Newly Industrialized Country: Turkey and the Ilısu Dam.

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uppladdat: 2005-04-10
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TURKEY – Ilısu Dam

Was there controversy over the scheme?
The Ilısu dam caused fears that the dam would control water flow along the River Tigris, threatening a ‘water war’ with other tribes (such as the Kurds) which rely on the river for water. The Ilısu reservoir will flood 52 villages and 15 small towns, including the city of Hasankeyf, and will affect 15,000-20,000 people. Hasankeyf is the only twon in Anatolia which has survived since the middle ages without destruction. Environmentalists have opposed the scheme in southeast Turkey, saying it would flood towns and make large number of Kurds homeless. Solid waste and wastewater of major cities such as Diyarbakır are being dumped into the Tigris without any treatment. Wastewater treatment plants are being planned in Diyarbakır, and ill reportedly be financed by the German government. The Turkish government has argued that the dam is necessary for generation of power for regional development, stating that the dam will help to secure Turkey’s electricity supplies for the future. Also, that the country will benefit from jobs, irrigation and power.

Who were the winners and the losers?

The Ilısu dam is a part of a $1.52 billion (excluding financing costs) hydroelectric scheme on the Tigris, 65 km upstream of the Turkish border with Syria and Iraq. This dam will enable Turkey to control waters of the Tigris, to deny Syrian and Iraqi water at the turn of a tap. The losers apart from these are the residents in towns such as Hasankeyf – an estimation of 52 villages and 15 small towns will be destroyed by the Ilısu dam, many others partially flooded. The winners of this will be the Turkish government, whom can not only control own water without importation, but they can also, just as they’re doing now, trade water with Syria – which Syria trades back with oil.

A full conclusion

The scheme seems an only-way-out for the Turkish government as the Ilısu dam is one of the main dams that can help the Turkish economy and water supply issues. The country will gain in water (as they have had problems with lack of water) instead of interfering with countries such as Iraq and Syria, whom have had problems with the Turkish trade policies. They will also gain in energy and electricity supplies, which are needed for a developing country, trying to achieve the goals of a more modern society and government. However, it is a pity that many people are involved in the risks and have to move for the flooding sake. The Turkish government could perhaps enable opportunities for new housing for these people, somewhere near the areas not affected by the dam and flooding. Most information researched for this particular dam is biase...

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