Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hasankeyf to mark International Day of Action for Rivers

"In 2023 not a single free-running stream will remain in Turkey," according to Doğa Derneği (The Nature Association) in an article published today in Turkish newspaper Radikal.

Tigris River, Hasankeyf
The article notes that the people of Hasankeyf will mark International Day of Action for Rivers with a press conference in which they will discuss their reasons for not wanting to leave Hasankeyf.

Zeugma, Allianoi and Hasankeyf receive frequent mention in connection with dam projects in Turkey, but Doğa Derneği looks broadly at the impact of such projects on Anatolia: "There are plans to build 1,738 dams and hydroelectric plants and another 2,000 artificial reservoirs for drinking water and irrigation in Turkey by 2023."

What does this mean for plants and wildlife? According to Doğa Derneği, there are 305 Important Natural Habitats harboring 90 percent of Turkey's biodiversity; 185 of these habitats are threatened by dams and hydroelectric plants.

Hydroelectric plants may be the cheapest source of renewable energy, but are they worth the hidden costs?

For more on biodiversity in Turkey, Doğa Derneği has published several guides, including Turkey's Important Natural Habitats (2 vols., in Turkish). The chapter on Southeastern Anatolia is also available separately (pdf).

--HK Matters team

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