He may be unknown to the Nobel Prize committee, but Sait Sanli, a butcher in this southeastern Turkish city, has brokered no less than 397 peace deals over the past five years.
Local men in baggy pants, thumbing worry beads, wait in the hall, which Sanli rents for such occasions, for an audience with the man who has won fame for doing what the law fails to do -- end blood feuds.
Sanli, a 61-year-old Kurd, is one of several mediators who shuttle between enemy clans to resolve hostilities, sometimes decades-old, in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast where feudal traditions persist, illiteracy is high and many see the gun as a legitimate tool to settle scores and defend one's honor.
The mediators are supported by community leaders, religious figures and local and central government officials, all keen to ease social unrest in a region already traumatized by two decades of bloodshed between Kurdish rebels and the army that has claimed some 37,000 lives.
"People today travel to outer space while we still shoot each other for nothing," grumbles the diminutive, cheerful Sanli, frequently interrupted by the buzzing of his busy mobile phone.
Many feuds start with a trivial incident, he explains, such as a cow straying into a neighbor's garden; others are sparked by girls eloping with undesirable grooms, by land disputes or by unpaid debts. The clout he enjoys that forces people to reconcile, Sanli says, stems from the respect he enjoys as a wise and just person. His ability to ignore insults by the belligerent and deal patiently with the stubborn is also an indispensible asset.
In his toughest case so far, Sanli said, he spent seven months shuttling between six villages that were home to the 11 families involved in a feud that began when a garbage fire accidentally spread to a neighbor's field. The feud resulted in eight deaths over the years.
In many cases, Sanli is asked to interfere before a brawl involving death or injury degenerates into a vendetta. The impact of perceived collective liability -- the custom of blaming an entire family and its progeny for the deed of a single member -- can be devastating. Fear of revenge sometimes forces entire clans to abandon their villages, while kinsmen of the dead torch the homes of rival families and pursue them for years, wherever they may try to escape.
Peace-making has its own rules: Sanli agrees to mediate only if the person who pulled the trigger surrenders to the authorities and if widowed women are guaranteed a home to live in -- a way of paying off "blood money" to bury the hatchet.
If the liable party is poor, Sanli turns to local businessmen and philantropists to raise the money.
Blood feuds characteristic of the southeast are also seen in some parts of Turkey's Black Sea coast and have spilled over through migration to the country's urban west, and even to Europe.
No statistics are available on the number of deaths vendettas cause. But a study conducted last year in Viransehir -- a district of 200,000 people in Sanliurfa province -- where the problem is particularly rife, showed that about 300 people had died and 600 more been wounded in 248 blood feuds over the past 50 years.
Once a peace deal is struck, the foes meet for a "peace meal" attended by local and central government officials and military commanders. Although officials encourage mediators, critics say the practice only confirms the state's inability to solve vendettas.