Friday, 3 January 2014

Village Life in Bodrum - Under Threat?

2014 will see the 11 local councils in the Bodrum area merge into one large municipal council with one mayor overseeing all. As I mentioned before (click here), the candidates have been busy meeting and greeting in all the surrounding villages campaigning for votes. The village I live in has begun to enjoy the benefits of becoming part of an organised municipality.  For the first time ever we have a rubbish collection service,  and the local roads have been covered with tarmac. I am not so easily wooed; being a cynic by nature, I wonder who will repair the roads when the winter rains create the inevitable pot holes in the very thin asphalt.  (I secretly hope that no one does, as  I resent the cars speeding along what has always been  a quiet track at the bottom of our garden).

Our first official rubbish collection.
So all was going swingingly as computers and wheelchairs were being handed out to housebound villagers as the press photographers snapped the generous benefactors and grateful recipients.
Then the first official letters were received by the muhtars (village mayors), stating that as their villages are being incorporated into a municipality, their village status is to be "upgraded" to mahalle (district within a town) and as such, all chicken coups and animal barns have to be relocated to an area outside the residential zone. Whoops! Suddenly these local politicians aren't being looked on so favourably by your average villager who keeps a dozen chickens in his yard along side a couple of cows and goats.  The mayor of Bodrum, Mehmet Kocadon has tried to calm the situation by saying that his officials have no choice but to send out the letters as the law banning animal husbandry in towns has been on the books since 1930, but that he will be appealing to Ankara to think again on these restrictions.    Having already been told in the last 12 months that they can't sow the seeds they choose or plant any more olive trees this year, this new blow to village life is not going to be accepted quietly.  All in all, 2014 is going to be a very interesting year in Turkey.

19 comments:

  1. Interesting times isn't it, hope they won't spoil the village life and let the folks have a say- all the best & here is for a happy new year : )

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    1. If there was a bit of joined up government this could be avoided , but don't hold your breath.

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  2. Politicians all over the world should leave people to their lives, thats how communities like your survive. Such a shame this is happening, I hope both the village and municipality find a way to work together.

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  3. Oh, crikey. Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gents... I have a feeling 2014 is going to be a bumpy ride. Whatever happened to intelligent local government?

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    1. Something else to stir up the electorate

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  4. I don't think anyone in Selçuk has been informed about a law against chickens. Or, if they have been, it's fairly universally ignored.

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    1. The law is there, one day probably, with little warning, the council will decide to enforce it.

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  5. I've seen chickens wandering around the back streets of Bodrum and been woken by the randy roosters at dawn. A healthy disrespect for overbearing authority is a Turkish trait I really admire!

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    1. There was a cow in a barn next to us last year - I think it was eventually moved out.

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  6. Oh boy, what a pain! Every medicine seems to have a poison pill. Reminds me of regulations locating open-air markets outside of some villages, for what reason who knows. Anyway, happy new year! It's got to be better than 2013, right?

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    1. I suppose the law in 1930 was supposed to stop people living over their animals in cities.

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  7. Isn't it funny that nobody thinks of these sort of complications before they actually happen? Looks at if 2014 is going to be interesting in many ways...

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    1. Thanks for commenting Francois - We should be used to this by now, but Turkey still surprises us.

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  8. Oh dear...this could result in some very interesting situations, couldn't it? I do look forward to hearing how Bodrum residents react as efforts are made to tame them to town life!
    Do tell, won't you?
    Axxx

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    1. I'm in town now but head back frequently to pick up the local gossip.

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  9. Sometimes change is not so good.

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  10. Do I smell revolution in the air? it's all very well being bribed with new roads and wheelchairs, but a person's right to keep chickens in the back yard is inalienable!

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