Turkey: 20 Kurdish villagers arrested in protest against power company
At least 20 villagers were arrested in Turkey's Kurdish majority district of Cizre on Monday as Turkish troops intervened to shut down a protest against a power distribution company.
Troops were dispatched upon a dispute between villagers and employees of Dicle Power Distribution Company (DEDAS) who were instructed to install electric meters on top of poles in the hamlets Newala Isaaxa ve Zuran as a preventive measure against manipulation of the electric meters.
While large numbers of gendarmerie troops took up positions around the area and moved against the protesting villagers, attacking them with water cannons and tear gas, police units arrived in armored vehicles as reinforcement.
20 villagers were arrested, including nine members of the Ruvanas family. A. Ruvanas, one of the detainees, was taken to the hospital for treatment reportedly because of a health condition he suffered during the attack by the troops.
Record increase in electricity prices in Turkey
The price of electricity in Turkey has seen a record increase within the last six months, making its consumption virtually unaffordable for millions of households who live below the poverty line. An increase of 125% was introduced on 3 January, followed by a further increase of 30% on 1 June.
Villagers engaged in agricultural production in rural areas particularly feel the impact of the dramatic increases in electricity prices since their dependence on electricity in production is even more severe than their dependence in domestic consumption.