x

Society

Turkey Begins Pumping Water

 

CAMLIBEL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday inaugurated an undersea pipeline to carry fresh water from Turkey to the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north of ethnically split Cyprus — a project which Greek Cypriot officials have decried as a Turkish ploy to cement its grip on the island.

Erdogan and other Turkish officials symbolically turned open a large valve, starting the flow of water through the 107-kilometer (66.5-mile) pipeline at a ceremony at the Mediterranean town of Anamur, before leaving for Cyprus for a second ceremony in Cyprus marking the water’s arrival.

The project is aimed to meet the north’s irrigation and drinking waters needs for the next half century, supplying around 2.6 billion cubic feet (75 million cubic meters) of water annually.

Turkey has said the water could be shared with Greek Cypriots once the island is reunified. But Greek Cypriot officials have the pipeline violates international law, serves to “integrate” the north and to “augment Turkey’s influence and control over Cyprus.”

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence and still maintains 35,000 troops in the north.

“Turkey and (north Cyprus) have been interlocked in such a way that they will never be separated,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a joyful, flag-waving crowd in Anamur.

The project comes at a time of renewed peace talks between Greek CypriotPresident Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

Akinci said the water would turn the drought-prone island into a “green island.”

“When the time comes and by increasing the volume, this water can be shared with the south too. Then it will become a true ‘water of peace,'” a reference to the name of the project.

With Turkey geared toward an election on Nov. 1, both ceremonies had the feel of an election campaign. Spectators at a water treatment plant in the north of the island broke out in a chant in support of Erdogan, who was Turkey’s prime minister when the project was initiated.

Ilhame Yildiz, 57 was among several hundred spectators who arrived at a water treatment plant in the north of the island.

“This is good for Cyprus, the government on this side can take water and the government on the other side can take water too,” said Ilhame Yildiz, 57.

Farhan Kul, a 76-year-old from Nicosia said: “If they give water to south Cyprus, this will help bring peace.”

MENELAOS HADJICOSTIS, Associated Press
SUZAN FRASER, Associated Press

Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey.

 

RELATED

NICOSIA — The UK will build a new communications facility on one of two bases it maintains on the eastern Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, a British Defense Ministry spokesman said Friday.

Top Stories

United States

JANUARY 14-17 GLENBROOK, NV – The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco 2022 Young Adult Winter Retreat ‘Citizens of the Desert: Embracing Our Role as Christian Witnesses to Our World’ takes place January 14-17, Martin Luther King weekend, at Lake Tahoe, the Galilee Camp and Conference Center, 1776 U.

Associations

CHICAGO – The Greek Women’s University Club (GWUC) celebrated the organization’s 90th anniversary and the launch of the Hellenic Revolution’s 200th anniversary with a scholarship presentation to three female students on December 29th at Jameson’s Charhouse.

Cinema

The long-awaited historical epic film My Beloved Smyrna (Σμυρνη Μου Αγαπημενη)  has arrived in Greek cinema theaters after a glamorous premiere at the Megaron - Athens Concert Hall.

Video

TNH’s Happenings of the Week by Eraklis Diamataris

The National Herald’s Happenings of the Week (Jan 8 – Jan 15) as have been reported at the print and digital editions of TNH and presented by the TNH Editor Eraklis Diamataris.