Turkey cuts power to opposition leader’s home after protest against high prices

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By AP  with Euronews
Kemal Kilicdaroglu is the leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
Kemal Kilicdaroglu is the leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Burhan Ozblici

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party said authorities have cut off the power supply to his home after he protested against high energy prices.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu had vowed earlier this year not to pay his electricity bills until the Turkish government withdrew the household price increases.

In a video posted on Twitter on Thursday, he reported that his electricity had been "cut off".

Residential and business customers were hit with expensive utility bills after Turkish authorities sharply raised electricity tariffs on January 1.

The price hikes sparked protests, and many small businesses have displayed their bills on storefront windows to show how near they were to closing down.

To provide some relief, the government introduced a set of measures, including readjusting the level under which higher tariffs kick in for households and some businesses using more electricity.

But Kilicdaroglu -- the leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP) -- said he had not paid his bills since February to show solidarity with around 3.5 million Turkish households that had their power cut off last year for non-payment.

The 73-year-old also claimed that energy prices have more than 400% in the past three years.

“Energy is a basic human right. It’s like bread, it’s like water, it’s like air. Electricity is my right,” he said. “I wanted to be the voice of those who cannot pay.”

Turkey’s annual inflation rate soared to a two-decade high of 61% in March, but experts say the true rate could be even higher.