JARABULUS, Syria (North Press) - Residents from Jarabulus and its countryside, east of Aleppo, are complaining about the high costs of electricity supervised by Turkish companies, months after the local council decided to stop using free electricity coming from a Syrian network.
Private Turkish companies agreed with the local councils in the cities and towns of the region under the control of the Turkish-backed opposition groups to extend an electricity network in the northern countryside of Aleppo. The local council in Jarabulus announced in a circular issued on the 30th of April that the region would be supplied with electricity after its contract with the Turkish Ak Energy company.
The homes of the region have been without electricity from the Syrian power grid since mid-May, under the pretext of a continuous blackout and the presence of the better alternative, which is to extend electric power from Turkey.
Mahmoud Hassan, an IDP from the countryside of Homs and resident of Jarabulus, said that ”residents did not care about that at first, as the idea of feeding the city with electricity from Turkey was favored by some. But it soon became a heavy burden on us because of the directorate’s announcement. The cost of buying an electric meter is approximately 750 Turkish liras, in addition to a subscription fee of 150 Turkish liras (120 dollars)."
He added that these sums exceed the capacity of the majority of the city’s residents, who are already suffering from displacement, especially with the expenses of basic life necessities such as rent, water, and other costs.
Hassan, like others in Jarabulus and its countryside, bought power boards and batteries, amid their inability to afford the fees imposed by the Turkish companies and the local council.
Investments in opposition-controlled areas in the countryside of Aleppo have become confined to Turkish private companies that have signed contracts with local councils to link the electricity supply to Turkish states such as Gaziantep, Kilis, and Hatay, according to the Violations Documentation Center in Northern Syria.
The local council in Jarabulus called on residents, companies, and organizations in early May to submit to the Turkish company a request to install meters. Anyone trying to obtain electricity from a source other than the Turkish company, could be subject to legal and criminal prosecution.
Amjad al-Halabi, from the the Electricity Directorate in the city of Jarabulus, said that the main reason for imposing the use of Turkish electricity is to help Turkey pay the salaries of employees in government sectors under control of the Turkish-backed opposition. In addition, some officials in those institutions control the residents' incomes, which leaves them struggling to afford various costs.