Photo of Ilisu Dam construction by the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive, November 2014.
The Blue Planet Project is opposed to the Ilisu Dam which would flood the ancient city of Hasankeyf in southeastern Turkey and the surrounding Tigris Valley. More than 30,000 people would be displaced and one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world would be lost.
Our allies at the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive tell us, “The Turkish State Hydraulic Works announced few days ago that after a four month break [that began in August 2014] that the construction of the highly criticized Ilisu Dam and Hydroelectric Powerplant Project will continue immediately. If the construction starts again, the Ilisu Dam on the Tigris River may be finished next year which would lead to a huge social, cultural and ecological destruction and also a higher political instability.”
They add, “A visit to the site in the mid November 2014 by our Initiative stated that the resettled people of the Ilisu village live in bad conditions. They are in debt because the new houses are twice more expensive than the old ones. …There are no income opportunities – particularly because they have no land anymore – in their neighbourhood. The social infrastructure is poor. Almost none of the promises has been realized. There is only an elementary school and a children’s playground that have been built.”
The Blue Planet Project supports the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive in their call to stop the Ilisu Dam Project.
In 2009, we expressed our opposition to the dam when we signed the People’s Water Forum Declaration in Turkey. In 2012, Blue Planet Project founder Maude Barlow signed the petition urging the protection of the cultural and natural heritage of Mesopotamia endangered by the Ilisu Dam. In 2013, we helped to organize a ‘Global Solidarity Against Water Grabs Through Dam Projects and Mining’ workshop at the World Social Forum in Tunisia which featured speakers from Kurdistan and Iraq speaking against the Ilisu Dam. And in 2014, we supported the campaign by the Save the Tigris and the Iraqi Marshes Campaign to have the Iraqi marshes recognized as a World Heritage Site to protect them from the Ilisu Dam.
For more on this situation, please click here.