Activists have been protesting the Ilısu dam for 20 years, stating that Turkey will be flooding the ‘cradle of civilisation’. Among the towns set to be submerged is 12,000-year-old Hasankeyf, which has thousands of neolithic caves and hundreds of ancient monuments.
The feared flooding has begun to engulf Hasankeyf.
Turkey has a long history of using control over water as a means of leverage over other states in the Middle East and minorities such as the Kurds.
On top of limiting upstream flow of water into Iraq and Syria, Turkey has attacked vital water infrastructure in Northeast Syria, the home of the feminist democracy, the Autonomous Administration of Northeast Syria.
Activists are fundraising to repair damage to water infrastructure caused by Turkey. We encourage you to donate and share widely.
Corporate complicity in the Destruction of Hasankeyf
Here is a list of some of the companies complicit in the ecological destruction caused by the Ilısu Dam:
Andritz: Austrian company Andritz Hydro, headquartered in Graz, is supplying the electro-mechanical equipment for the Ilısu dam in a contract worth 340 million Euros. Andritz has premises in the UK in Hull, Glasgow and Newcastle-Under-Lyme. To see a list of Andritz’s global addresses see here.
Banks: The financing for the Ilısu dam was secured through Turkish banks Halkbank, AKBank and GarantiBank.
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. (BBVA) owns 49.5% of the shares in GarantiBank. It has subsidiaries in the Netherlands and Romania. BBVA is a Spanish banking group with headquarters in Madrid and Bilbao.
AKBank is owned by the billionaire Sabancı family, who also own Turkish airline Pegasus
Halkbank has addresses in London and internationally. To see a list click here.
AKBank appears to have an address in London too, but there is no official website and we haven’t checked it out.
Nurol: Since 2007, Turkish company Nurol Construction and Trade has been heading the consortium of companies involved in the Ilısu dam. Nurol Construction and Trade is part of the industrial conglomerate Nurol Holding, which owns a number of companies and brands including Sheraton Turkey and Nurol Makina, an arms company which produces military vehicles and water cannons. Nurol is also part of several joint ventures with British company BAE systems.
Malamira: A Turkish company headquartered in Ankara, Malamira is a subcontractor which organises the workers for the construction site ofthe Ilısu dam. It took over from the companies that pulled out after attacks on the dam by the PKK during 2014. However, Malamira’s involvement in the project is nearly over.
Malamira is contracted by Cengiz Inşaat, a Turkish company which is currently involved in the construction of two other dams in Bakur. Cengiz Inşaat is owned by Cengiz Holding. It is also constructing the new airport in Istanbul and a controversial gold and copper mining project in the Black Sea region of Artvin. Cengiz Holding’s chief executive, Mehmet Cengiz, is believed to be a close ally of President Erdoğan.
Books, articles and resources about Hasankeyf:
Struggles for Autonomy in Kurdistan, by Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson of Corporate Watch, (2016) – pages 157-182. For a list of companies involved in the dam see pages 213-215