DEVA deputy launches campaign for free drinking fountains in schools

Turkey's opposition Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) Istanbul deputy Evrim Rızvanoğlu on Jan. 19 urged setting up free drinking water fountains in schools as part of her party's campaign, highlighting the financial and environmental costs of buying bottled water.

Ceren Bayar / Gazete Duvar 

Evrim Rızvanoğlu, the Istanbul deputy of Turkey’s opposition Democracy and Progress (DEVA) Party, has urgedsetting up drinking water fountains in schools and eliminate single-use plastics as part of her party’s campaign.

Rızvanoğlu highlighted the cost of buying bottled water for families and suggested the Turkish parliament could lead by example if it implemented a water filtration system. 

The project emerged as the party heard complaints from parents regarding the cost of water. Parents said that children had to refill their bottles with tap water, which Rızvanoğlu described as a missing fundamental necessity. She also cited the valuable work done by the Deep Poverty Network in providing free lunches to children.  

The deputy stated that a two-children family’s monthly water expense was 420 Turkish liras (15 dollars) each month, which was a burden for low-income families. She added that water fountains were a necessity to provide free and clean water to students in Turkey. 

Currently, only one public school in the Edirne province in Turkey’s Thrace region has a drinking water fountain. Rızvanoğlu shared details about the pilot model they plan on establishing in a school in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district. “We want to show that it is not difficult to establish drinking water fountains with a purifying system,” she said. 

DEVA Party is also in preparation for a bill to reduce plastic use in Turkey, stated Rızvanoğlu. She suggested that the Parliament could be the first to eliminate the use of single-use plastic in Turkey, and pointed to similar practices in Europe. 

Rızvanoğlu indicated that DEVA Party has done research towards the ultimate goal of potable urban tap water. “Yes the budget is considerable, but it is doable,” concluded the deputy.

(English version by Ayşenaz Toptaş)