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Sex ban lifted in Turkish village

The drastic action by the women of Sirt appears to have paid off  

ANKARA, Turkey -- A group of husbands have breathed a collective sigh of relief after their wives ended a month-long sex boycott.

The women of Sirt, a small village near Antalya on Turkey's southern coast, had launched the bedroom strike in protest at the lack of accessible running water.

A break down of the village's 27-year old water system had meant that the women had been forced to queue for hours in front of a trickling fountain before carrying their water home in containers -- a walk of several miles for some.

When constant requests to repair the system failed to produce any improvement, the women decided more drastic steps were needed -- a refusal of all marital favours until their spouses fulfilled their plumbing obligations.

Now, after some frantic lobbying on the part of Sirt's male population, the government's Directorate of Rural Affairs has agreed to provide eight kilometres (five miles) of piping so that water can be brought to the village from a nearby source.

"It (the boycott) worked," a delighted Ayse Sari told Associated Press. "We got the attention. We were tired of carrying the water .Those who had donkeys were lucky."

The men will have to lay the pipes themselves, although they believe this is a small price to pay for a resumption of normal marital relations.

"We are very happy," village leader Ibrahim Sari said.

Not all the women, however, are ready to end their protest. While some feel that, with new pipes on the way, it is time to re-open the bedroom doors, others insist that only when the pipes have been laid -- something which could take another month -- will they call off their strike.

"They won't be able to get into our bedrooms until the water actually runs through the taps," one village woman, Fatma Koru, said. "The protest will continue."

• Turkey

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