Small village flooded with dam waters despite locals’ pending legal case
ISPARTAA small village in the southern province of Isparta was flooded by water from a dam after the facility and three other hydroelectric power plants in the vicinity began to operate.
The 50-house Darıbükü village in the Sütçüler district of Isparta is now under water as the Kasımlar Dam, which has been filling since May 2016, reached its full capacity, resulting in the emptying of some of its water.
Before the dam became operational, the village was expropriated and its 25 residents were evacuated to an area that was to remain outside the area that would be affected by the dam. The villagers were also reimbursed after they transferred their deeds.
Villager Ümmühan Uysal, however, refused to transfer her deed, and the dam’s operations began before a case she opened had been concluded.
“There were 50 houses and an expropriation decision was taken. But three families opened a rejection case. Two families gave up after being subjected to pressure and intimidation. We did not abandon the house that my mother lives in. Our case is continuing at the Council of State. But now so many houses including our house is under the dam’s waters,” said Hasan Uysal, the woman’s son.
He also said the houses they were provided in exchange for their original houses were not what was promised as they were 50 square meters, much less compared to the original houses, and were not suitable for the lifestyles of the villagers.
“For our three-deed property, they are giving a house of 50 square meters only; 50 square meters for all houses, whether they were worth 10,000 Turkish Liras or 50,000 Turkish Liras. Stoves that are a must for villagers are not present in any of the houses. There are no barns or haylofts. The houses are not compatible with villagers’ lives and are too small,” said Uysal.
He said they found their house underwater when they returned from a doctor’s visit in town.
“When I went to the village, the house was flooded with water up to a meter and it was impossible to enter.
Our family’s history of 80 years with all of its belongings inside the house was left underwater,” said Uysal.
The family filed a criminal complaint against the operation that left their house underwater, but has not yet received any update about the legal proceedings.