The Southeastern Anatolia Project (Turkish: Güneydoğu Anadolu Projesi, GAP) is a multi-sector integrated regional development project based on the concept of sustainable development for the 9 million people (2005) living in the Southeastern Anatolia region of Turkey. GAP's basic aim is to eliminate regional development disparities by raising incomes and living standards and to contribute to the national development targets of social stability and economic growth by enhancing the productive and employment generating capacity of the rural sector. The total cost of the project is over 100 billion Turkish lira (TL) (2017 adjusted price), of which 30.6 billion TL of this investment was realized at the end of 2010. The real investment (corrected value) was 72.6% for the end of 2010. The project area covers nine provinces (Adıyaman, Batman, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Kilis, Siirt, Şanlıurfa, Mardin, and Şırnak) which are located in the basins of the Euphrates and Tigris and in Upper Mesopotamia.
Current activities under GAP include sectors like agriculture and irrigation, hydroelectric power production, urban and rural infrastructure, forestry, education and health. Water resources development envisages the construction of 22 dams and 19 power plants (nine plants, corresponding to 74% capacity of total projected power output, were completed by 2010) and irrigation schemes on an area extending over 17,000 square kilometres. Seven airports have been built and are currently active. The GAP cargo airport in Şırnak, which is also the biggest in Turkey, has been completed.
The initial idea and decision to utilize the waters of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers came from Atatürk, the founder of the Republic. In the 1920s and 1930s, the need for electrical energy was a priority issue. The Electricity Studies Administration was founded in 1936 to investigate how rivers in the country could be utilized for energy production. The Administration began its detailed studies with the "Keban Dam Project" and established observation stations to assess the flow and other characteristics of the Euphrates. The GAP as it is structured today, was planned in the 1970s consisting of projects for irrigation and hydraulic energy production on the Euphrates and Tigris, but transformed into a multi-sector social and economic development program for the region in the early 80s. The development program encompassed such sectors as irrigation, hydraulic energy, agriculture, rural and urban infrastructure, forestry, education and health. With the development of new GAP Administrative structure in 1988–1989, its basic objectives included the improvement of living standards and income levels of people so as to eliminate regional development disparities (economic inequality) and contributing to national goals such as social stability and economic growth by enhancing productivity and employment opportunities in the rural sector.
Tensions between Turkey, Syria and Iraq were raised from time to time due to GAP. Syria and Iraq demanded more water to be released, while Turkey declined so as to form the dam reservoirs. Because of this GAP is one of the world's most well protected dam projects, especially against aircraft. GAP also almost came to a complete halt in the early 1990s due to the high level of Kurdish guerillas (PKK) activities in the region. The PKK is not only blamed for a number of funding cuts as funds were diverted to support the counter-terrorism effort, but is also blamed for damaging several dams and canals, as well as killing engineers working at the dams. A number of economic crises also played a very important part in the delays of GAP.
The UN embargo on Iraq (which was lifted after the Second Gulf War) had negative effects on development efforts and region's trade with Middle Eastern countries, which are its natural economic partners. Furthermore, imbalances in public financing delayed the financing needs of the project. Finally, a number of judicial questions needed clearing over the flooding of several historical sites as well as local residences as described in the "Social effect" section.
Historically, Southeastern Anatolia was located on the trading route between East and West. The region had been an important source of cultural diversity. However the changes in the trading routes and the agricultural methods ended the old importance of the region.
The 1989 Master Plan had aimed to initiate the revitalization of the economic, social and cultural life in the region through an "integrated regional development project". The rise in the income of the region was directly transferred to restoration and revitalization of the cultural activities in the region, instead of moving into the national budget. This master plan did not reach its goals because of the issues stated under the introduction section. However, for this negative perspective, with the international community involvement, project added new dimensions and concepts to the definitions.
The concerns and concepts of the environment, sustainability and participation, which were either overlooked or totally absent in the original plan has been added with the UNDP support. The revised "GAP Regional Development Plan" with a new understanding is currently in place. The macro frame of the GAP Regional Development Plan (GAP-RDP) is drawn by 8th Five-Year Development Plan coordinated with the efforts under the "Program for Transition to a Strengthened Economy" prepared as a part of the process for Turkey's accession to the European Union.
The project rests upon the philosophy of sustainable human development, which aims to create an environment in which future generations can benefit and develop. The basic strategies of the project include fairness in development, participation, environmental protection, jobs creation, spatial planning and infrastructure development. In reaching these goals the primary objective of GAP is to normalize levels of development, income, and living standards between the southeastern region and other regions of Turkey. GAP is transforming the region completely by creating economic and social opportunities and promoting business. Critical infrastructure, such as airports and highways, is being constructed to support the development of the region. GAP will provide jobs to an estimated 3.5 million people directly.(http://gradworks.umi.com/15/16/1516490.html)
GAP is estimated to double Turkey's irrigable farmland. The increase of agricultural activity of GAP in its incomplete state is visible clearly on the USDA graph above. Cotton production increased from 150,000 metric tons to 400,000 metric tons, making the region the top cotton producer. But at the same time other regions declined, which means that Turkey's overall output stayed relatively steady.
GAP is supposed to create 17,000 square kilometres (4.2 million acres) of farmland in the Harran plain alone, as visible on two USDA maps above.
Reports indicate that, due to irrigation from the Atatürk Dam, harvest yields of cotton, wheat, barley, lentils, and other grains in the Harran plain have tripled. A number of Agriculture Department backed initiatives are encouraging farmers to experiment with new varieties of fruits, vegetables, and nuts that did not exist in the region prior.
The amount of foreign trade of the region is continuously rising since 2002. In 2002, total export from the region was 689 million $ and total imports stood at 773 million $. In 2010, total exports from G.A.P. region reached 4.166 billion $, while imports reached 3.167 billion $. Since 2004 the G.A.P. region is net exporter.
GAP is being built in a region where water used to be a scarcity. With the vast number of lakes being formed, plans to use them as breeding spaces for commercial fishing are also underway. In the case of the Atatürk Dam the fishing industry in the region is already developing.
The GAP also consists of 19 hydroelectric power plants. These will supply the energy equivalent of 22% of the anticipated total nationwide energy consumption in 2010. Providing 8,900 gigawatt hours (32 PJ), it is one of the largest series of hydroelectric power plants in the world.
|Physical Realization of Energy Projects as of May 2013 |
|Name||Inst Capacity (MW)||Energy Prod (GWh/yr)||Status|
|Karakaya Dam & HEPP||1,800||7,354||In operation since 1987|
|Atatürk Dam & HEPP||2,400||8,900||In operation since 1992|
|Birecik Dam & HEPP||672||2,516||In operation since 2000|
|Karkamış Dam & HEPP||180||652||In operation since 1999|
|Şanlıurfa HEPP||50||124||In operation since 2005|
|Büyükçay Dam & HEPP||30||84||Master Plan|
|Koçali Dam & HEPP||39||187||Master Plan|
|Sırımtaş Dam & HEPP||26||87||In operation since 2013|
|Kahta Dam & HEPP||75||171||Master Plan|
|Fatopaşa HEPP||22||47||Master Plan|
|Erkenek HEPP||12||52||In operation since 2009|
|Dicle Dam & HEPP||110||296||In operation since 1999|
|Kralkızı Dam & HEPP||94||146||In operation since 1998|
|Batman Dam & HEPP||198||483||In operation since 2003|
|Ilısu Dam & HEPP||1,200||3,833||Under construction|
|Cizre Dam & HEPP||240||1,208||Programmed|
|Silvan Dam & HEPP||160||623||Under construction (70% complete as of June '17)|
|Kayser Dam & HEPP||90||341||Master Plan|
|Garzan Dam & HEPP||90||315||In operation since 2012|
Southeastern Anatolia Project consists of 22 Dams (year of completion):
The reason for the sheer number of dams in the project, more than would at first appear needed, is maintenance. Dams need to be cleaned from the debris carried with the water flow. After a while the dam becomes obsolete as water flow slows down to inadequate levels. The dams will be shut down every 5 to 10 years for fall maintenance (also called fall cleanup). Water levels are normally lowest in fall. The extra dams are placed in service during this maintenance period.
In cases of natural disasters such as floods, the maintenance may be performed earlier. The plan is to have one or two dams spare in case an emergency shutdown of any dam is necessary. While shutting down a dam also shuts down irrigation channels linked to it, it can nevertheless continue providing power.
Providing electricity and irrigation is challenging in a region as large as the one targeted by GAP. A constant flow of water is imperative.
After a large body of water is collected behind the dam a constant flow of water is then available. The height of the dam allows the water to go at a high velocity through the turbines thus generating electricity. After the fast flowing water exits the dam it is slowed down by a concrete energy dissipator (pictured). Creation of electricity is only part of the usage of the tons of water collected at the dam.
When dealing with tons of water, it has to be distributed evenly and slowly. Occasionally main channels will need maintenance, or may be damaged due to external reasons. In order to even assess the problem, tons of water need to be removed from the main channel. The best way to do this is to slow the overall flow from the main dam and redirect all water flowing originally through the damaged channel to backup channels. Radial gates serve this purpose, they regulate the flow of water. It is imperative to keep water flowing. Lack of the flow will not only compromise all irrigation linked to that channel but also all cities linked will experience a power outage.
After leaving the energy dissipator, water flows into a set of main channels, which flow in different directions supplying water to a greater area. They are the most critical part of a dam project aside from the dam itself. This is as critical as high-voltage transmission lines in power grids.
Sluice gates regulate the flow of water. If water flows too fast it will overflow and probably damage one or more of the channels, or flood irrigation fields. Multiple sluice gates regulate the speed of the flow on different sections of the channel. They can also be used like radial gates to cut water in channels.
After leaving the radial gates on the main channel, water flows to canals which are smaller and can carry less water. Flow regulators divert water on canals to distribution canals. Just like radial gates and sluice gates, flow generators can stop water flow if necessary. Distribution canals are the last step as far as engineers are concerned. It delivers water to different sections of large fields, pretty much an artificial river.
It is up to farmers to get the water from distribution channels to their crops for irrigation. There are different methods to do this; any one or a combination of earth distribution channel, furrow, and drip tubes can be used.
The latest design of the project divides the GAP into smaller projects. Each project generates its own annual reports and activity sheets.
The water resources development component of the program envisages the construction of 22 dams and 19 hydraulic power plants and irrigation of 17,000 square kilometres of land. The total cost of the project is estimated at $32 billion USD. The total installed capacity of power plants is 7454 MW and projected annual energy production reaches 27 billion kWh.
|Status of the project|
|Power capacity as of June 2013
|Power production as of June 2013
|Irrigation area as of December 2005
|Number of dams||12||2||8|
|Number of hydropower plants||6||2||10|
Currently the physical realization of the project stands at 72.6%. Government aims to complete major part of the project by the end of 2012. The amount of government investment for 2010 was around 4 billion TL, which corresponds to 14.2% of Turkey's total investment for same year.
Completion of the Ilısu Dam would cause the flooding of the ancient city of Hasankeyf whose history stretches back over 10,000 years. Investigations by the Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) found that:
Between 50 and 68 hamlets and villages will be flooded affecting approximately 25,000 local people. An additional 57 villages will have their land partially flooded.
Critics of the project say that the dam could effectively destroy the artifacts of ancient Kurdish, Armenian, and Assyrian habitation in the region.
Adıyaman Archaeological Museum (Turkish: Turkish: Adıyaman Müzesi) is an archaeology museum in Adıyaman, southeastern Turkey. It is located at the corner of Atatürk Boulevard and Cumhuriyet Avenue in the heart of the city. The museum displays archaeological finds from the area around the city, as well as from rescue excavations carried out in the course of the Southeastern Anatolia Project.Atatürk Dam
The Atatürk Dam (Turkish: Atatürk Barajı), originally the Karababa Dam, is a zoned rock-fill dam with a central core on the Euphrates River on the border of Adıyaman Province and Şanlıurfa Province in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey. Built both to generate electricity and to irrigate the plains in the region, it was renamed in honour of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938), the founder of the Turkish Republic. The construction began in 1983 and was completed in 1990. The dam and the hydroelectric power plant, which went into service after the upfilling of the reservoir was completed in 1992, are operated by the State Hydraulic Works (DSİ). The reservoir created behind the dam, called Lake Atatürk Dam (Turkish: Atatürk Baraj Gölü), is the third largest in the world.
The dam is situated 23 km (14 mi) northwest of Bozova, Şanlıurfa Province, on state road D-875 from Bozova to Adıyaman. Centerpiece of the 22 dams on the Euphrates and the Tigris, which comprise the integrated, multi-sector, Southeastern Anatolia Project (Turkish: Güney Doğu Anadolu Projesi, known as GAP), it is one of the world's largest dams. The Atatürk Dam, one of the five operational dams on the Euphrates as of 2008, was preceded by Keban and Karakaya dams upstream and followed by Birecik and the Karkamış dams downstream. Two more dams on the river have been under construction.
The dam embankment is 169 m high (554 ft) and 1,820 m long (5,970 ft). The hydroelectric power plant (HEPP) has a total installed power capacity of 2,400 MW and generates 8,900 GW·h electricity annually.
The total cost of the dam project was about US$1,250,000,000.The dam was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish one-million-lira banknotes of 1995–2005 and of the 1 new lira banknote of 2005–2009.Batman Dam
Batman Dam is one of the 22 dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project of Turkey, built on the Batman River, north of Batman, in southeastern of Turkey. It was constructed between 1986 and 1999. There is a hydroelectric power plant, established in 1998, at the dam, with a power output of 191.7 MW. The dam is designed to service an irrigation area of 37,744 ha (93,270 acres). The Silvan Dam is located upstream.Birecik Dam
The Birecik Dam, one of the 21 dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project of Turkey, is located on the Euphrates River 60 km (37 mi) downstream of Atatürk Dam and 8 km (5.0 mi) upstream of Birecik town 80 km (50 mi) west of Province of Şanlıurfa in the southeastern region of Turkey. It was purposed for irrigation and energy production. There is a run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plant, established in 2001, at the dam, with a power output of 672MW (six facilities at 112 MW each) can generate an average of 2.5 billion kWh per year. The Birecik dam is a structure consisting of a concrete gravity and clay core sandgravel fill with a height of 62.5 m (205 ft) from the foundation. It was designed by Coyne et Bellier. The total catchment area is 92,700 ha (358 sq mi). The Birecik project will be realized under the status of Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model.
The dam was built on top of the ruins of the ancient city of Zeugma. According to Bogumil Terminski (2015), the construction of the dam resulted in resettlement of approximately 6,000 people.Blue Tunnel Project
Blue Tunnel Project, is an effort to provide large-scale irrigation to arid lands of Konya Plain, in the Turkish heartland, where agriculture and wildlife are under threat.Blue Tunnel, the most important part of the Konya Plain Project, is the second-largest irrigation scheme of Turkey after the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), and aims to provide the region with a yearly 414 million cubic meters of water.Cizre Dam
The Cizre Dam is a proposed dam on the Tigris River north of Cizre, Turkey. The Cizre Dam is to be built in conjunction and downstream of the Ilisu Dam. The Cizre Dam is also one of the planned dams of Turkey's Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP). The purpose of the Cizre Dam is irrigation, hydro-power and to control the tailwaters of the Ilisu Dam.
A tender for the Cizre Dam was unsuccessfully issued in May 2008 but another issue on 15 May 2014 left Zorlu Energy as the winning bidder. The Cizre Dam will have a hydro-power capacity of 240 MW and will provide irrigation for 121,000 hectares.Devegeçidi Dam
Devegeçidi Dam is one of the 22 dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project of Turkey, Diyarbakır. It is near Diyarbakır on a branch of the Tigris river. It was constructed for irrigation purposes between 1965 and 1972.Dicle Dam
Dicle Dam is one of the 21 dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project of Turkey. These facilities are located within the provincial territory of Diyarbakır, at a distance of 50 kilometres to Diyarbakır city centre. More specifically, the dam and the hydroelectric power plant are located at a distance of 800 metres from the point of junction of the streams of Maden Stream and Dibni to form the Tigris, and 22 kilometres downstream of the Kralkızı Dam. Construction works were started in 1986 and the dam was completed in 1997. The dam has an installed hydroelectric capacity of 110 MW and is designed to ultimately irrigate 128,080 hectares. In 2001 a water transmission line and a water treatment plant were commissioned that provided about 85% of the drinking water for the city of Diyarbakir in 2010.Garzan Dam
Garzan Dam is an embankment dam on the Garzan River 9 km (5.6 mi) northeast of Kozluk in Batman Province, Turkey. It is part of the Southeastern Anatolia Project and has a primary purpose of hydroelectric power generation and irrigation. Surveys for the dam were completed in 2008, construction began in 2009 and the dam began to impound its reservoir in October 2012. The power plant has an installed capacity of 49 MW. The irrigation works remain under construction and are expected to irrigate an area of 40,000 ha (99,000 acres) when complete. The dam was awarded to FERNAS Energy Electricity Generation Co. Inc. in 2011 under a build–operate–transfer basis.Ilısu Dam
The Ilısu Dam (Turkish pronunciation: [ɯɫɯˈsu]) is a concrete-face rock-fill dam on the Tigris near the village of Ilısu and along the border of Mardin and Şırnak Provinces in Turkey. It is one of the 22 dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project and its purpose is hydroelectric power production, flood control and water storage. When operational, the dam will support a 1,200 MW power station and will form a 10.4 billion m3 reservoir. Construction of the dam began in 2006 and was originally expected to be completed by 2016. As part of the project, the much smaller Cizre Dam is to be constructed downstream for irrigation and power. The dam has drawn international controversy, because it will flood portions of ancient Hasankeyf and necessitate the relocation of people living in the region. Because of this, the dam lost international funding in 2008. Kurdish Kurdistan Workers' Party militants have also attacked infrastructure associated with the dam which led to construction delays.Karakaya Dam
The Karakaya Dam is one of the 21 dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project of Turkey, built on the Euphrates River and completed in 1987. The hydroelectric dam generates power with six units of 300 MW, totalling the installed capacity to 1,800 MW.Karkamış Dam
Karkamış Dam is one of the 21 dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project of Turkey. It is on the Euphrates River. The foundation of the dam was laid in 1996, and is 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) from the Syria border. The hydroelectric power plant has a total installed power capacity of 189 megawatts (253,000 hp).Kayacık Dam
The Kayacık Dam impounds the Ayfinar Deresi, one of the two streams that join south of Gaziantep to form the Sajur River. It is located in Gaziantep Province, Turkey. The dam was constructed between 1993 and 2005 as part of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (Turkish: Güneydoğu Anadolu Projesi, or GAP). It is 45 metres (148 ft) high and has a volume of 1,853,000 cubic metres (65,400,000 cu ft). The reservoir created by the Kayacık Dam has a surface area of 11 square kilometres (4.2 sq mi) and a volume of 0.117 cubic kilometres (0.028 cu mi) and is used to irrigate an area of 200 square kilometres (77 sq mi).Kralkızı Dam
Kralkızı Dam is one of the 21 dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project of Turkey in Batman. The hydroelectric power plant has a total installed power capacity of 94 MW. The dam was constructed between 1985 and 1997.
These facilities are located on the Maden Stream, one of the important tributaries of the Tigris River, at a distance of 81 kilometres to Diyarbakır and 6 kilometres to the township of Dicle.Silvan Dam
Silvan Dam is an embankment concrete-face rock-fill currently under construction on the Batman River in the district of Silvan, Diyarbakır Province in southeastern Turkey. It is part of the Southeastern Anatolia Project and located upstream of the Batman Dam. Construction began on 26 July 2011 and is expected to be complete in 2017. The purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power production and irrigation. It is designed to irrigate an area of 245,000 ha (610,000 acres). The power station will have an installed capacity of 160 MW.In 2014, the dam, as well as other in southeast Turkey such as the Ilisu Dam, became a prime target of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants after peace talks collapsed with the government. Attacks on the dam, supporting structures and workers are part of the PKK's efforts to stop construction. Construction of the dam was suspended temporarily late in the year.The dam is expected to be completed in 2019.State Hydraulic Works
The State Hydraulic Works (Turkish: Devlet Su İşleri) is a state agency organized under the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Turkey responsible for the utilization of all the country's water resources. The institution's four major functions are energy, agriculture, services and environment.Suruç Water Tunnel
Suruç Water Tunnel (Turkish: Suruç Tüneli is a water supply tunnel located in Suruç district of Şanlıurfa Province, southeastern Turkey. The purpose of the tunnel is to provide irrigation for the Suruç Valley from Atatürk Dam. With its length of 17.185 km (10.678 mi), it is the country's longest tunnel.Sırımtaş Dam
The Sırımtaş Dam is a gravity dam and one of the 22 dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project. It is located on the Birimşe River near the town of Alancık in Adıyaman Province, Turkey. Construction on the 92 m (302 ft) tall dam began in 2009 and was completed in May 2013. The primary purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power production and its power station has a 28 MW installed capacity.Şanlıurfa Irrigation Tunnels
Şanlıurfa Irrigation tunnels is the name of a major irrigation tunnel constructed in connection with the Southeastern Anatolia Project, a multi-sector integrated regional development project of Turkey. The tunnels were commissioned by the State Hydraulic Works authority (DSİ). The constructor was Eren İnşaat. The construction ended by 19 December 2005 and the tunnels were put into service.
Dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP)
Italics indicate dams without hydroelectric power production (HEPP)