Turkish court reverses AKP municipality's hike on city water prices

A local administrative court in the Black Sea province of Samsun ruled that a price hike enforced by the local AKP municipality on city water prices in 2019 was unlawful and deemed all consumers eligible for refunds.

Duvar English

A local court in the Black Sea province of Samsun reversed a decision by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) metropolitan municipality to increase city water prices by 25 percent, Turkish media outlets reported on Oct. 19.

The AKP-run Samsun Municipality bumped water unit prices by 25 percent shortly after the local elections of 2019 and the city water service fee by 150 percent, adding a monthly adjustment to the prices based on the consumer price index.

Shortly after, a group of attorneys from the Samsun Bar Association and a local former district chair of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) petitioned an annulment of the municipal price hike.

The local administrative court ruled almost two years later that the raises were unlawful, noting that a liter of water costs 5 Turkish Liras with current CPI adjustments. 

"The price hikes foresee CPI adjustment increases in the water prices that are out of line with Law 2560," the court ruled. "In addition, the enforced service fee increases have been found to be much higher than the 2018 year inflation."

"For these reasons, the court unanimously ruled for the annulment of the legislation in question."

Following the ruling, the Samsun Bar Association said that residents who paid bills with the increased prices were eligible for refunds upon applications to the municipality.

Anyone who is denied a refund by the metropolitan municipality can petition the Consumers' Court to get their money back, the attorneys added.