Turkey after the Earthquake: Tandoor Oven Huts for Baking Bread

“Now we can bake our bread again every day”

February 2nd, 2012 - Women of Koçköy Village gather around the new oven which has just been delivered. (Center: AAR JAPAN staff Miyuki KONNAI)

AAR JAPAN continues emergency relief activities in the earthquake affected areas of eastern Turkey. Staff member Miyuki KONNAI, who was part of the onsite relief team, got injured during the aftershock that occurred in November of last year. She has now fully recovered, and has joined the onsite relief team once again.

Winter is harsh in the villages scattered between the mountains of Van Province in eastern Turkey, which sits high at an altitude of over 2000 meters. While continuing distribution of food items and daily essentials since last year, AAR JAPAN also decided to construct shared oven huts for bread baking in the villages. In Turkey, “Naan” bread made from wheat flour is a popular, everyday food. Usually, each family has its own oven for baking Naan, but many of the ovens got destroyed during last year’s earthquake. As a result, the additional cost of purchasing bread has become a burden for the affected families. By setting up huts furnished with Tandoor ovens, the village people are now able to bake bread by themselves again. Wherever we delivered one of these ovens, women happily gathered around, taking a look at the vessel and expressing their joy of seeing things go back to how they used to be. By February 5th, 24 baking huts had been set up in 5 villages, and installation of the oven was completed in 19 of the 24 baking huts.

February 2nd, 2012 - The Tandoor oven vessel is carried through the snow-covered streets of Koçköy Village to the oven hut.

February 2nd, 2012 - Setup complete! This oven hut will be made available to the village people for shared use.

February 2nd, 2012 - A family has come to receive their share of relief goods handed out in buckets. (On the right: AAR JAPAN staff Miyuki KONNAI)
February 4th, 2012 - Between January 29th and February 4th, AAR JAPAN distributed relief goods to a total of 300 households in 4 villages. (Yeşilsu Village)

* This project has been funded by individual donations, in addition to a grant received from Japan Platform.

Reported by: Yoshifumi KAWABATA, AAR JAPAN, Tokyo
As a photographer, KAWABATA has covered Afghanistan, the Sumatra earthquakes in 2009, and many other regions affected by conflicts or natural disasters. He has also been engaged in AAR JAPAN’s emergency relief activities after the Haiti earthquake in 2010 and the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.