kilis with the help of benefactors. “I have three daughters and one son. I am very grateful to the people who help us. They arranged us a place to stay. May God bless them,” Misri said.
Nizamettin Alpsoy, 73 year-old resident of Yesiloz village of Mardin, tried to kiss the hands of businessman Faruk Gullu, who brought meat and presents to his house. Emotional moments followed. In Kurdish, Alpsoy expressed that his two sons working in Istanbul could not visit him during the Eid, and that he will feed the meat to his grandchildren. Alpsoy saw the hosts off with blessings, saying “We were not expecting meat this Eid. People in the village who can afford sacrificing an animal distribute the meat to their relatives and it barely suffices even them. You are Godsend to us.”
A tenant in a cave-house Fikret Aydogdu thanked the volunteers with the following words: “Thanks to people who remember us during the Eid, faces of my children are smiling.” The Chief of 30-house Yesiloz village Behram Akyol, emphasized that the villagers felt honored by the volunteers who left their families during the holiday to visit them for exchanging Eid congratulations. Akyol, who remarked that they could only see businessmen on television, further said: “This event strengthened our brotherhood, it doubled our happiness and their remembrance of us is a great joy. From now on, we have brothers in Istanbul.”
Volunteers had many emotional instances where they couldn’t help their tears. Seeing the orphan Syrians and treating them with gifts, a volunteer businessman told that more donation and help is needed. Aise Hujazi, a Syrian refugee, who lost her husband in the war and is currently sharing the same place with four other families (30 people), said they had been solely relying on donations and she thanked the volunteers for their help. Ahmet Shibli is another person that escaped and took refuge in Kilis. Sharing with three families a shelter with three rooms and with an outside kitchen, Shibli was drawn to tears of joy when he saw the volunteers.
[Original news is in Turkish]
Source: Zaman Newspaper , October 17, 2013
Tags: Kurdish Issue | Peacebuilding | Turkey |