Saturday, August 05, 2006

Turkey dam project back to haunt Kurds

A controversial project to build a dam in Turkey has re-emerged, four years after it collapsed when major backers pulled out.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to attend an inauguration ceremony for the proposed Ilisu dam on Saturday, despite continuing concerns over its impact on people living in the area.

The dam - which would be the second largest in Turkey by volume of water - is to be sited on the upper Tigris River, in the mainly Kurdish south-east of the country.

The Turkish government says the project, planned for more than two decades, will provide much-needed hydro-electric energy and jobs in a poor region.

But opponents believe it will devastate the area's environment and cultural heritage, as well as displacing more than 50,000 people.

Among hundreds of sites to be flooded would be the ancient town of Hasankeyf, considered an archaeological treasure and home to at least 3,800 people.

Read the whole story on BBC News

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