Turkish ‘Spider Men’ defy gravity on high voltage lines

Laborers working on a high voltage transmission line, which will be used in electric transfers between Turkey’s Van and Siirt provinces, work at great risk on top of wires and poles meters above ground.

Working on the high voltage transmission line fixed by Turkey Electricity Communication Inc. (TEİAŞ) between the two provinces, 160 laborers are distributed to their tour areas in the early hours of the morning.

The laborers take safety measures before starting work on the wires and poles risking their lives.

Explaining that a considerable amount of the laborers working on the transmission line are from Ordu, Selami Dipköy said: “This job was descended to us from our grandfathers. Most of the people in our town earn their living this way. Our job is highly risky, but we can reduce the risk to the minimum level by taking measures in the right way.”

One of the laborers of Ordu origin, Mehmet Yaman, said they travel the country to earn money and added, “Sometimes we walk on the wires, sometimes we work in a cage. We also function at spots with a height of 70 meters. If you fall, that will be the end of your life. If you don’t, you are alive and happy. I have so many friends who fell and lost their lives next to me. However, such scenes don’t affect us too much anymore. Maybe we got used to these.”

Yaman said when he first started to the job, he was scared, however, he got used to it with time as he learned the job.

“After working for a while, you work as if nothing bad can occur. Our families do not want us to do this job – they even reject it. They call us so often and ask about our condition. Those who see us for the first time, on the other hand, get really shocked. They compare us to Spider-Man. Some of them say that they would not do this job even if they are paid millions,” Yaman said.

He also mentioned that he likes the job and the scenery is perfect above the wires.

“When you get above [the wires], everything is beneath your feet. We take photos…

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