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Funded by grants from Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, the Ilisu Dam being planned for Turkey's Tigris River is meant to help Turkey harness the power-generating potential of the Tigris, which would then produce 2 percent of Turkey's energy needs.
Sounds great. But the Turks aren't getting it together. The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs was just griping about how they need to start moving on the aspects of "environment, cultural heritage, the resettlement of residents, and neighborhood policies" in order for the dam plans to move forward.
The Swiss have been very encouraging (and not entirely selflessly-part of the Ilisu initiative involves Turkey granting the Swiss transportation rights for much easier access to Iranian oil). But part of the dam hold-up could be that a rumored 20,000 people will need to be relocated, as many as 15 endemic species of the Tigris River will be affected, and an ancient archaeological site will be completely submerged. Ah, the pros and cons of development. Or, more, the cons of development.
Photo: Hasan Keyf, one of the oldest human settlements in the world, is now vacant, soon to be just for the fish.