The campaign worked to stop British involvement in the Ilisu dam and to
highlight the wider implications of Britain's ethical foreign policy,
sustainable development and its effect on peace and security in the region.
The Dam would have:
• made 30-78,000 Kurds homeless
• destroyed sites of major cultural and archeological significance
• created environmental disaster
• in conjunction with other Turkish projects affected the flow of water into
Syria and Iraq
The British taxpayer was going to help fund this to the tune of £200 million
given in underwriting to the construction company Balfour Beatty from the export
credit guarantee dept.
The Ilisu Dam Campaign defeated:
• 3 multinationals
• 1 swiss bank
• 7 companies
• 1 torturing state
• the british government
• 7 Export credit agencies
"There have always been very strong human rights and environmental grounds why
this project should not go ahead. Following Balfour Beatty's decision (..to
withdraw from the project..) we now call on the UK government to confirm that it
will not back the controversial Ilisu Dam"
Multinationals and eight governments are planning to build the Ilisu dam in
south-east Turkey. Britain's New Labour Government is a key player.
The dam will force 25,000 people from their homes. Another 11,000 people will
lose their farmlands and livelihoods. Most of them are ethnic Kurds. Many see
the project as part of a wider strategy of ethnic cleansing. There has been no
agreed resettlement plan and minimal consultation with the people.
The area around the Ilisu dam has been devastated by 16 years of armed conflict
between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Turkish State - a regime armed
by the UK. More than 30,000 people have been killed and 3 million displaced.
Despite the 1 September 1999 PKK decision to pursue a peaceful political
solution to the as yet unresolved Kurdish question, many parts of the region
remain a war zone.
The dam will . Imagine Turkey - or any other country - backing a UK government
plan to flood Stonehenge? Hasankeyf's treasures will be lost forever.
The dam will destroy the surrounding environment. With other planned dams it
will also control 50% of the downstream flow of the river Tigris into Syria and
Iraq. Already analysts are stating that the future wars in the area will be
fought over water. Turkey has already long threatened to block water flows to
its downstream neighbours.
Turkey needs power but there are viable alternatives that have not been