Ilıca dam to contribute 3 billion liras to Turkish economy annually: Erdoğan
The newly opened Ilısu Prof. Dr. Veysel Eroğlu Dam will contribute 3 billion Turkish Liras to Turkey’s economy annually, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Nov. 6.
Ilisu dam is “one of the most concrete examples of our aim of serving the public for 19 years. Having a water storage capacity of approximately 11 billion cubic meters, Ilısu will contribute 3 billion liras annually to our country with its 1,200 megawatts of power,” he said, speaking at the opening ceremony of the dam in the southeastern province of Mardin.
Protecting water resources before they reach the limit of depletion, using them efficiently and managing them correctly has become a necessity, not a choice anymore, he emphasized.
“Water is the most important and strategic resource of this century,” he said.
More than 70 percent of existing water resources are used in agriculture, particularly in food production, he said.
“Turkey is not a water-rich country. We are in the group of countries suffering from water stress,” Erdoğan noted.
The government opened 8,817 facilities in water management, by investing 284 billion liras, he stated.
“We have stored 46 billion cubic meters of water with our 61 dams built in the last 19 years. We increased our stored water amount to 179 billion cubic meters. Our country and our producers have increased their agricultural income by 60 billion liras per year,” he stated.
The government has taken steps to solve all “age-old problems, especially the decriminalization of speaking, singing, reading and writing in Kurdish,” Erdoğan said in the nearby Batman province.
“We have subjected all legislation, all practices, all understandings, from the constitution to laws, to a transformation based on rights and justice. Just as we broke the bureaucratic oligarchy across the country, we also shattered the tutelage established by the terrorist organization with blood and cruelty on our people here,” he said.
Erdoğan noted that his government launched a “solution process” for the Kurdish issue. “We aimed to remove this issue from the agenda of the country forever and to direct all our energy and time to our main goals. This sincere process, which we started by taking all kinds of risks and confronting all kinds of criticism, was inconclusive due to the terrorist organization’s choice of weapon and bloodshed.”
The “İmralı process,” or “peace process,” refers to talks held between officials and the imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, aimed at convincing the group to lay down their arms and withdraw from Turkish soil. But the talks failed in 2015 after a few years of negotiations.