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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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KHRP Releases Latest Briefing Papers

KHRP is pleased to announce the publication of its latest briefing papers on ‘The environmental impact of Turkey and Iran’s cross-border incursions into Kurdistan, Iraq’ and ‘The Ilısu Dam Project: An Update’. 

Turkey and Iran have conducted cross-border military operations into Kurdistan, Iraq for more than two decades, including the use of ground troops, surveillance planes cross-border shelling, and airstrikes. These operations are ostensibly part of the states’ military campaigns against Kurdish separatist groups that have launched attacks from the Qandil mountain area, the border region of Iran, Turkey and Iraq. However, as the first briefing paper examines, these operations have had a severe impact on civilians, property, and the environment. An intensification of attacks by both states has taken place since mid-2007, and has resulted in widespread displacement, loss of life, and environmental destruction.

Meanwhile, few infrastructure development projects have caused as much international controversy in recent years as the proposed Ilısu hydroelectric dam project in the Kurdish region of south-east Turkey.  If it were built, the dam would displace between 50,000-78,000 people, mainly Kurds; flood the ancient town of Hasankeyf and hundreds of other unexplored archaeological sites; severely impact the environment upstream and downstream of the dam; and significantly reduce the flow of water to the downstream states of Iraq and Syria, with the potential for exacerbating conflict in the region.   

Although funding was suspended in December 2008, after Turkey failed to implement the agreed conditions, Turkey remains adamant that it will complete the project. As this briefing paper highlights, construction work on the dam has continued intermittently and villagers in the immediate area of the dam site have had their land expropriated.  Turkey has also announced that it is approaching China’s export credit agency, Sinosur, for funding, although as at the beginning of December 2009, the Chinese Embassy in Ankara denied any Chinese company is involved in the project. 

The briefing papers can be downloaded from the KHRP website here.