Top court ruling may save Hasankeyf

Top court ruling may save Hasankeyf

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Hasankeyf may not become the next Atlantis after all thanks to a recent ruling by the Council of State that may change the fate of the town, which will be almost entirely submerged under water when the construction of Ilısu Dam finishes.

The Council of State ruled Jan. 7 in favor of a legal case filed by the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) against the construction of the Ilısu Dam project, ordering a stay of execution to the controversial dam construction in southeast Turkey.

The Council of State concluded that construction on the Tigris River for the Ilısu Dam, which originally proceeded without the legally required Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), goes against Turkey’s environmental law and EIA regulations.

“We are entering a new process with this legal decision. Of course, as it has been the case in all other legal advantages gained on behalf of nature, attempts will be made to ignore this ruling either through some legal amendments and changes to regulations or by methods of going around the law,” the Nature Society (DD), a non-governmental organization (NGO) registered in Turkey and a partner of BirdLife International, said in a statement announcing the ruling. “However, this decision will pave the way for other legal struggles to save Hasankeyf and will also set a precedent for a lot of destructive projects,” the Nature Society said.

The government can object to the Council of State’s ruling within seven days after its release on Jan. 7.