NGOs welcome decision by Germany, Austria and Switzerland to suspend contracts

A. Ilisu Dam Project facing severe backlash
  A. Ilisu Dam Project facing severe backlash
(Vienna, Berlin, Berne, Dec. 23, 2008) The European Ilisu Campaign welcomed the historic announcement by the German, Austrian and Swiss Governments to pull out of the Ilisu Dam project in Turkey after 180 days and claimed a landmark campaign victory. This unprecedented withdrawal reflects the serious social, cultural and environmental damage posed by the proposed dam. It is the first time that an agreed export credit guarantee has been suspended by any European Government. However, the European Ilisu Campaign remains concerned that the final withdrawal can only take place after a 180 day period.
  B. Turkey Goes Rogue on Ilisu
(International Rivers Network, Berkeley, 22 December 2008) Even as it becomes clear that Turkey will not fulfill the social and environmental conditions under which it accepted export credits for the Ilisu Dam from Austria, Germany and Switzerland, the funders are looking for an exit strategy which allows all parties to save face. Yet the Turkish authorities do not seem to be interested in a diplomatic solution.
  C. Export insurers halt Turkey's Ilisu dam project
(Reuters, Vienna, 23 December 2008) The export credit insurers underwriting funding for Turkey's Ilisu dam project on the Tigris river have halted the project amid concerns it is not meeting World Bank standards, the insurers said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
  D. Turkish government tightens the screw on project opponents
(Peter Bosshard's Blog, Berkeley, 22 December 2008) The Turkish government is tightening the screw on Ilisu project opponents. On December 4, Turkish security forces arrested Ipek Tasli, a coordinator of the Keep Hasankeyf Alive Initiative, after she took pictures of the construction site. She and her driver were accused of disseminating propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization, but were released the following day. On December 17, Veysel Eroglu, Turkey’s Minister for Environment (and formerly responsible for Ilisu at the dam building authority DSI) assailed project opponents as “separatists” at a press conference. In this ultra-nationalist country this is code language for terrorists. Ironically, Turkey will host the fifth World Water Forum in Istanbul in March 2009 under the motto of “Bridging Divides for Water.” Civil society representatives planning to attend this event should be prepared.
  E. Activists seize Austrian ECA to protest Turkish dam project
(, Vienna, 10 December 2008) Opponents of the Turkish Ilisu dam seized rooms in the Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG (OeKB) in Vienna on Wednesday, calling on the bank to pull out of the project on ecological and cultural grounds.