Diversion of Tigris river completed, construction of controversial Ilisu dam to begin

  (Nature Iraq, Sulaymaniyah,30 September 2012) A new construction phase was "celebrated" at the Ilisu dam site with a big ceremony last week: The Tigris river has been diverted at the construction site now flowing through three big tunnels. This diversion will be maintained for several years and construction of the actual dam in the dry river bed begins. The Turkish Minister of the Environment Veysel Eroglu called the Ilisu dam, to be completed in 2014, an "important strategic and economic project".  It remains unclear, whether by "strategic" he is addressing the national Turkish-Kurdish conflict or the international consequences (mainly for Iraq). Once the Ilisu dam operates, Iraq will be even more dependent Turkish water policies. The livelihoods of about 6 Million people in Iraq depend on the Tigris river by using the water for irrigation or fishing. By cutting down the water flow, Ilisu will also put an end to the Mesopotamian Marshes, culturally and ecologically one of the most important areas worldwide. It also remains unclear, where the inhabitants of the almost 200 villages and hamlets in the reservoir area will be resettled and how they will be able to earn their living, as Turkish laws do not provide for the restoration of livelihoods. A number of EU export credit agencies withdrew support for the Ilisu dam in 2008 and the European Parliament demanded that Turkey stop all work on the Ilisu dam project on 2 February 2010. 
Dodgy Deal: