International Activists Block Ilısu Dam Construction

(Damocracy, 21 May 2013) Representatives of dam-affected communities and international organizations from South America, the Middle East, Europe, the US, and Africa, today blocked the entrance to the construction site of the Ilisu dam in southeast Turkey demanding an end to the controversial development that would sink an ancient city dating back to the Bronze Age. The Belo Monte dam in Brazil and the Ilisu dam in Turkey are the two most controversial mega-dam projects in the world today. Both dams are located in cultural and natural hotspots, inflicting devastating consequences and displacing over 75,000 people in Amazonia and Mesopotamia. In addition, the Ilisu dam, located a few kilometers from the Iraqi border, will affect the livelihood of Marsh Arabs living in the newly restored Basra Marshes. Turkey controls the Tigris and Euphrates headwaters, which dictates how much water flows downstream into Syria and Iraq. The official export credit agencies of Germany, Turkey and Austria withdrew from financing of the Ilisu dam in 2008 and German insurers and exporters are involved in the Belo Monte dam.

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