February 6, 2013

Turkish families in the neighboring city of Malian fights

While a considerable number of people have evacuated the area, the ongoing war couldn’t deter the Turkish teachers. The two families residing in the northern Mali city of Segou, the nearest settlement to the hot zone Konna, explained: “There is no way we are leaving Segou.”

The Oters and Mutlus, the two families 100 miles away from the intense fights, contentedly keep teaching at Malian-Turkish School in Segou. As they are the only Turks, they frequently gather and find solace in each other.

Nevzat Oter, the principal of Segou Turkish School, said the school is the nearest of all Turkish Schools in Mali and borders the hot war zone. “Here is the nearest settlement to the clashes about 100 miles away in the north. But we never thought of shutting down the school. We are foul-weather, not fair-weather friends. We cannot leave our fellows going through such a hard time. We didn’t even think about leaving once. We carry on our work.”

Similarly, Mehmet Mutlu expressed their determination: “We are here in Segou. What matters most is that we are safe and happy.”

The principal’s wife Fatma Oter stated they are comfortable going out although they felt relatively worried when the war broke out. “We are able to go to the school whenever we wish.”

Doubtful about the misleading coverage due to exaggerated reports the media is handed, the other female Hulya Mutlu said: “We continue our daily lives. We can go out and shop without any difficulty. We are quite happy too.”

HM Blog's Note: The above-mentioned statements affirm the commitment of Hizmet volunteers to their service no matter how challenging and, sometimes, unbearable the conditions are. Be it in a war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan or elsewhere around the world, they have always stood by local people through hard times.

Published [in Turkish] on SamanyoluHaber.com, 02 February 2013, Saturday

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