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BRITARCH  February 2000

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Subject:

Ilisu dam project

From:

"Dr John Carman" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Dr John Carman

Date:

Wed, 09 Feb 2000 13:43:27 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (108 lines)

Apologies for cross-posting. The following is being passed on from the
"radical archaeology forum" also on mailbase.
John Carman

Dr John Carman
co-Director, "Bloody Meadows" Project and
Affiliated Lecturer, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge
Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1223 333323
Fax: +44 (0)1223 333503
Email: [log in to unmask]
Co-listownner, [log in to unmask]


The Ilisu dam project involves the construction of a large dam on the 
river Tigris as part of a wider Turkish dam development which has 
been ongoing for several years. 
Last weekend an advertisment in the Guardian, sponsored by the Mark 
Thomas Product, told us that: 
---------------------------------------------
220 million pounds of UK taxpayers' money will help displace 20,000 
to 60,000 Kurdish people in South East Turkey if the government's 
proposed underwriting of the project is approved.  Should the British 
government get involved?  To help you decide for yourself you can 
find out what local people think of the dam.  For your free copy of 
the UK Export Credit Guarantee Department's report, 'Stakeholders' 
Attitudes to Involuntary Resettlement in the Context of the Ilisu Dam 
Project, Turkey' visit: 
http://www.ecgd.gov.uk/whatsnew/data/ilisu.htm
---------------------------------------------------------------
The conditions laid down by the secretary, Steven Byers, to try to 
counteract the very obvious negligence in resettling people in this 
case and the large scale destruction of cultural heritage which will 
occur, are not likely to be implemented by the Turkish government or 
the British construction company involved in building the dam, 
Balfour Beatty.  Previous work on dams shows that there is not a 
single dam development project which has adequately prepared its 
re-settlement or conservation programmes or engaged in proper public 
consultation with those who would be affected, due, of course, to the 
profit motive which is at the heart of all of these projects.  The 
town of Hasankeyf, for instance, which is extremely important 
archaeologically, will be flooded by the dam but has been 
legally protected and preserved since 1978 in Turkey.   The 
planning process for the dam has now reversed this.  (If you want to 
read more about the archaeology rescue projects underway, visit:
http://www.metu.edu.tr/home/wwwmuze/ilisu.html

 The reasons why the UK government is underwriting this 
project and thus encouraging other investors, are the 'high risk' of 
incompletion, problems in the locality, reservations on the part of 
the World Bank, possible contravention of a European convention and a 
UN convention and also because Balfour Beatty has already been 
involved in controversial dam projects, such as the Pergau dam in 
Malaysia.  In previous UK press reports and even in the UK 
government's report, the Turkish government has stated that one of 
its main aims with this project is to bring the long-running Kurdish 
insurgency in the area to an end, to achieve 'stability' in the area. 
This will tie in with the ongoing government policy of 
'Turkification' of indigenous people in Turkey and denial of their 
rights.  The area is very tense with PKK fighters and government 
troops struggling for control.  The tension has also hindered efforts 
to establish a wide base of local opinion on the dam and will cause 
problems in establishing ownership of houses and land for 
compensation purposes.   


*What can be done?*
Friends of the Earth and the Peace in Kurdistan Committee (patrons 
include Noam Chomsky and Harold Pinter) have already been lobbying 
the UK government on this issue.  If, having read the reports on the 
web-sites, you would like to sign up to the statement below, please 
add your name and address/institutional or professional affiliation 
at the bottom of this mail and copy it to as many other people/lists 
as you can. 

NB **If you sign on at number 20, 40, 60, 80, 100 etc please also 
copy the entire mail back to me at the address below, so that I 
can forward the statement with signatures to the UK government 
(remember to pass it on to others at the same time).
 [log in to unmask]

--------------------------------------------
 Having read the Export Credit Guarantee Department's report on 
'Stakeholders' Attitudes to Involuntary Resettlement in the Context 
of the Ilisu Dam Project, Turkey', we the undersigned would like to 
express grave concern at the underwriting of such a project by the UK 
government.  
We ask that the UK government reconsider its proposal to 
grant export credit in this case.
We urge the UK government to call for the project to be halted 
until a new, independent assessment of the dam, including full and 
open consultation with all of the people likely to be affected, has 
been completed.
 In particular, we demand that this new assessment should include a 
detailed consideration of all aspects of the destruction of cultural 
heritage in the area by a panel of Turkish and non-Turkish 
archaeologists, historians, anthropologists and indigenous 
representatives.  

1. Maggie Ronayne, Department of Archaeology, NUI, Galway, Republic 
of Ireland.
2. Pier Paolo Frassinelli,  Salthill, Galway, Republic of Ireland.
3. Jayne Gidlow, archaeologist, Whitstable, Kent, UK. 
4. John Carman, Department ofArchaeoogy, University of Cambridge, UK
5. Patricia Carman, Cambridge, UK


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