Şirince misses crowds on Dec 21 ‘doomsday’

Şirince misses crowds on Dec 21 ‘doomsday’

Şirince misses crowds on Dec 21 ‘doomsday’

Only a handful of visitors were in Şirince on Dec 21, despite the promotion that the village would survive the apocalypse predicted by the Mayans. REUTERS photo

Şirince village in the western province of İzmir, one of two locations prophesized to survive doomsday predictions based on the Mayan calendar did not receive as much tourist attention as expected when the world survived.

Nothing was destroyed before or after 1:11 p.m., the exact timing of the predicted apocalypse, apart from the dreams of the local business owners of Şirince, who expressed their disappointment about the lack of tourists and – as a result – of sales.

Although hotels and similar accommodation points in Şirince were booked months in advance, security forces and members of press outnumbered the visitors on the streets. According to official data, the total number of gendarmerie and police officers in the village was 500, while the number of journalists there to document on “the end of the world” exceeded that number.

Hotel owners said some customers canceled their bookings fearing possible chaos stemming from rush of the people to the village, even though they had already paid for them.

Friday prayers

Local religious sites also benefited from the Mayan doomsday prophesies as St. John church in the village became one of the most frequented spots, while district mufti İsmail Satu personally attended the Friday noon prayer held in the village’s mosque.

 The noon prayer saw participation of tourists as well as locals. Turkish, English, German, French and Russian translations of the Quran were distributed for free in front of the gates of the mosques.