Support Wanes for Turkey's Controversial Dam

<p>A massive dam project in Turkey that would flood historic areas and displace 50,000 people is losing international support, as officials in Germany threaten to pull out of the project -- often called a smaller version of China's Three Gorges Dam.</p>
April 20, 2008, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"The German government on Thursday described as "unacceptable" what it called the Turkish government's failure to comply with the terms of a deal to build a massive and controversial dam and is reiterating its threat to suspend Berlin's participation in the project. If the government pulls out its export guarantees, the ambitious project could collapse."

"The project entails the construction of the so-called Ilisu dam along the upper stretch of the Tigris River, which would lead to the flooding of ancient cultural treasures and displace as many as 50,000 residents. Critics have called it a miniature version of the highly controversial Three Gorges Dam project in China."

"The government's response reiterated claims made in a recent study by a panel of experts that Turkey had failed to meet many of the 153 criteria that had been established as prerequisites for the project to receive German government-backed export guarantees. Though the government's letter notes that Turkey does have the right 'to correct its shortcomings within a reasonable period of time,' Berlin is still threatening to pull out of the project."

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Published on Friday, April 11, 2008 in Der Spiegel
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