Agricultural workers living in tents in Adana's Karatas district greeted the Eid al-Adha by working in the fields at dawn, despite the heat of Cukurova. While The unsung heroes of agriculture workers struggle for a living on a daily wage of 88 TL, they also face various difficulties in their tents. On the other hand, children have fun in the scorching heat by getting in and out of the water-filled barrels.
Folks, who live in tents in the Tabaklar Neighborhood on the fertile soil of Cukurova, with a population of approximately 3 thousand people with their families, work in fields and orchards throughout all four seasons. The daily routines of the workers, mostly Syrians or people from Sanlurfa, became harder with the onset of the scorching summer heat.
Agricultural workers struggling with lack of proper infrastructure that causes water, electricity, and sanitation problems in makeshift tents went to the field by tractors and buses in the early hours of the morning on Eid al-Adha and started to work, as they do every other Eid al-Adha. The workers have their breakfast in the fields at 09.00 and have their lunch at the break at 13.00. The workers who sweat for 88 TL for hours in Cukurova's heat exceeding 40 degrees are on their way to their tents again after the work in the field.
CHILDREN HELP ADULTS WITH SMALL CHORES
While the children play games around the tents all day long, the women deal with chores such as cooking and cleaning. Some of the children help adults with small chores in the fields. While the workers take a bath with the help of hoses whenever possible, they meet their toilet needs in mobile barracks with no infrastructure. The biggest fun for children in the scorching heat is to play by getting in and out of the water-filled barrels.
'WE FLED THE WAR, HERE WE ARE FIGHTING THE JOB’
Muhammed Ali (55), who has taken refuge in Turkey from Manbij years ago due to the civil war in Syria and works as an agricultural worker, said that he and 14 of his relatives are trying to survive in tents.“It's very hot where we work and live. Our food is under the heat, our water is boiling. Our job is tiring and difficult, but we get by. We fled the war, here we are fighting the job, we are fighting for our bread. I could not visit my relatives in Syria as my financial situation is bad” said Ali.
‘IT IS NOT VERY COMFORTABLE IN WINTER AS WELL’
“I am here to live and work. I have to look after my children. Life in this tent and the heat is very difficult. We are here by necessity. Eid al-Adha is welcome, but what should we do? We are here during the Eid al-Adha as well. We are here in both summer and winter. Generally, there are watermelon, melon, peanut, and orange works in the region. There are citrus orchards. We deal with all the works in the fields and orchards. It is very hot in the summer, but in the winter, it is not very comfortable as well. I've been in a tent for 4-5 years, I have to” said Fatma Gup (37) who lives in a tent with her 10 children.
‘HOLIDAYS ARE MEANINGLESS FOR AGRICULTURE WORKERS’
“The area where the tents are located is even bigger than a neighborhood. Agriculture is carried out in the region for 12 months actively. We work more intensively in the winter seasons. We cover the works in the fields and the orchards, such as planting, harvesting, weeding. The coronavirus pandemic did not affect this place much, because our living conditions are hard. We are trying to follow the mask and distance rules. We also work on holidays, because holidays are meaningless for agriculture workers. We spend 12 months working. Everyone is in the field during the holidays. Those who are not in the field have to spend the holiday here with their families because they have nowhere to go or cannot go because of the expense. I wish all the workers and all Turkish people a happy Eid al-Adha from here, I wish you a happy holiday” said President of Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection and Assistance Association Ali Güp (27), stating that 80 percent of the people in the tents stay permanently, the rest are seasonal workers.
Source : https://www.dha.com.tr/english/the-unsung-heroes-of-agriculture-welcomed-the-eid-aladha-by-working-in-the-heat-of-adana/haber-1838648881