Press Advisory: Ilısu Dam to Start on Saturday 5th August?

From Global Women Strike

The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Teyyip Erdoğan, has announced that he will lay a foundation stone to initiate construction of the Ilısu dam in the Kurdish region of Turkey on Saturday 5th August.

Therefore the Global Women’s Strike and the Department of Archaeology, National University of Ireland Galway are today both issuing a submission to three EU governments who are considering whether to fund the dam. 

The report was written by Maggie Ronayne, Lecturer in Archaeology at the National University of Ireland Galway, and completed in consultation with women villagers in the affected communities and the Global Women’s Strike, the international grassroots women’s network. The documented evidence it contains discredits a key project document that the EU governments are using to make their decision on funding. The report shows how the dam threatens to destroy thousands of years of culture and heritage and its survival into the future, first of all by targeting women and all in their care. It highlights women’s opposition to cultural destruction by dams and war. The report can be found at: www.globalwomenstrike.net

Despite the laying of the foundation stone, the Swiss, German and Austrian governments do not appear to have agreed to grant the export credit guarantees necessary for the dam to go ahead. A decision is not expected until September. In addition, starting dam construction would breach numerous national and international laws and guidelines; court cases are continuing and more may be initiated. 

Affected communities and campaigners in Turkey and Europe have long opposed the dam, forcing the collapse of the last consortium of companies that tried to build it in 2001-2. Even though it is unlikely this foundation ceremony will lead to the start of construction, affected communities and local campaigners are going to protest the event on the 4th and 5th of August.

Ms Ronayne is co-ordinating an international email, phone and fax protest by archaeologists, who last time round opposed the project in large numbers, including threatening a boycott of developer-led archaeological salvage excavations.

For further details, contact: Maggie Ronayne, Department of Archaeology, NUI Galway on +353 91 493701 (office) or +353 87 7838688 (mobile). 


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