Ecological destruction by "security dam" in Şırnak

A dam will soon flood the Êwil gorge in Şırnak. The construction has no economic reasons; rather, it is intended to displace the population and limit the guerrillas' room for maneuver.

A gorge in the Kurdish province of Şırnak, which provides a natural passage for water from the snow-covered heights during the spring snowmelt, is in danger of being flooded by a "security dam" built in the region. The gorge near the village of Kiror (Ortabağ) in the Êwil Valley, with its crystal-clear and ice-cold water, is a natural wonder in the hot summer months and an attraction for hikers and excursions.

The dam is now finished and has been holding back the water for some time. Soon it will flood the entire gorge. Local residents told the Mezopotamya Agency (MA) that the dam will not be used for power generation or irrigation, as there is no significant agricultural land in the area. The dam will destroy the habitat of many animal and plant species and cause an ecological disaster. Meanwhile, new roads are being built in the area because the old roads will be flooded when the level of the reservoir rises. Thousands of trees will be cut down for the road construction.

The reasons for building the so-called "security dams" in Turkey are not economic. Rather, the destruction of the Kurdish population's livelihood is intended to force them to leave their country and limit the guerrillas' mobility. It is also intended to enable the use of water as a weapon against neighboring countries.

Since 2009, dams have been built in the Kurdish provinces of Amed (Diyarbakır), Batman, Bingöl, Dersim, Hakkari), Mardin and Şırnak. A particularly tragic example of the destructive effect of Turkey's dam policy is the flooding of the historic site of Hasankeyf.