Friday, September 14, 2012

Less haste

The Ilısu construction site (source: DSİ)
While the Ingathering last weekend at Hasankeyf was a fantastic experience for all involved, there was also some sobering news: A worker at the Ilısu Dam site lost his life in an industrial accident on Sept. 5. We of course offer our condolences to his family; while we are unquestionably against the Ilısu project, any loss of life is a tragedy.

However, we are also concerned that this could be a first sign that the government is overreaching in the accelerated program for Ilısu (and in general for expropriation to faciltate HEP and other infrastructure projects) and perhaps also in its new incentive package for the Southeast.

Ilısu construction workers (source: DSİ)
Experts and friends of Hasankeyf alike have long protested that there remains no real plan (nor sufficient time) for protection or relocation of the town's cultural assets. Hearing of a site death in a landslide less than a week after diversion of the Tigris began, we are again reminded of this.

Whatever lies ahead for Hasankeyf and its residents, we would like to hope that the authorities are acting with all due consideration, and fully weighing up the options before acting...

If the opposite is the case, it will not be for the first time, but it will be a further tragedy.


1 comment:

  1. Helen - Thanks for bringing attention to this accident. Unfortunately, big improvements need to be made for workplace safety in every sphere in Turkey and this takes serious government oversight, something in this era of privatization has almost disappeared worldwide. So it's more important than ever to keep bringing the public's attention to every workplace accident, particularly if they may be due to a contractor's haste and negligence.