KUŞADASI - Six expatriate families in Kuşadası are forced to endure the blistering cold as their electricity was cut off following a dispute over a bill from the Turkey Electricity Distribution Company, or TEDAŞ. Families say they paid excessive amounts of money for electricity, while TEDAŞ asserts that the process was right and families should ’deal with it’

Bureaucratic systems forced foreign families to live in cold houses in Davutlar in Kuşadası province in western Turkey.

Six families living in a 90-house complex in Davutlar had no heat because their electricity was cut off during a dispute over a bill from the Turkey Electricity Distribution Company, or TEDAŞ.

"Our complex has 90 houses. Now, in the winter, there are only foreign families living here. There are two German, one American and three English families. We are living in the cold because of this," Berna Akkoyun told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review. She said she tried to contact authorities for a resolution but could not get a result.

’No answer’

"I was a British citizen; I am now a Turkish citizen, but I used to work for the British Parliament in the 1990s. I have contacted our consulate, as I am the warden for Davutlar, but I have had no answer," said Akkoyunlu. "Last August we paid 500 liras for our winter electricity. Jan. 3, our electricity was cut. We had to pay another 1,500 liras. The same thing happened two weeks later and so we paid again. Today we are being cut off again but none of us have any more liras in our pockets. We have an eight-month-old baby and we are freezing cold. We need help because someone has either stolen our electricity money or used it for something else. It makes us sick every time the electricity goes off."

Mekil Akkoyun, Berna Akkoyun’s husband, also said TEDAŞ cut off the electricity because some houses in the complex were in debt.

"Only 80 percent of the construction of our complex is finished," he said. "We, as six families, are living here full time, the rest goes to home during winter. There is only one electricity meter in the complex, so the bill comes for every house in the complex. They cannot pay their share of the electricity bill because they are not here in winter time," he said.

"So TEDAŞ also cuts off our electricity because of the unpaid bill," he said. "We do not know what to do. We cannot have separate electricity meters because we, as one complex, have to pay a lot of money. Some families also found houses and moved."

Akkoyun said the complex owner will come in May, and the problem would be solved in that time.

The Daily News, talking TEDAŞ officials in Kuşadası, found that it was a problem form residents in the complex. An official who does not want to be named because of civil servant law, which requires permission from their headquarters to make statements to the press, said TEDAŞ had nothing to do with this electricity cut.

"There is only one electricity meter in the complex, we are issuing bills according to this meter," he said. "When they did not pay, we had to cut their electricity as we do everywhere in Turkey. For that reason, this is a problem among complex residents."

Speaking about installing separate electricity meters for each house, he said, "Of course they can. We just charge a subscription fee. We do not demand extra money. But, they have to bring us an expert’s report that this place is convenient to install the meter. We have nothing to do with this report. They have to deal with it."