Western village boycotts elections to regain town status
SİMAV, Kütahya – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoResidents of the Kuşu village in Turkey’s western province of Kütahya have boycotted the elections for a third time since 2011, when the town’s status was reduced to “village” due to a population decrease.
In 2011, the population of Kuşu diminished to fewer than 2,000 – the necessary number to be recognized as a town.
Villagers have since been declining to cast their votes, aiming to attract nationwide attention to their cause of regaining town status.
All four ballot boxes installed in the village remained empty on June 7, although the village has 1,448 registered voters.
Deputy headman of the village, Feridun Aktay, argued that the reduction in Kuşlu’s population was only temporary and had been caused by an earthquake with a 5.9 magnitude.
“Our residents have since returned to Kuşlu and our population is currently above the necessary 2,000 to be a recognized town. We reclaim our recognition as a town. We have since boycotted three elections and brought two cases to court,” Aktay said.
“Our actions should not be interpreted as a revolt. We are only trying to make our voice be heard. We fully believe that our municipality will be reinstated,” he added.