|The Revived Ilisu Dam Project: KHRP Releases Key Briefing Paper|
Turkey’s Ilisu Dam project has returned once again, this time supported by firms and Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The project was rejected in 2002 by British companies after the Ilisu Dam Campaign brought to light the project’s failure to meet international standards in the areas of environmental protection, resettlement plans, and cultural preservation.
The Turkish government also failed to consult with local communities affected by the project or with neighbouring states, in violation of international law. Iraq has repeatedly expressed concerns about the situation, but Turkey is moving forward with plans despite the lack of negotiations. The companies involved, such as Austrian group VA Tech (Andritz), seem thus far undeterred by the massive shortcomings and grave violations that continue to underlie this project. VA Tech is one of the many companies that are currently attending the International Hydropower Association’s annual world congress in Antalya, Turkey. As Diren Özkan of Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive pointed out yesterday during the protests surrounding this event, “members of the International Hydropower Association, such as VA Tech pretend here in Antalya that they care about people and the environment, but in reality, they are building dams in Turkey that will destroy our cultural heritage and displace tens of thousands of people.”
KHRP Executive Director Kerim Yildiz today stated: “As in 2002, today we must make clear to all firms and agencies involved in the Ilisu Dam that their investment will directly fund mass displacement, pollution, drought and regional instability on a massive scale. KHRP calls on these firms and ECAs to duly exercise their social responsibility and immediately withdraw all funding of the Ilisu Dam.”
For further information on Ilisu please see KHRP’s latest briefing paper, The Ilisu Dam Project - A Flawed Plan is Revived Unchanged , which provides a full background to the Ilisu issue, and details how the renewed project still fails to meet international standards, just as it did back in 2002. The briefing paper can be accessed on the KHRP website at www.khrp.org