More than one-and-a-half million people in southern Turkey are living without electricity after a debt dispute between power providers and local authorities saw energy supplies to the Diyarbakır region cut.
The row over money and stolen electricity has also seen power to waste water facilities cut off.
A spokesman for Dicle Electricity Distribution Corporation (DEDAŞ) told reporters on Friday in Istanbul that: "The shutoff was the latest solution to the payment of the long overdue debt of municipalities in the region which is approximately 255 million Turkish liras ($109.2 million)."
"Diyarbakır is the most indebted municipality with 90 million liras ($38.5 million)," Gökay Üstün said.
Earlier this week, amid allegations of unpaid bills and electricity theft, DEDAŞ cut off electricity to the waste water treatment plant of Diyarbakır Water and Sewerage Administration (DİSKİ) which serves under the municipality.
On Thursday, Gülten Kışanak, mayor of Diyarbakır Municipality, rejected the allegations and reacted against DEDAŞ, calling the corporation "reckless" for shutting down power supplies.
Claiming that the municipality has no debt to DEDAŞ, Kışanak said the corporation had illegally cut off the electricity.
"We always pay our debts in time, yet they still cut off electricity," she said, and adding that they would not accept the "imaginary" bills sent by DEDAŞ.
However, according to Üstün, the corporation can prove the debt: "We warned the municipalities, time without number. As a company we just sell electricity and to receive a recompense for our work is our basic right."
Speaking after the incidents, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said Thursday that those in debt to energy distribution companies should renegotiate terms of debt repayment as everybody must have access to water and electricity.
"Electricity distribution is privatized in Turkey. Those private firms want to get their payments. The current debts are because of those who intentionally do not pay their electricity bills," Yıldız said, adding:
"People should go and ask for a readjustment of their debts. The only task that our citizens are responsible for is to pay their bills on time."
Stating that the electricity consumption exceeds 20 billion kwh per year in Dicle region - which consists of Diyarbakir, Şırnak, Batman, Şanlıurfa, Siirt and Mardin - Üstün said: "The region is the biggest electricity consumer of 21 regions in Turkey."
"However, 75 percent of the electricity usage is illegal in the region. We can only be paid by 25 percent," added ÜstÜn, indicating that the bills for the remaining 75 percent are paid by the rest of Turkey.
"We have to portion this illegal electricity to all legal users to compensate. Electricity theft in this region costs all of Turkey. It is unfair," he said.
Illegal electricity is a long-standing problem in southeastern Turkey. Despite all efforts, the rate of electricity theft in Turkey has not decreased since 2013 when DEDAŞ won a privatization bid of the utility.
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