A stork who became famous after a documentary was made about her unlikely friendship with a Turkish fisherman has returned to see her old friend for the 11th year running.
Yaren the stork’s return was eagerly awaited by all 12 households of the village of Eskikaraagac, located in the district of Karacabey, in the north-western Turkish province of Bursa, and it finally happened this year on 6th March.
The lake at Eskikaraagac is where the award-winning documentary ‘Yaren’ was filmed. The film follows the now 11-year friendship between the white stork, who migrates from Africa every spring and spends six months on the lake, and fisherman Adem Yilmaz, 69.
The hit documentary made Yaren a household name in Turkey, with many following her annual migrations and reunions with her human friend.
The unique friendship first came to public attention when the unlikely pair were snapped by nature photographer and birdwatcher Alper Tuydes, whose images garnered international acclaim, and their story got made into the now famous film, which was selected as the winner for ‘Best Documentary’ at the Prague Film Awards in 2020.
Alper informed of Yaren’s latest arrival on Instagram, writing: “Finally, Yaren has reunited with Uncle Adem for the 11th year. She reached the village on 6th March at the end of her migration journey, which she had set out on days ago. Beyzanur Cakil, one of Yaren’s foster parents, gave us the good news, but we had to wait for her to get on the boat.
“And finally, what was expected came true. On Monday morning (7th March), in the first light of dawn, she came to Uncle Adem’s boat again. Now they will be fishing together all summer. Happy 11th anniversary of their reunion, bless them.”
A day after the stork returned, she visited Adem, who was on his boat waiting for his old friend.
Adem said: “I have been very excited since yesterday. I felt joy and happiness when Yaren came to my boat this morning. Yaren and I will be fishing and chumming around for six months. I am thrilled, I got my Yaren back this year, too.
“We were a bit worried. I wondered if she would come back, whether something had happened to her. Thank God Yaren has made us happy this year as well. I hope our friendship will continue for a long time, as long as she is alive.”
He added: “I love Yaren very much, she is a part of me, my friend, my fishing buddy. I saw Yaren when I was returning home yesterday, when I looked at the nest. I was so happy seeing her that I stopped the engine and watched her for a while. I threw my nets into the lake for Yaren this morning. I caught fish and fed her.”
During spring, tens of thousands of storks migrate from Africa to European countries via Turkey, and Eskikaraagac is the only Turkish settlement that is a member of the European Stork Village Union.
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Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: James King, Agency: Newsflash
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