Turkey inaugurates Ilisu Dam power plant on Tigris River
Turkey launched the first of the six power turbines on the Ilisu Dam in the south-east on Tuesday, with the dam expected to be fully operational by the end of the year. The 135-metre-high dam on the Tigris river has an annual power generation capacity of 4.1 billion kilowatt hours, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a videoconference.
Turkey on Tuesday commissioned the first tribune of the power plant at the mega Ilisu Dam on the Tigris River in the southeastern Mardin province.
"The wind of peace, brotherhood and prosperity that will blow from the Ilisu Dam will be felt in these lands for centuries," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told the ceremony which he attended via a video link.
Turkey has built 585 more dams since 2002, the president said, emphasizing the nation's revolution in renewable energy.
The new dam is expected to contribute 2.8 billion Turkish liras (over $413 million) to the Turkish economy, Erdoğan said.
"By discharging the water collected here to the Cizre Dam, which we will soon build, we will both generate 1.1 billion kilowatt/hour energy and irrigate 765,000 decares of land," he added.
The Ilisu Dam stands 135 meters (442 feet) high and the total water storage volume is 10.6 billion cubic meters (374.3 cubic feet), making it the country's second-biggest dam.
Erdogan also said a tribune will be put into service every month, bringing the Ilisu Dam into full capacity by the end of the year.
"The Ilisu Dam cost a total of 18 billion Turkish liras (some $2.64 billion), including the resettlement, protection of historical and cultural assets, construction, and other expenditures. All historical and cultural assets, especially Hasankeyf, which are the most misrepresented during the construction of the dam, have been carefully preserved," he added.
Turkey relocated many historic cultural assets in Hasankeyf, which sits on the banks of the Tigris River. People in the region were also resettled.
It was declared a conservation area in 1981, and it is also home to a Byzantine fortress as well as nearly 6,000 caves that surround the town and contain the remnants of Christian and Muslim worshipers.