Eastern Turkish villages have 'meteor rush'
AA PhotoA large number of people rushed to two eastern Turkish villages after several media reports revealed that meteor pieces, which fell over the villages in early September, are valuable enough to buy cars or houses, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Following media reports about the high value of meteor pieces found in Sarıçayır and Ekinyolu, two villages in the eastern province of Bingöl, both Sarıçayır and Ekinyolu residents, along with residents from other close-by villages, have come in hope of finding pieces to sell.
The meteor pieces found in Sarıçayır were sold by residents for some $200,000, Hürriyet Daily News reported earlier this week, as meteorite collectors from Russia and Germany flocked to the village.
“I met my needs with money I got from selling Russians meteor pieces I found. I also paid my debts with what I earned from selling some other pieces to Australians,” said İsmail Ergün, 37, a resident from a village near Sarıçayır.
Ergün said he had been looking for meteors since Sept. 2. He has since collected some and sold them to Russians.
“I bought a car for 43,000 Turkish Liras from what I made selling meteors to Americans,” Ergün said.
“I’m still looking for more meteor pieces. You can find meteor pieces everywhere around our village as well as in the lowlands around it. I still have 30 to 40 grams of meteors. I saved it to meet my personal needs,” he added.
“I’m looking for meteor pieces, too. If I find [some], I’ll sell like everybody’s doing here,” said an elderly person coming from the eastern province of Malatya, who did not want to give his name.
The old man said he had looked for meteors for hours but failed to find any, adding that he was on a visit to his daughter living in a nearby village.
Formerly clueless about the value of the meteor pieces, Sarıçayır residents started to sell the pieces they found after they were told by an academic from the Istanbul University about how valuable the meteors were.
Residents said they sell pieces for up to $60 per gram. “God willing, everybody should find this stone. Poor people keep looking for it. They need it more than we do,” a local villager said.
“The reason people worldwide are interested in meteor pieces found in Bingöl is they need those pieces for scientific tests in space research,” Oxford University Astrophysics Professor Selçuk Topal told Cihan News Agency.