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News Turkey: No change in basic parameters of water policy

Even though Turkey has received a satisfactory amount of rainfall this year, this does not mean that the risk of water shortage has been eliminated; apparently the Turkish capital has not been planning to make any changes to basic parameters of its water policy vis-à-vis its neighbors Iraq and Syria.

 Over the weekend, the Iraqi water minister suggested that Turkey has not followed through on its agreement to supply Iraq with the water it desperately needs.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry declined to comment on whether the government planned to supply Iraq with more water, stating only that, “There is no tension between Turkey and Iraq on the water issue”.

Ankara has not been planning to make any changes in the basic parameters of its water policy, while asserting that it has been outlining this policy as “using its cross-border waters together with its neighbors in an appropriate, fair and optimal way.”

Yet, there is no agreement between Iraq and Turkey concerning the use of cross-waters, thus the amount of water to be released by Turkey.

Last week, experts continued warning citizens of Turkey to use water more efficiently to avoid water shortages in future years, despite the fact that Turkey received a satisfactory amount of precipitation last winter.

This year, the precipitation in the eastern part of Anatolia was not as abundant as it has been in the western part of Anatolia, experts said, noting that due to this reason, there has been no noteworthy increase in the level of water in dams.

The same reliable sources close to the issue, however, noted that, despite all of these facts, Turkey has been pushing its own circumstances in order to be able to release more water to its downstream neighbors, seeing that drought has negative impacts on Iraq and Syria as well as on Turkey and within the framework of existing good relations and economic cooperation with these countries.

Iraq accuses Turkey, and to a lesser extent Syria, of choking the Euphrates by placing hydroelectric dams on it that have restricted water flow, damaging an Iraqi agricultural sector already hit by decades of war, sanctions and neglect.

The dispute is a delicate diplomatic issue for Iraq as it seeks to improve ties with its neighbors, and Turkey is one of Iraq's most important trading partners.

Related article: Iraq warns Turkey on Euphrates water supplies


Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information Peyamner News Agency
Keyword(s) drought, water conflict, water supply, precipitation, hydroelectric dams, water policy
Geographical coverage Turkey, Iraq, Syria
News date 17/06/2009
Working language(s) ENGLISH