Select Committee on Trade and Industry Twelfth Report


79. We have a strong feeling that if Turkey were in the EU, the requirement for sustainable development would lead the authorities and the population to question the rationale for the expenditure on the Ilisu project. It may be thought that the future of the region would be better served by expenditure on infrastructure designed to sustain the income of the rural poor by retaining them on the land engaged in productive activity and indeed attracting back some of those displaced to the cities for security or other reasons. That must be for the Turkish people to decide, particularly in the light of the financial difficulties the country has been facing in recent months.

80. When we reported last on the Ilisu dam and the application for export credit, over a year ago, we had not expected to have a second opportunity. The time for a decision is now presumably nearer. In the absence of the EIAR and the RAP we cannot give our firm view. It may be that the contents of these documents will allay our concerns. These concerns have grown rather than diminished over the past year, primarily on the resettlement prospects of those without land and without much prospect of replacing their income whether resettled in the towns or the countryside.

81. The criteria have not yet been met. Based on past experience, we are not confident of the capacity of the Turkish authorities to meet conditions that would satisfy European Union standards.

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