The inhabitants of the village of Elmalı in the district of Akpazar in the Dersim / Tunceli region founded the Agricultural Development Co-operative around December 2019. As of July 2020, the co-operative is cultivating 22 hectares and is planting and harvesting tomatoes, beans, peppers, aubergines, cucumbers, sesame and wheat.
Many of the workers are women who have been dismissed from public service following the appointment of trustees. The former co-mayor of the town of Akpazar, Songül Doğan, in whose district Elmalı is located, is also involved in the co-operatives. In particular, she is working on resuming projects that were interrupted due to the dismissal of the HDP city administration, thus preparing the establishment of a soap factory and a women’s co-operative.
Doğan said they will be holding popular assemblies to plan and increase production in 2021 and says that agriculture is widespread in the town. She says they will now start producing butter, cheese, yoghurt and other natural products as co-operatives, and “Within the framework of the current co-operative, we also want to open a soap workshop. There are all kinds of herbs here, so we can also produce wonderful soap.”
Deposed co-mayor Songül Doğan of the municipality of Akpazar in the province of Dersim continues her works in an agricultural co-operative.