Life returns to normal in Akçakale

Life returns to normal in Akçakale

AKÇAKALE - Hürriyet Daily News
Life returns to normal in Akçakale

Hürriyet Daily News Photo, Selahattin Sönmez

Daily life is gradually returning to normal in the Turkish border town of Akçakale, where a Syrian mortar struck a house Oct. 3, killing five civilians.

“We have returned to our routine life. The only unusual thing here is the journalists strolling around. When you leave here, Akçakale will be practically back to normal,” a shopowner in Akçakale told Hürriyet Daily News.

The Akçakale district of Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa has become a popular destination for Turkish and foreign journalists since Turkish troops returned mortar fire into Syria, after the Syrian shell struck the town on Oct. 3. Many journalists are comimng to visit the house that was struck by the mortar and the now-closed Akçakale border gate.

Apart from these two sites, the town seems to be quiet. Only children break the silence. In fact, Akçakale's schoolchildren have been those residents most affected by the ongoing Syrian conflict and the intensified clashes in Syria near the Turkish border. Schools opened Sept. 19, but students were only able to attend school for three days before the town's schools were closed after the first mortar struck a house in Akçakale, wounding several people. It is not clear when the schools will reopen, but rumor in Akçakale has it that students will return to class on Monday, Oct. 8.

Meanwhile, increased military mobilization around Akçakale still continues. Turkish tanks and missiles are seen to be settled directed to Syria along the border, the Daily News has observed.