Turkish professors urge government to halt dam project
Academics at Turkey's prestigious Bosphorus University are urging the government to halt a controversial dam project in the country's southeast, the daily Radikal reported on Friday.
More than 100 professors at the Istanbul university signed a declaration opposing the building of the Ilisu dam, which they said would lead to the flooding of the historically-significant town of Hasankeyf and cause environmental damage along the valley of the Tigris river, DPA reported.
The project was previously financed by loans from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, although the three countries withdrew their supported in July, 2009, citing environmental concerns.
The Turkish government has recently announced that it will continue building the Ilisu dam with different funding sources.
Ilisu is part of the Great Anatolian Project (GAP), a large dam and irrigation project designed to provide energy for Turkey and improve the economic situation in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeast region.
The dam project has been met with strong local and international opposition.