Electric cut causes chaos across Turkey


Massive power outages across almost all of Turkey caused chaos yesterday, as all those visiting their property in Turkey for Easter are no doubt aware.

Those of us living in Turkey, especially in some of the more remote coastal areas and villages, will be used to power cuts. In fact, it was only recently we were commenting in the office on much better the electric supply around Fethiye has been since they buried the power cables underground. A few years ago a few gusts of wind would knock the power off for hours. Now main power cuts are usually announced over loud speaker and arranged at the weekends avoiding office hours.

So what happened yesterday? Watching the Turkish news this morning, the jury still appears to be out as to the real reason behind the national blackout. Officials told the Hurriyet Daily News that “a technical problem in the system of the Turkish Electric Conduction Company (TEIAS), which operates transmission lines, led to the massive outage”. Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, who was accompanying President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on offcial business in Slovakia, said they were unsure of the cause of the power cut, but it was most likely caused by a technical failure. Yildiz said that he intended to return to Turkey to assist his colleagues with the situation. The Hurriyet quoted Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, as saying “Every possibility is being investigated”. And continued, “a crisis desk had been established at the Energy Ministry and that the public would be informed every hour about developments”.

What is known is that the blackout really did cause chaos across Turkey. Pretty much all of Turkeys provinces, except the border city of Van who receive their electric supply from Iran, were affected. The high speed train in Eskisehir, Metro lines in Ankara and Istanbul, and trams across the country came to a halt. Traffic lights stopped working causing chaos on the busy city streets. Internet and telephone lines went down and hospitals had to cancel routine scans and procedures relying on generators. The government water supply was also affected.

The power, which went off at 10.36am Turkey time, was fully restored by 20.40pm. Fethiye was finally reconnected at around 18.30pm. It was the largest national power cut for more than 15 years, the last caused by the 1999 Marmara earthquake. The media and social networks are still a buzz with updates and theories behind the cause of yesterdays blackout. Those with a property in Turkey are just grateful that we are now reconnected. We at Oceanwide Properties apologise to those that tried to contact us yesterday, and are happy that we can resume business as usual today. Once an official cause has been established, we will update this article.

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