Energy Ministry to review decision to stick to summer time amid complaints
Neşe Karanfil - ANKARA
AFP photoTurkey’s Energy Ministry is set to reassess its choice to ditch winter time, which has increased the country’s time difference with Europe amid a series of complaints from across Turkey about the darkness in the mornings.
Officials said they would decide whether to make a change in the current system upon the results of their review. Turkish authorities have been forced to make a reassessment following dozens of complaints to the ministry, officials added.
Turkey first adopted summer time, also known as daylight saving time, in 1940, following the example of Europe. Today the system is used across the 28-nation European Union.
The clocks did not, however, go back an hour for winter this year at the end of October, putting Turkey three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), ostensibly in a bid to make energy savings of up to 1 billion Turkish Liras. The change in the decades-long practice triggered strong criticism, as the sun does not rise until almost 8:30 a.m. in western provinces like Istanbul, while many businesses need to work extra hours so as to coincide with Western partners.
Some of the biggest objections come from exporters and financers, who have close ties with Western countries. To continue their communication with their partners, they have to ask their employees to do overtime, which increases labor costs.
Because of the late sunrise, many children are forced to go to school in the dark.
A deputy from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) recently took the issue to parliament with regard to safety concerns for children, many of whom begin classes almost one hour ahead before sunrise.
“The decision by the officials to ditch winter time has hit children most. They are out to school in dark hours. Many students cannot enjoy a productive educational experience as they cannot wake up. Their parents do not want to send their children to school in the dark, when the streets are full of stray dogs and even drug or alcohol addicts are around,” CHP Tekirdağ deputy Candan Yüceer said.