Kurdish Human Rights Project: Earth Day 2007
Protection of one's Environment is a Human Right

24 April 2007

Following Earth Day 2007 last Sunday, KHRP would like to bring
renewed attention to the urgency of the environmental and human
rights questions in the Kurdish regions. Not only are the regions
the scene of massive repression, but the regions' environment is
also falling victim to untold destruction due to the actions of state
and corporate-sponsored development projects.

The Southeast Anatolia Dam Project (GAP), in particular the
proposed Ilisu and Cizre dams, pose serious environmental risks to
the people of Turkey, Iraq and Syria. The dam project has resulted
in the displacement and dispossession of tens of thousands of
people, most of whom are Kurds. Further, it poses a grave risk to
water supplies and threatens to make water yet another weapon of

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which was completed in 2006,
has been roundly criticized for numerous flaws in its design. There
is desperate need for increased surveillance of the line due to
doubts about the suitability of its coating and resulting concerns
about cracks and leakages. This comes in the wake of a recent
report condemning BP for its patchy safety record following a
hugely destructive oil leak in Alaska in 2006. KHRP and its partner,
the Baku-Ceyhan Campaign, continue to call for these safety
concerns to be explored and resolved. The welfare, livelihoods and
health of all those living along the pipeline are at stake.

On Earth Day it is imperative to recognize the fundamental
environmental issues these two projects have brought to their
respective regions, and their impact on the rights of the regions'
inhabitants. To mark Earth Day, KHRP Executive Director Kerim
Yildiz stated "The GAP project violates equitable access to water
rights and affects millions of people across south-east Turkey, Iraq
and Syria, while the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline poses severe
safety risks to the inhabitants of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.
This is not simply an environmental or ecological question, but a
question of fundamental human rights. KHRP calls on the Turkish
government, BP and the projects' funders to put an immediate halt
to their plans, which pose grave risks to the welfare of the regions'


Rachel Bernu/ Walter Jayawardene

Kurdish Human Rights Project 11 Guilford Street, London, WC1N
1DH Tel: 020 7405 3835 khrp@khrp.org www.khrp.org

Kurdish Human Rights Project is an independent, non-political
human rights organisation dedicated to the promotion and
protection of the human rights of all people in the Kurdish regions.
It is a registered charity, founded and based in London