The Turkish government has agreed to support the World Commission on Dams’ study of the Aslantas dam and the Ceyhan river irrigation and hydro power system.

The scheme was conceived as part of a river basin development plan put forward in the mid 1960s, following an extensive study managed by the General Direcotorate of State Hydraulics Works (DSI) and American company IECO. Funding for the 78m high earthfill dam was obtained in part through loans from the World Bank. The project aimed to promote irrigation of 97,000ha of land, control damaging floods and generate hydro power with an installed capacity of 128MW.

The Turkish case study is the seventh of ten such studies that WCD is undertaking in preparation of its final report in June 2000. Commenting on this deadline, WCD chair Kader Asmal said: ‘Given the time pressure we face in producing our report, we would like to express our appreciation for the favourable response we received from the Government of Turkey to our request for co-operation.

‘Turkey is a country that has extensive dam building history with over 600 dams, and many more are under construction or planned. The Commission can learn a lot from this experience,’ Asmal added