Kolbars buried by avalanche in Van laid to rest in Urmia
The five kolbars who were buried by an avalanche in Van have been laid to rest in their home village in Eastern Kurdistan.
The five kolbars who were buried by an avalanche in Van on January 18 and lost their lives have been laid to rest in their home village of Kuran in Soma Biradost near Urmia. Their bodies had been recovered by relatives and volunteers in Başkale district in Van province on Monday. A total of nine kolbars had been caught in the avalanche, four of whom managed to free themselves from the snow.
The search for the missing by the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Teams (AFAD) had only started days after the incident, as the governor's office initially claimed that there had been no avalanche at all. Subsequently initiated search measures had to be interrupted several times due to heavy snowfall.
The kolbars who lost their lives as result of the avalance are Ualyi Khudayi, Firat Khudayi, Matin Aslani, Bilin Ahmadi and Yavar Aslani.
Who are kolbars?
Kolbar comes from the Kurdish words, “kol” (back) and “bar” (load). Kolbars make their living carrying loads along the perilous border line. Their loads include cigarettes, mobile phones, cloths, housewares, tea and seldomly alcohol. They walk through dangerous terrain to continue this trade between Southern and Eastern Kurdistan. The goods they bring are sold at high prices in Tehran, but the kolbars who risk their lives for them are paid very modestly.