Ilısu area lands to be confiscated .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL - The Council of Ministers has decided on urgent confiscation of property in the Ilısu Dam project area last month.

The decision was put into operation Thursday. The State Waterworks Authority is charged with carrying out the expropriations. The Council of Ministers based its decision on Article 27 of the Confiscation Law, regulating urgent confiscation.
Article 27 states that urgent confiscation is possible in need of defending the country, in situations that the Council of Minister decide are urgent and in extraordinary situations outlined by special laws.

The Ilısu Dam project in southeastern Anatolia near the province of Batman has long been subject to debates. Batman’s ancient city of Hasankeyf is the focus of the debate because it will be drowned under dam water after the project is completed. Environmentalists object to the project, claiming that the dam will destroy the social and environmental atmosphere in the region. Export credit institutions from Austria, Germany and Switzerland financially support the project.
However, recently the period for Turkey to fulfill the necessary conditions for the release of the credits ended, and there has been no official statement about the conditions fulfilled or whether the credits will be released or not. Last week Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger stated in a TV program that Turkey had not yet fulfilled the criteria and Austria might withdraw from the project.