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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tarkan's Campaign Gets Setback

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Tarkan by the Tigris River
Tarkan by the Tigris River
Respected Turkish left-wing newspaper Radikal has reported that the Turkish government is pushing ahead with its controversial plans to dam the Tigris River without international participation, despite protests spearheaded by various celebrities including pop star Tarkan.

Deciding to begin work on the controversial Ilisu dam in the country's south-east without international funds, the country's minister of environment, Veysel Eroğlu, was quoted as saying that Turkey would finance the project from its own resources.

International funding for the project had been at risk because of breaches against environmental obligations and a lack of adequate resettlement plan for a nearby community, which Minister Eroğlu refutes.

Assuring that the dam would produce an increase in agricultural development as well as energy, and bring tourism with the new city they are planning to build after moving the historical monuments, the minister explained that the dam would rejuvenate the region, rather than kill it. "This region will be a huge tourist attraction once we're finished rebuilding it," Radikal quoted the minister as saying.

Meanwhile, internationally renowned Nobel Prize winning novelist Orhan Pamuk has joined Tarkan, to come out vehemently against the dam.

Of Pamuk and Tarkan, "They're trying to protect the region. Of course it's being done with noble intentions. It's our fault, we haven't been able to inform these people properly," Minister Eroğlu said.

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