Power plant activities destroy pearl mullets in Zîlan Stream

Following the activities of a power plan that started in the Zîlan Stream, thousands of fish were washed ashore and destroyed as the nitrogen and phosphate levels scaled up.

The damage to nature has started to emerge after a power plant the AKP government built in the Zîlan Stream despite public reaction, arguing that ‘There is no need for an environmental impact assessment report’. A huge amount of pearl mullet has perished in Koçköprü Dam over the Zîlan Stream. The otters and salamanders are also in danger of extinction.

Experts and environmentalists working in the region say that there was an algal bloom due to high nitrogen and phosphate levels, which has led to mass animal deaths.


After the local citizens' applications to the Communications Center of the Presidency (CİMER) over the issue, the AKP government sent gendarmerie forces to the region. However, it remains a matter of curiosity what results the gendarmerie in the region have reached.


Zîlan Ecology Organisation Spokesperson Mir Bahattin Demir spoke to ANF about the recent situation in the Zîlan Stream and said that after the construction of the power plant in the Zîlan basin, there have been negative changes in nature.

Demir pointed out that 20 villages around the Zîlan Stream are under threat; “The place where fish kills took place is Koçköprü Dam. Both sewage and barn waste are discharged from almost all villages into the Zîlan Stream. We informed the authorities that this would destroy the ecosystem of the Zîlan Stream and bring the extinction of the living endemic species, the otters and salamanders, but we did not get any results.”


Demir stressed that the governor and other officials are committing crimes with the Zîlan power plant project and called for public awareness on the matter.

“Along with household waste and chemicals used in the kitchen, the capacity of the tribunes for the power plant built on the Zîlan Stream has been increased. The Van Governor's Office has paved the way for a second Zîlan Massacre by defending a report that said ‘There is no need for an environmental impact assessment report’. The governor and other officials have clearly committed a crime. With the Zîlan power plant project-there is an ongoing case on it- the water transfer from the lake to the tribunes has caused the oxygen quality of the water, which has already decreased as a result of the drought caused by the climate crisis, to decrease. As a result, mass fish kills occur. They almost destroyed the ecosystem of the wetland. We call on democratic public opinion to act with sensitivity.”