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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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"Support for the Ilisu Dam is support for a human rights disaster in the making" claims KHRP

The Kurdish Human Rights Project, in a letter to Tony Blair, today urges the British Government to consider key points of concern before making a decision on Britain's involvement with the Ilisu project.

"The Ilisu dam threatens thousands of homes, and the historic Kurdish town of Hasankeyf" said KHRP Executive Director, Kerim Yildiz.

"South east Turkey has been plagued by human rights abuse for many years, as the Kurds are denied their basic human rights. The Council of Europe, and the international community, should be well aware of the appalling conditions in the region. The existing Ilisu proposals ignore the views of local people, the concerns of downstream states Syria and Iraq and the key significance which Hasankeyf holds in Kurdish culture. It is little wonder that Ilisu is perceived as yet another attempt to destroy Kurdish identity."

"Support for this project would fly in the face of the government’s stated desire to pursue an ethical foreign policy."

KHRP’s appeal to Tony Blair outlines key concerns which must be addressed before any decision is made in relation to international support for the project.

  • Downstream states must be consulted about the proposals At present Syria and Iraq are concerned that the damming of the Tigris will severely restrict their own water supply

  • Account must be taken of the key significance of Hasankeyf to the Kurdish people

  • The project should not go ahead without the prior informed consent of the local people No consultation has yet taken place at a local level

  • A detailed socio economic survey must be undertaken There is, even at this stage, wide disagreement about the numbers of people who will be affected by the project

  • Detailed resettlement plans must be drawn up with the participation and agreement of local people Fear, intimidation and restrictions on freedom of expression are rife in the region: giving rise to concern that the true views of the local Kurds about the project may never be established while conditions remain the same

  • A full environmental impact assessment must be carried out and made available to public scrutiny

  • A detailed assessment of alternatives to the project must be prepared and published

The KHRP letter will be delivered to 10 Downing Street at 2.30pm on Tuesday 14th December.


The Kurdish Human Rights Project works for the promotion and protection of human rights within the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and the former Soviet Union