Dikili mayor Osman Özgüven
and 14 other members of the municipal council were at the 1st Court
of First Instance of Dikili yesterday (June 3), facing the charges of “misconduct
in office” or “abuse of power.”
reason behind the accusations Osman Özgüven, the mayor of a small town in İzmir
province in western Turkey,
is facing are the services he provides for his town, foremost among them
is the free water.
his tenure Dikili Mayor Osman Özgüven from the Social Democrat People's Party
(SHP) made public buses free, obliged bus drivers to
drop students off at their homes, provided affordable health services
at a municipal clinic, sold bread in municipal bakeries at low prices
and did not charge households that use less than 10 tons of water a month.
addition to the people of Dikili, representatives from many political parties
and institutions were there to support the mayor.
his position at the court, the mayor said that as one of the measures in
helping prevent global warming, they did not charge people any water fee up to
10 tons and they charged the whole amount above this limit.
saved lots of water with this method.”
encourage people, said Mayor Özgüven, they granted pardon for the interest
payments of the water fees remained from the past administration. About
municipality workers’ 50% water fee discount, he said “We wanted those people
who are responsible for bringing water to the town to get their creation at
lower prices. We did not violate the principle of equality.”
He also added that the
municipalities were elected bodies and determination of the rates for their
services was their job and that they simply exercised their right.
“The concept of public
service is on trial”
His lawyer Arif Ali Cangı said
in his client’s defense that municipalities are not businesses.
“Municipality work is a
public service. This case is trying the concept of public service.”
After Cangı the other
members of the municipal council spoke. The defense lawyers demanded an
investigation to determine whether or not the services rendered by Dikili Municipality
were municipality services. The court is adjourned for the testimonies of the
other members of the municipal court and the completion of the missing parts.
“Our services will
Outside the courthouse,
Dikili mayor Osman Özgüven said that their services were going to continue,
indicating that municipalities were not businesses, they have been serving the
people of Dikili and will continue serving.