Armed attack on Ilisu dam workers in Turkey; construction halted
A series of events including dismals, an armed assault, injuries and arson, have forced workers to run away from the controversial Ilisu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant construction site
On the 19th of June, five workers were dismissed from work by the Malamira company that employs most of the workers at the dam construction site. It replaced other companies at the Ilısu Project when construction resumed in December 2014 at Ilısu village in Dargeçit district in Mardin province. While meeting with company managers on behalf of the dismissed workers and to present demands for unionization, workers were fired upon by the bodyguards of the employers and the project director. The injured workers are receiving treatment hospitals.
In response to this, other workers and relatives of the injured – some of whom live in villages close to the Ilısu Dam – proceeded to company office and set fire to offices, heavy equipment and vehicles of the company. As the protest grew, a large number of armored vehicles, special forces, riot police, water canons and soldiers were dispatched to the Ilısu Dam construction site.
Because of these events, approximately 1000 workers did not work and returned to their places of residence with their luggage. Currently, construction work at the Ilisu Dam has been halted.
The Ilisu Project was halted in the summer of 2014 following the intervention of PKK (HPG) guerrillas, and construction began again with the engagement of Malamira company in December 2014. “Malamira’s participation in the Ilısu consortium despite the ongoing high potential for local conflicts, shows that in pursuit of profit this company did not take into consideration the social, ecological and political risks of the project”, says Ercan Ayboga of Batman based Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive.
Photo credits: DIHA (Tigris News Agency)