Thursday, April 28, 2011


 Diyarbakır, 22 July 2008


First launched in 1980, the South-eastern Anatolia Project (GAP) was initially conceptualized as a programme geared to the development of land and water resources in the region and it was envisaged to build 19 hydraulic power stations and 22 dams along the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, accompanied by irrigation networks covering an area of 1.8 million hectares. With the GAP Master Plan (1989) and it ensuing revision in 2002, further investments in agriculture, industry, transportation, education, health and rural/urban infrastructure were also incorporated into the project and completion date was set as 2010.

The GAP is being implemented in South-eastern Anatolia which encompasses 9 administrative provinces (Adıyaman, Batman, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Kilis, Mardin, Siirt, Şanlıurfa and Şırnak). The size of area and population of this region corresponds approximately to 10% of the territory and population of the country as a whole.

Considering GAP investments in irrigation, it is observed that priority is given to water storage facilities (i.e. dams). Along this line, so far 15 dams were completed and a capacity to irrigate an area of about 1 million hectares was created. As of 2008, 272,972 hectares of land in the basin of the Euphrates and Tigris have been brought under irrigation. In other words only 15% of envisaged investments in irrigation could be actually realized. In energy investments, on the other hand, the rate of realization is 75%.



As published in Radikal 2 newspaper on 03/01/2010

Bugün Diyarbakır!
Panzer tanks are a permanent part of Diyarbakır ’s streets

Two days left till 2010. Diyarbakır ’s very sad today.  I worked at the office till noon, and went shopping to get New Year’s gifts for the kids at my lunch hour. I went to the Ofis neighbourhood via the Lise street.  Ofis  was crowded as usual, but you could see the lack of morale prevailing the city. This new year’s there’s no New Year’s Joy in Diyarbakır ...
A few kids selling gum surrounded me as I walked. “Big sister, buy some gum” they said. I asked “Are you in school?” “Yeah”, he said. “How much is this gum?” “ 100 kurus sister” “How many do you sell per day” “Usually 5, but on a good day I sell 10”. “What do you do with the 5 kurus you earn?”  “I buy bread, sister...”


As published in Birikim magazine, number 254, 2010

                On the 1st of February, the story of Asliye and Zeynep who died on the road to buy books, appeared in the daily papers as a small 'fait divers'. Asliye and Zeynep drowned while walking in Capakcur Stream because they did not have 1 TL to pay for the bus travel. This incident is not an exception in East Anatolia. The news about children from Agri trying to cross a river with temperatures of – 10 degrees was in the papers a few months ago. Because of the lack of schools in rural areas, in many parts of East Anatolia children are separated from their families and study at Regional Boarding Schools or cross rivers in order to reach their schools.
                Living conditions in rural areas on the east side of Euphrates are very difficult. Sometimes it is even sometimes impossible to cover the very basic needs. Education is one of them. In some of the villages there are no schools and most of the schools do not have enough classrooms. First graders and fifth graders are lectured in the same classroom. The teacher has to divide his time for all pupils of different age groups within one class hour. The physical conditions of schools are very bad. Although most of those villages are under snow 6 months a year, there are no efficient systems for heating. Children lack the basic educational materials for their schooling. Last summer in the villages of Tatvan and Egil we organized painting workshops for children and I noticed that children saw crayons for the first time in their lives.