Thursday, March 15, 2012

'They don't want to move'

On March 14, marking International Day of Action for Rivers, Doğa Derneği made public the results of a survey of the people of Hasankeyf regarding their coming relocation. The findings make for interesting reading, revealing that residents are dissatisfied with the level of public consultation and concerned for their future prospects after they are moved to make way for the dam.

Speaking at a press conference in the village, Hasankeyf Campaign Assistant and DD member Derya Engin noted that "the study proves government claims that the Ilısu Dam enjoys public support in the region are false.”

The DD press release, titled "They don't want to move," provides a précis of the results of the survey, conducted by Ebru Işıklı, as well as arguments in support of the protection and preservation of Hasankeyf. The same statement has also been circulated widely online, including by Turkish nature magazine Atlas.

Computer-generated image of Yeni Hasankeyf, complete with high-rise apartment buildings
You can find an English translation of the statement here, but the main points are as follows:
  • Close to 70% of Hasankeyf residents interviewed do not want to move to Yeni (new) Hasankeyf.
  • Almost half say they cannot afford to relocate, while close to 30 percent have no idea where they will go when evicted.
  • Only one in five residents would consider relocation, citing poor housing or a lack of employment opportunities.
  • The study also claims residents’ needs and means were not identified or adequately considered in the relocation project.
  • The lack of consultation on relocation plans flies in the face of EU and World Bank requirements (one of the reasons European credit agencies withdrew support for Ilısu).
  • The statement again underlines that Hasankeyf meets nine out of 10 criteria for UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • The Ilısu project will displace between 55,000 and 65,000 people.
  • While the lifespan of the dam is just 70 years*, its cultural, humanitarian and ecological impact will far outlast it.
We are happy to see the results of the survey published, and hope that -- with last week's visit to Ilısu still fresh in his mind -- Minister Eroğlu may find time to give them his attention.

--HK Matters team

* DD does not give any source in support of this claim. While all dams
age at different rates depending on how they are built and under what
conditions, the American Society of Civil Engineers has described 50
years as the "typical useful lifespan" of a dam.

No comments:

Post a Comment