Victory: European Governments Backing Out of Ilisu Dam Project in Turkey


June 22, 2009

Germany, Austria and Switzerland will withdraw their export credit guarantees for the highly controversial Ilisu dam project in Turkey by July 6th, as the German daily Frankfurter Rundschau Online reported. This is an unprecedented step in the history of export finance. 

Tigris Valley - threatened by the planned Ilisu Dam
Tigris Valley - threatened by the planned Ilisu Dam
Ulrich Eichelmann
Due to repeated violations of the export credit guarantee conditions by the Turkish authorities, the government of Germany decided on the final withdrawal on June 19, according to Frankfurter Rundschau. As the three countries decide unanimously, this means that Austria and Switzerland will also back out.

The withdrawal is a huge victory for environmentalists and human rights advocates, including the Stop Ilisu Campaign in Europe, who have campaigned for years for the stop of the destructive dam. It is very likely that the project will be cancelled completely, as Turkey now lacks 450 m Euro and technical know how needed to build the dam.

“We welcome that the European governments are finally taking international standards for this project seriously”, comments Heike Drillisch from the German Ilisu Campaign CounterCurrent. “This is a great step forward for the protection of human rights, the environment and cultural heritage.”

More information: 

Press Release on Ilisu Withdrawal from the European Ilisu Campaign

Stop Ilisu - the European Ilisu Campaign

Doga Dernegi - fighting Ilisu from within Turkey