Turkey’s thirst for power causes water war with Iraq and Syria. Iraq, which has been already ravaged by decades of US invasive warfare, has quietly suffered a major water shortage over the past decade.
Including the Kurdistan region, Iraq relies on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers for 98% for its drinking, irrigation and sanitation supplies.
The majority of the country also lives along the two historic rivers, which originate in Turkey. Turkey has built 22 dams and 19 hydro-power plants through its Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP) in the region where the majority of its Kurdish population live.
Lacking hydrocarbon resources within Turkey, the government under Recep Tayyip Erdogan has realized water is the ultimate weapon, not oil.
This all began as a national project by the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, aiming to better “integrate eastern Anatolia into the rest of Turkey and generate economic development through the construction of irrigation projects.”
However, what we are witnessing is a devastating effect on Iraq’s war thorn population. Ankara attempted to increase the number projects in the southeast to provide a better quality of life for the impoverished people there who are suffering from the Turkish war against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The results of the US-led Iraqi Gulf Wars and the terror on semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region administration surely plays a role, but the root of the water shortage lies in Turkey.
According to Iraq’s Minister of Water Resources, Hassan al-Janabi, water levels have dropped by 40% over the past few years, largely due to storage facilities in Turkey.
The Southeastern Anatolia Project, or Guneydogu Anadolu Projesi (GAP) in Turkish, is one of the largest river basin development projects in the world and the largest single development project carried out by Turkey.
It includes 13 irrigation and hydro-power schemes on both the Tigris and the Euphrates. Upon completion it is expected to provide up to 25% of the country’s electricity.
Nevertheless, the worst-case scenario for Iraq and Syria would be another armed conflict, this time by the Popular Mobilization Units, factions of which are linked to Iran, against Turkish armed occupation forces in Iraq, which would push Ankara to further reduce the water flow.
Equity is of paramount importance. In the short term, the creation of institutions for the provision and documentation of both water and land rights should be considered in order to promote transparency and social inclusion.
However, after Israel confiscated and annexed Syria’s Jordan River flow in the Golan Heights, the Middle Eastern Water Wars seem to be structural by design in order to create havoc during this evil Zionist genocidal program.
The Defense Post / Crickey Conservation Society 2018.