Villagers perform ‘snow prayer’ in Turkey’s Muş

Villagers perform ‘snow prayer’ in Turkey’s Muş

Villagers perform ‘snow prayer’ in Turkey’s Muş

Locals in a village in the remote eastern province of Muş have performed prayers for snow, amid concerns over the worst drought in 44 years in Turkey.

The “snow prayer” was officiated by Ayhan Aymelek, the imam of Çatkaya village on Jan. 15.

“According to meteorological data, we are experiencing the worst season of drought in 40 years. This year there is also no snow, compared with last year when there were 1.5 meters of snow in Muş. Agriculture-related products such as wheat, barley and sugar beet cannot be grown and are having to be destroyed,” Aymelek said.

“We came to the cemetery together with the villagers to pray. We prayed to God to give us rainfall and snow,” he added.

On Dec. 28, Water Affairs and Forestry Minister Veysel Eroğlu had said Turkey was experiencing the worst drought in 44 years in 2017 amid a substantial decrease in rain levels.

Dams in Turkey are being sapped by low levels of rainfall and temperature levels above the seasonal norm, stoking fears about water supply in many provinces across the country, daily Habertürk reported on Jan. 9.

Ten dams in Istanbul have shrunken to 65 percent capacity, according to data from the Istanbul Water and Sewage Administration (İSKİ). The figure falls to as low as 20 percent in dams in the capital Ankara and 34 percent in the Aegean province of İzmir.

Meanwhile, another snow prayer overseen by a local imam was performed during a TV show broadcast on local station Channel 58 in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas.