Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) mayor Tanju Özcan of Bolu has ushered through local government another xenophobic legislation intended to keep foreigners out of the northwestern city. Now, not only will foreigners have to pay 100,000 Turkish Lira if they want to get married in the city, but they will have to pay their water bills in lira.
This is yet another in a series of racist proposals and actions taken by Mayor Özcan. He has openly said that Afghans are “one hundred years behind Turkey.” Earlier this month, he introduced the marriage fee proposal to, he said, stop immigrants from marrying and having families in his city. The CHP has previously said that Özcan's views concern himself.
According to the provision adopted by a majority of votes at the second meeting of the Bolu Municipality Council in November, Turkish citizens using mechanical water meters will now pay 2.5 liras per cubic meter of water, while foreign nationals with a residence permit will pay 2.5 dollars. For digital meters, the rate is higher - Turks will pay 4.5 lira per cubic meter, and foreigners will pay 4.5 dollars.
As of today, the Turkish currency has plummeted in value to over 12 lira to the dollar.
As part of the accepted legislation, Özcan’s marriage proposal will also go into effect - it is now official that if one party in a couple is a foreign national, they will have to pay 100,000 lira in fees to be married in Bolu.