Construction interrupted for friendship dam along Turkey-Syria border

June 29, 2011, Wednesday/ 16:39:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES

The construction of a dam on a river that flows from Syria to Turkey has been further delayed due to protests in Syria, which have been going on for three months in an attempt to break President Bashar al-Assad's iron grip on power.

According to the State Waterworks Authority (DSİ), progress has been slow on the dam, the construction of which started on Feb. 6 of this year on the Orontes (Asi) River. The beginning of construction of the dam, dubbed “the dam of friendship, was long delayed amid disagreements on technical details.

On Jan. 7, 2010, it was announced that both countries had agreed to build the dam. In the course of the discussions held afterwards, they decided to use the dam exclusively for purposes of irrigation purposes and flood prevention. After its completion, it will be possible to irrigate 13,334 hectares of land.

However, the completion of the dam requires that both Turkey and Syria to sign a protocol, which has been postponed. DSİ workers have been trying to complete the construction of a road near the dam.

Antakya's Agricultural Chamber Chairman Abdulhay Denizli said that the construction of the dam carries importance for the Amik Plain.

“But our neighbor is in a difficult situation. It is not right to expect something from them under the circumstances. There is no work being done due to the events in Syria,” he said as quoted by the Anatolia news agency.

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