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Ilisu Dam ‘will cause flood of asylum seekers’
1.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 21 Mar 2008 Fri 02:02 pm

The construction of the Ilısu Dam on the River Tigris, long a topic of debate because its waters will submerge the historic city of Hasankeyf, has again been the focus of protest, with some 100 villagers raising their concerns in the capital this week over the future of their own homes, as well as that of the ancient settlement.

Protestors gathered on Tuesday in front of the German, Austrian and Swiss embassies -- countries financing the multi-million dollar project -- where they unfolded banners reading slogans like "Austria, Switzerland and Germany: If you build Ilısu, we will seek asylum!" and "You are rich, we are poor!"
The reduction of water flow will be felt far beyond the farmlands.Abdullah Ramadan, an official with the Marshlands Revival Centre “depicted a grim picture for the newly revived marshlands [near the city of Basra] with the construction of the dam.”

“The marshlands are at risk of losing about 3 million cubic metres of water per year and this will endanger the life there,” Ramadan said.

Iraq’s fabled marshlands have been at the centre of water-related controversy for some time. Following the first Gulf war in 1991, former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein revived a programme to divert the flow of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers away from the marshes in retribution for a failed Shi’ite uprising.

Hussein’s plan transformed these wetlands into desert, forcing some 300,000 inhabitants out, according to Ramadan. Of the almost 3,600 square miles of marshes in 1970, the area shrank by 90 percent to 300 square miles in 2002.

However, since the start of the US-led occupation of Iraq in 2003, efforts to restore the marshes have gradually revived the area as water is restored to the former desert. Ramadan said that about one-third of those forced to leave the area after the marshes were drained have now returned.

“We were happy to get rid of Saddam, but now we got another enemy - Ilisu,” Ramadan said.
Ilisu must be a considered a political project predominantly motivated by the strategic interest of the Turkish government to strengthen its position of power vis-a-vis Syria and Iraq, and to control the unruly Kurdish areas. The environmental problems of the project are unresolved, and no lessons from the abysmal social record of earlier GAP projects have been learnt. The affected people are not being consulted about the project and, given the state of undeclared war in the Kurdish areas, have no possibility of defending their interests. Turkey is considered a bad risk by private banks, and any involvement of export credit agencies in Ilisu carries the risk of becoming a burden on the public purse.
Tuesday, 11 March 2003
A leading lawyer in Turkey is to stand trial for insulting the Turkish state on 18 March 2003, for his criticism of the controversial Ilisu Dam project.

2.       libralady
5152 posts
 21 Mar 2008 Fri 02:24 pm


I have found this campaign and it gives more details. Assuming the article is objective, this project will create serious problems for many people.

Thanks Roswitha for posting, what do other people think about this project?

3.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 21 Mar 2008 Fri 04:20 pm

In Turkish:

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