Village communes emerging in Colemêrg
HAKKARİ (DİHA) - Certain villages in Colemêrg (Turkish: Hakkarı) have begun to found village communal assemblies in order to resolve their own problems. Local residents who are now solving their own problems within these village communes and without being beholden to the state have the same simple message for everyone “found your own village commune!”
The residents of the village of Dizê (Turkish: Üzümcü) who began work on the formation of a village commune two years ago are working to solve all the problems of village in the communal assemble which they founded together. With 79 households and a total population of 735, the village of Dizê is represented by two co-spokespersons – one man and one woman- who change every year.
Problems are solved together
The Village Communal Assembly meets twice a month with all residents of the village participating. In each meeting residents determine the problems facing the village and develop projects to resolve them. Village Co-spokesperson Rıfat Er explained how since work began to build the village commune two years ago it has been met with a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm. Er told DİHA, “as a principal our work has been based on developing relationships of communal living. We determine the needs of our village with common meetings and attempt to meet them with a common will.” Er added that for a long time the village received no services from the state, saying “we had no funeral home (taziye evi), the water coming to the village was insufficient, the roads to our mountain pastures (yayla)were in bad condition.We are attempting to solve these problems by our own means. Twice a month everyone from the young to the old take part in meetings and we try to solve the problems facing our village together.”
Rifat Er emphasized that problems were solved through debate and common effort, and that the village roads and fountains in common spaces were being built communally. He reported that the residents had built a 1km road from the village and that clean drinking water sources had been built by the commune, saying “we take care of road work and garbage collection based on a system of duties developed by the village commune. People contribute what they can for the commune when its a question of common tasks no one is without a task…our hope is that [our work] will lead to the founding of a truly democratic system where every village and district and city in our country will solve their problems through their own will.”