News ID: 3719
Publish Date: 04 July 2017 - 03:33
The Turkish government declared the dam "Ilisu" 2019 will be completed and go through water intake (catchment) stage.
Zistboom/ Reza Kadkhodazadeh: In recent weeks, many domestic and foreign media published the news that worries environmentalists, especially in Iran and the Middle East. The Turkish government declared the dam "Ilisu" 2019 will be completed and go through water intake (catchment) stage. The construction of the dam, which is part of the Turkish dam project in eastern Anatolia started in 2006 and if its catchment starts, it will prevent more than 50 percent of Tigris water from entering Iraq which will in the first turn leads to a sharp increase in desertification in Iraq and Syria in the Tigris and Euphrates watersheds. 
Moreover, they will have a very devastating impact on the biodiversity of the two countries as much of the human water consumption of the two countries is provided by the two rivers. Unfortunately, the special circumstances of the two countries in recent years have caused them not to be able to protest Turkey's activities for these damages on the sources of regional waters, and Turkey has been exploiting this opportunity in the long run.  But in addition to Syria and Iraq, another country that is affected most by these non-core Turkish activities is Iran. 
In this case, Mohammad Darwish, the Director General of the Office of Public Participation of the EPA, believes that dams constructed on the Tigris and Euphrates take all the waters of these two rivers and cause the drying of the central wetlands of Iraq and Syria. 
With the destruction of more than 6 and a half million hectares of agricultural land in Iraq and Syria, there will be centers of wind erosion and dust production, in these two countries which will also affect Iran. He emphasized that Iran is one of the main beneficiaries of controlling the rights of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the region, stating that the transformation of the Hooralazim wetland into the largest dust center in the region, the clashes of the 25 western and central provinces of our country with the dangers of the dust and soil in dramatic increase of this issue is an example of the removal of the Tigris and Euphrates by the Turkish government in the construction of Gap dams. At the moment, due to the specific circumstances of the region, the only country that can react to this destructive environmental impact of Turkey is Iran. 
Unfortunately, because of the political conditions of recent years, Iran has failed to do the same with years of cooperation with neighboring countries in order to control the deserts in the region by doing things like malching.
This was done in the past in cooperation with countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, which in recent years has prevented the specific conditions of Iraq and the tensions in relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The result of this issue is the unprecedented exposure of the country's regions to the phenomenon of the influx of pollutants. 
Fortunately, the political relations between Iran and Turkey, despite the tensions in recent years, are at a relatively good level, allowing the two countries to negotiate at a high level. 
Therefore, considering the Turkish damming issue, Iran will prevent the Turkish government acting, which will lead to an environmental catastrophe in the region and Iran. 
By 1405, the standard of living of the Iranians will be significantly reduced, it must use all available capacities. The Iranian diplomacy system should be well acquainted with informed authorities about the political and social consequences of such measures in Turkey. 
Turkey has so far seized 100% of the Euphrates water and 60% of the Tigris water, and now it plans to seize the remaining 40% of the Tigris' water. If this happens, the political and social conditions of the region will be heavily undergoing dangerous changes that Iran will not be immune from. Therefore, Iran's action on this issue is essential.  Today, in the world, environmental issues and challenges can be grouped into three levels. The first level of common issues concerns the general public, the basic elements of the ecosystem, such as the permeation of the ozone layer and global warming. The second level addresses issues of interconnected resource consumption and population explosion, such as desertification and the threat of specific species.
The third level covers transboundary and regional issues such as acid rain, river pollution such as the Chernobyl accident. 
Countries around the globe, depending on the environmental threats they face, use all their capacity to perform at each of these three levels. Owing to the specific circumstances of Iran, 
it is necessary to follow the Turkish government's action at all three levels, because the action would have a negative effect on the countries of the region on the third level. 
At the second level, it will affect the human population and the diversity of the species of the region, as well as increasing the desertification in the region. 
And at the first level, in the long run, for example, with the expansion of immigration, it will turn into a global issue that will have a devastating effect on the global ecosystem. 
At the same time, since some observers have taken Turkey's action more than an economic measure, they have taken political action to take advantage of their bargaining power in regional affairs, 
Bilateral negotiations with Turkey cannot be tolerated, and we must consult with the countries of the region to form an organization or at least a regional conference on Turkey's action. 
Turkey is a country that has shown its maximum geopolitical potential and even uses its leverage to cover its weaknesses.  For example, Turkey has no oil and gas resources, while about three-fourths of the world's proven oil and gas resources are located in the surrounding countries. 
Turkey has not been allowed to cross into commercial vessels under various pretexts. So being aware of this specific feature of Turkish foreign policy, countries must be clever in diplomacy with this country in relation to the Ilisu dam project.  In the next step, we need to negotiate with transnational countries and international organizations, in particular the United Nations, and environmental organizations. 
Finally, we will make the most of the foreign and domestic organizations to get the most out of the risks of the Turkish government. This latter case should not be considered to be insignificant because the formation of popular movements and the information of the same prompts,  made foreign sponsors of the project quickly abandon their support, and Turkey failed to open the project in 2015 and was forced to use other financial resources 
Fortunately, in this case, a scam called "Rescue of Middle broom" was prepared by a group of environmental activists addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and is collecting signatures intending to lodge with the United Nations and UNESCO against Turkey's appeal for closure of the Tigris and Euphrates that cause social, political and environmental crises. In addition to these actions by sovereign institutions, non-dominant actions such as the active pursuit of this issue by the NGO`s, media activism and environmental activists in publicizing the public and sensitizing them to such environmental issues in the country are other things to be done for items such as the anti-environmental project of the Turkish government which will be on the agenda.

Translated by: Hosna Karnamaa Rostami

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