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Hundreds of Diyarbakir residents gathered for their 11th watermelon festival on Wednesday, organised by Diyarbakir’s Governor Office.

The day started with rival watermelons being paraded atop camels walking down the streets onto the square where the contest took place. Shortly afterwards, locals gathered to witness some decorative art using whole melons, with some cut into various shapes such as a donkey, fish and flowers.

Afterwards, locals participated in a melon-eating contest before watching a traditional dance show. Later in the evening, the melons were weighed, with the winner coming in at 45.5 kg. After the winners were finally announced, the festival was rounded off by a musical performance for the attendees.

Ikram Atli, a local farmer and winner of this year’s competition, said, "we’ve been doing this for 50 years. I am originally from Derik, but now we are in Diyarbakır. We rent land and run a watermelon business. We plant the seedlings in the spring season. We work in rain and wind, we suffer a lot, we work hard. We hoe the field, we collect the harmful weeds in the field. We are spending a lot."

SOUNDBITES:

SOT, Local Farmer (Turkish): "I was third. We take good care of the ground. We are planting our seedlings. We give fertilizer once a week. We protect watermelon seedlings so that they do not burn in the sun. We take good care of the watermelons until the date of the festival. Then we hand it over to the festival officials on the day of the festival."

SOT, Local Farmer (Turkish): "I’ve been doing this for 50 years. My father and grandfather were doing this before. I’ve been doing this job since I was 10 years old."

SOT, Ikram Atli, Local Farmer (Turkish): "We’ve been doing this for 50 years. I am originally from Derik, but now we are in Diyarbakır. We rent land and do watermelon business. We plant the seedlings in the spring season. We work in rain and wind, we suffer a lot, we work hard. We hoe the field, we collect the harmful weeds in the field. We are spending a lot."

#Watermelons #Turkey

Video ID: 20210923-031

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