One Village Boycotts Politicians, Another Elections Altogether

Turkey is currently in the midst of a general election campaign, as elsewhere many Turks get pretty fed up with the promises politicians make to gain their votes, only to disappear to the Capital once elected never to be seen again until the next election. The article below is an example of how the people of two villages are expressing their frustration.

One village boycotts politicians, another elections altogether,
Amid all sorts of promises made by political parties to garner votes, there are still some villages in the country that to this day have no running water forcing inhabitants to migrate

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency

As election campaigning gathers speed across the country, general disillusionment with politics is prompting certain small communities to shut themselves off from the debates entirely.

The villagers of Akyar in the southern province of Osmaniye have announced their intention to boycott the parliamentary elections on July 22, reacting to the failure of successive governments to build roads, provide medical facilities and collect garbage.

With a population of 1,400, Akyar is just five kilometers from Osmaniye city center but does not enjoy the amenities usually associated with being so close to urban hubs.

A pharmacist’s assistant Cemil Utku told the Doğan news agency that they were forced to burn their garbage because no one came to collect it. “Villages farther away from Umraniye got roads. We will vote for no party until our problems are solved,” he said.

‘Politicians not allowed’

Meanwhile, a village in the eastern province of Van is taking more dramatic action in response to the state’s failure to provide them with services: They are banning politicians from entering the village.

The muhtar – local administrator – of Kuşdağı, İbrahim Erdoğan, told the DHA that they have been carrying water to their homes with donkeys or on their back for the past 80 years. “No one can deceive us anymore. We will not allow any politician to enter our village,” he said.

While most of the villagers have migrated elsewhere because of the water problem, those left behind do not want to hear any more empty promises.

They put up a sign at the entrance of the village that reads, “No politicians should enter.” Villagers are furious with politicians, who they accuse of making promises with no intention of keeping them.

Women and children wait for hours in front of the village well. Erdoğan said that fresh water supplies for the entire province came from their region, while the people of Kuşdağı had to migrate due to lack of water in their own houses. “We still don’t have water in our homes in this day and age,” he lamented.

He said their only hope was the Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt. “Maybe he’ll help us. Our people did not migrate because of economic difficulties or terrorism. The only reason is lack of water. When there is no water, there is no life,” he said.

Osman Bekleyen from the Doğan news agency contributed to this reports.


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Filed under Politics/elections/Turkey/democracy/direct action.

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