Resolution adopted at the Paris Council meeting, 9-12 October 2008.
The export credit guarantee given by the Governments of Germany, Austria and Switzerland for the Ilisu dam in south east Turkey is about to be withdrawn.
We strongly support this decision. For several years, European Greens we have been campaigning against the Ilisu Dam because of its devastating impacts for humans, for the environment and for the security and stability in the region: evictions without proper rehabilitation and resettlement in a region mainly inhabited by Kurds, human rights violations, severe decrease in water quality, an increase of water-born diseases like malaria, the destruction of flood-plains and habitat for endangered animals and plants, a massive fish die-off, and an aggravation of the already existing water conflicts in the region, especially between Turkey and its neighbouring states are predicted. Furthermore the city of Hasankeyf, a central cultural asset for Turkey and a symbol of human civilization, will disappear in the Ilisu floods forever.
The Ilisu Dam project had already been buried in 2001, when European companies and banks withdrew from the project due to massive social and environmental concerns. Therefore, when the project resurged once again, the agreement of export credit guarantees were tied to about 150 obligations, which are supposed to bring the project in line with international standards. They include the demand to collect basic data on the ecological and cultural assets in the affected region. Now it became clear that the Turkish Government will not be able to meet the obligations. The Governments of Germany, Austria and Switzerland now set a time limit of 60 days, starting October 8, 2008, to meet the obligations.
On December 6, we will see if the Governments of the three European countries will actually stop their support of the project. Until then, the Turkish government will have to react and present improvements in the implementation of the Ilisu-project. We are certain, that the Turkish Government will not be able to correct within 2 months what it has not been able or willing to implement within the last 18 months.
The withdrawal of the export credit guarantee can only be a first step. As European Greens, we will continue our support of the opponents of the Ilisu dam until it will be finally stopped. We need sustainable alternatives for economical development in the region as well as sustainable solutions for the problem of power supply in Turkey.