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International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 231–250

First Online: 24 May 2012Accepted: 09 March 2012


While on the surface the Turkish state appears to have asymmetrical power vis-à-vis downstreamers and local societal opponents, and therefore, the ability to shape basin politics, domestic, basin and international protest over the ‘securitised’ Ilısu Dam in Turkey proved more decisive in that respect. A cornerstone of the GAP Güneydoğu Anadolu Projesi, Southeast Anatolia Project multi-dam project to harness the water from the Euphrates and Tigris, the dam project elicited successful resistance from Turkey’s downstream neighbours, social and environmental NGOs and professionals targeting the international donors and contractors. On the basis of document research and interviews, this article investigates which factors opened up the space for politicising the project, and how this politicisation played out in both the domestic and international domain. The link between the securitised where water is almost by default a security issue and non-securitised spheres of hydropolitical decision-making where it is not proved crucial to the success of the anti-dam opposition.

KeywordsHydropolitics Turkey Euphrates–Tigris Securitisation AbbreviationsEIAEnvironmental Impact Assessment

GAPGüneydoğu Anadolu Projesi, Southeast Anatolia Project

INGOInternational non-governmental organisation

RAPResettlement Action Plan

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Autor: Jeroen Warner


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