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Turkey has proved to be one of the fast developing countries until the end of 2013. The economic boom, that started to stagnate by 2014, was accompanied by a very large construction activity. Turkey is a country where major earthquakes took / still take place. The new intense construction activity was called “urban transformation” by the government and the claim was to replace the worn building stock that cannot survive strong earthquakes. As the transformation developed, it turned out this building activity was more meant for excessive profit and not better urban environments. Cities of high historical significance like Istanbul were affected by this fierce, ruthless construction activity. The skylines of various neighborhoods in Istanbul started to be disrupted by high-rise buildings; some communal green areas were relentlessly sacrificed for inhumane housing projects.

The same government, which laid the foundations to this profit based construction, also allowed many private companies (that are very well connected to the state) initiate hundreds of hydroelectric power plant (HEPP) projects all around Turkey. The strategy is the same: Start tens of projects concurrently at once, including illegal attempts, so that activists who are the only ones to protect the nature can obstruct only a few, due to limitations of time and means. In addition, the unnecessary and superfluous number of HEPP constructions causes excessive man-made land transformation and irreconcilable devastation in nature, therefore leads to disorder and/or loss in microclimate, flora, fauna, agriculture and consequently income.

The government claims that all these HEPPs are built for the energy need of the economically growing country. If we look at the percentage of hydroelectric power generation in leading developed countries from various continents of the world, which started to deploy renewable energy sources like sun and wind, we can see that the fraction of almost outdated HEPP technology in total energy production is quite minimal: 3.5% in Germany, 4% in Japan and 6.4% in the U.S. While the gain is so minimal the loss is massive: Collapse of indigenous ecosystems, deficiency of fertile lands, increase in temperature and humidity due to decrease of water flow rate to the point stagnancy, increase in methane emission as a greenhouse gas, catastrophical aftermaths like demolition of dams after disasters such as earthquakes or floods, loss of motherland, reminiscences and memories due to population transfer after relocation of settlements to be inundated by the huge dam lakes.

The real friends of water, who have direct access to water in rural areas, and activists are convinced that HEPP constructions are mainly intended for privatization of water rights, and not energy production. The hopeful part is that there is fortunately a lot of local resistance originating from native activists and others coming from metropolises to support them.

This series is an ongoing study, it has already eaten a relatively large amount of self-sponsored budget and some geographical locations in Turkey could not be covered. There is need for financial support in order to be able to make this investigation sustainable. The fact that the initial phase of the study was exhibited very recently (exhibition opened on the 25th of March, 2015) gave me the hope that I could be the voice of the local activists, help them disseminate the severity of the situation and finally raise awareness by attracting national and international attention to this matter.

Next wars will be fought over water, not oil.

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Ülkemizde ekonomiyi canlı tutmak için canhıraş bir inşaat etkinliği başlatıldı ve sürdürülüyor. Bir cihette kentsel dönüşüm furyası üzerinden yürütülen bu inşaî eylem, ortaya çıkan fiyatlara ve mutenalaştırılan semtlere bakılırsa, depreme dayanıklılıktan çok ranta odaklanıyor. Diğer cihette ise, tüm ülke sathında şimdiye kadar görülmemiş bir yoğunlukta, HES (hidroelektrik santrali) inşaatları bitmiş ya da başlatılmış durumda. Ülkenin enerji ihtiyacına cevap vermesi mazeretiyle, el değmemiş doğanın ortasına kondurulan bu büyük insan yapısı oluşumların getirileri ne yazık ki götürülerinden fazla değil. Dünyanın önde gelen ekonomilerine sahip olan, şimdilerde rüzgar ve güneş enerjisine geçiş yapan gelişmiş ülkelerde, görece çağ dışı teknoloji olarak görülen hidroelektrik üretimin toplam enerji üretimi içinde çok küçük bir yüzde kapladığını görüyoruz: Japonya’da %4, Almanya’da %3.5, A.B.D.’de ise %6.4. Yapılan bilimsel çalışmalar, küresel ölçekte, bu yüzdenin ortalama %5 civarında seyrettiğini, istisnaî durumlarda %10’a kadar yükselebildiğini gösteriyor.

Kazanç bu kadar düşük iken, kayıp ise hayli yüksek: Yerel ekosistemin çöküşü, verimli arazi kaybı, su akış debisinin azalmasından kaynaklanan sıcaklık ve nem artışı, bir sera gazı olan metan salınımının artması, afet vakalarında katastrofik sonuçlar, mecburi nüfus tehciri yüzünden anıların, belleğin, aile ocağının yitimi…

Suyun gerçek yakınları, HES’lerin aslen enerji için inşa edilmediğini, gelecekte kamusal su haklarının özelleşmesine zemin sağlayacakları uyarısını yapıyorlar. İleriki yıllarda savaşlar petrol değil suya erişim için yapılacak!