No halt to electricity exports to Syria now

No halt to electricity exports to Syria now

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
No halt to electricity exports to Syria now

Turkish trucks burnt in Syria brought to Turkey, as government takes measures. DHA photo

Halting power supplies to Damascus is not on the agenda of the Turkish government for now, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said today, while declining to clarify whether such a measure will come up, and under what conditions that could happen.

Responding to reporters’ questions after the Turkish government announced its decision today to cut off a vital supply line to Syria, Yıldız said there would be no change in the existing water-sharing program with Syria.

“The Syrian people need electricity these days more than ever. We continue to supply electricity, but developments in Syria are getting worse each and every day. These extremely serious problems are far beyond being violations of human rights,” Yıldız said, expressing his wish that these violations would come to an end.

There is no binding agreement between Turkey, Syria and Iraq on water sharing in the Euphrates-Tigris basin. Iraq, Syria and Iran want more equitable access and control from Turkey, where almost 98 percent of the Euphrates’ waters originate. Despite some cooperation on common management, a final agreement has yet to be reached.

Late last month, in retaliation for the June 22 downing of a Turkish fighter jet by Syria, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç warned that Ankara could switch off its power exports, saying: “We have considered that for humanitarian reasons we should [continue to] supply electricity to Syria so that the daily lives of the people are not affected.”