Moda Stage Theater's electricity restored upon public reaction

The power company EnerjiSA on March 10 turned Moda Stage Theater’s electricity back on upon public reaction. The theater’s electricity was cut off on the same day after they could not pay it for two months amidst exorbiant price hikes.

Duvar English

Earlier this year, Moda Sahnesi (Moda Stage Theater), located in Istanbul's Kadıköy district, announced that it would not pay its electricity bills following the exorbitant price hikes. It said that its bills amounted to 20,000 TL in January and 19,270 TL in February.

“This exorbitant increase exceeds the payment capacity of a theater. We do not accept this exorbitant electricity, so we do not pay the bill," the theater had said. 

On Feb. 14, the theater announced that the power company EnerjiSA had sent a warning due to the unpaid bills.

And on March 10, the company cut off the theater's electricity. 

In a statement, the theater said that it would still stage the play "Yeni Bir Şarkı" (A New Song) on March 10 evening, calling on the audience to bring lanterns. 

However, upon public reaction, EnerjiSA restored the theater’s electricity a few hours after the cut.

“Upon reactions, they just came and turned our electricity back on. We would like to thank the media organizations, our correspondent friends, our audience and our friends who raised their voices. After the press release in the foyer at 7.30 pm, we have our play at 8.30 pm,” the theater announced on Twitter.

Kemal Aydoğan, the art director of the theater, spoke to Gazete Duvar after the cut and said: “We were already expecting this result, it is not surprising. Of course, we thought that they could do this, but we also thought that if they showed a little humanity, they would oversee a culture and art institution. From now on they can't get a penny from us. We will continue to work by using this electricity one way or another. This is a deprivation of rights.”

Electricity prices were raised by as much as 125% for high-demand commercial users and by around 50% for lower-demand households at the beginning of January. 

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on Feb. 9 that he will not pay his electricity bills until President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan withdraws recent price increases.

Shopkeepers throughout Turkey have started to post their exorbitant electricity bills on their windows, calling on the government to ease the burden of their utility bills.

In the face of heavy criticism and decrease in the purchasing power of the Turkish people, the government reduced the value-added tax (VAT) on electricity used in residences and agricultural irrigation to 8% from 18%.