Ilisu Dam Fighters Honored at Award Ceremony in Istanbul

Saturday, March 21, 2009

International Rivers, Oxfam Australia and Friends of the Earth International awarded Hasankeyf'i Yaşatma Girişimi the First FREE RIVERS AWARD. It honors those who defend or restore free-flowing rivers and the rights of communities that depend on them. It supports effective grassroots campaigns and celebrates their successes.

Hasankeyf'i Yaşatma Girişimi has inspired the international movement against dams by achieving an extraordinary success against the construction of the Ilisu Dam. Due to their efforts, the construction of the dam was stopped in December 2008 and the international financiers of the project, Switzerland, Austria and Germany, have temporarily suspended the contracts and financial risk guarantees for the project.

The Ilisu Dam is one of the largest currently planned dams, on the last free-flowing river in the country, the Tigris. The dam would have a reservoir of more than 300 square kilometers, threatening the habitats of endangered fish species, migrating birds and the Tigris turtle. In addition to flooding the ancient city of Hasankeyf, which is over 10,000 years old, it would also drown almost one hundred villages and displace more than 50,000 people.

With staff in five continents, International Rivers  is an international environmental and human rights organization. For over two decades, International Rivers has been at the heart of the global struggle to protect rivers and the communities that depend on them.

Media contacts: 

Peter Bosshard in Turkey at 531-725-94-38,
Antonia Juhasz in the U.S. at 1-415-846-5447,

More information: 

Read more about International Rivers at World Water Forum 5.