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New protests over Turkish dam

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS, Friends of the Earth International and Greenpeace UK, have joined with Kurdish Human Rights groups to condemn possible UK involvement in a US$99M funding proposal for the 540MW Yusufeli hydroelectric dam on northeast Turkey’s Coruh river. The UK ‘s export-credit-guarantee-department (ECGD) is currently considering an application for finance by the UK engineering firm AMEC. The company first requested ECGD backing for the Yusufeli dam in 1998.

The firm is part of an international consortium – led by the French construction company Spie Batignolle, of which Amec owns over 40%.

Environmentalists say the Yusufeli would displace tens of thousands of the area’s Georgian minority, disturb a diverse range of wildlife, and adversely affect monuments from the medieval era.