Turkey says certain Iraq will not suffer from water shortage after dam is built
Turkey’s ambassador to Baghdad, Fatih Yıldız, has assured that Iraq will not suffer from water shortage because of the Ilısu Dam that Turkey is building on the Tigris River in response to the criticism coming from top Iraqi officials.
“Even if filling the reservoir of the Ilısu Dam will take nearly a year, it does not mean we will completely halt the water flow. An agreement signed on May 15 between the two countries regulates the water flow,” Yıldız told a group of reporters at the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad on June 5, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
On June 5, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Iraq is surprised by Turkey’s decision to start holding water back through its Ilısu Dam earlier than promised, suggesting it was done to win support for the government in the upcoming elections.
“The Turkish prime minister had promised me they would start filling the dam at the end of June, not the start, so I was surprised to see they started,” Abadi told a news conference.
“I am aware that they have elections on June 24 and perhaps need to get the support of farmers,” he added, referring to Turkey’s planned general elections for president and parliament.
“We had informed Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi during his visit to Turkey in 2017 that the construction of the dam had been completed and we were ready to collect water behind the dam,” the ambassador said.
“Enough water will be collected at the reservoirs in a year to enable electricity generation,” he said.