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Yesterday's announcement by Turkish prime minister Erdogan, to restart construction of the Ilisu dam, does not come as a surprise to dam critics. "All along it has been clear that the missing financing will only delay the project. The decisive factor if 'Ilisu' will be built is if the public resistance in Turkey gets so strong that the government ultimately has to give in – and this resistance continues“, said Ulrich Eichelmann from the Stop Ilisu Campaign.
Erdogan announced that the missing funding for the project was now assured. Effectively it appears quite certain that additional credit of 300-350 million Euro will come from the Turkish banks Akbank and Garanti Bank. Even so, these banks have not signed any official contracts yet. The withdrawal from the project by European export credit agencies (ECAs) and banks in July 2009 left a financing gap of 400-450 million Euro in total.
In contrast to this, the Chinese ambassador in Ankara declared, that China did not intend to support the Ilisu project. In recent months rumours had appeared repeatedly, that the Chinese ECA “Sinosure“ could replace the European ECAs and provide the necessary export guarantees.
"It is a long way to the final decision, if “Ilisu“ will be built – also after the 5th such announcement by Mr Erdogan. The resistance against this project continues, and we will ultimately stop it.“, added Mr Eichelmann.