As Muslims in Turkey observe Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, under the shadow of the devastating February earthquakes, survivors visited the graves of their fallen relatives.
Eid in the earthquake region means nothing but pain, according to Cumhuriyet newspaper, with quake survivors saying that they don’t even have a grave to visit because the bodies of their relatives have not been found.
On the eve of Eid, earthquake survivors shared photos of the debris removal operations on social media with the note, “While everyone is cleaning their homes for Eid, in my hometown, what is being cleared is debris”. The needs of quake survivors are still unmet 75 days after the disaster, with thousands of people still living in tents and shipping containers.
“We wish Eid al-Fitr to be an occasion for peace, brotherhood, equality and freedom,” the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Green Left Party said in a joint statement that started by commemorating the thousands of lives lost in the earthquake.
“On the one hand, we welcome this Eid al-Fitr in the shadow of great pain, severe crises, hunger and poverty inflicted on our society, and on the other hand, on the edge of change and transformation, real holidays and growing hopes,” reads the statement.
“Now is the time to unite more, to embrace, to hug each other in spite of the walls that want to be built between us. We will heal our wounds together, we will grow hope and joy together,” it follows.
People in quake-hit Syria also observe Eid al-Fitr with a heavy heart. While a mood of mourning dominates the war-torn country’s northern regions, in the Kurdish city of Kobanê in North and East Syria, people visited the graveyards of their loved ones who fell during the war against the Islamic State (ISIS) during the fundamentalist group’s siege of the city in 2014.