Baby dies from cold in Diyarbakır after electricity provider cuts off power

A two-year-old baby died in Turkey’s Diyarbakır after the local electricity provider cut off power in his family’s home.

Duvar English 

In the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Silvan district, a two-year-old asthmatic baby died from the cold after the local electricity distribution company DEDAŞ cut off power in his family’s home due to debt, Mesopotamia News Agency reported on Dec. 20.

Yunus Emre Bilen’s heart stopped due to the sudden temperature drop after the heating was shut off.

In the past couple of years, tensions have arisen several times in Turkey’s southeastern provinces after DEDAŞ cut off power to the local residents.

In Jan. 2015, a row erupted between DEDAŞ and the Municipality of Diyarbakır after the electricity provider accused the municipality of being in debt and cut off power to water facilities. In retaliation, the Municipality of Diyarbakır had sealed DEDAŞ’s headquarters in the district of Silvan.

In July 2017, DEDAŞ personnel were held hostage by people protesting power cuts in the city of Şanlıurfa.

In July 2020, villagers in the province of Mardin went on a hunger strike after DEDAŞ requested debt payments and shut off power to the wells used by the villagers to draw water. The villagers took the matter to court, and even though the court ruled in their favor, DEDAŞ refused to restore power.

More recently, in June 2021, farmers in the province of Mardin staged a sit-in to protest DEDAŞ’s power cuts of transformers providing energy to irrigation wells. In Aug. 2021, 11 people in Şanlıurfa’s district of Akçakale were detained for protesting DEDAŞ power cuts by erecting road blockades.