Turkey finishes underwater pipeline to Northern Cyprus

'Dream project' cost 492 million euros

10 August, 12:59

    (ANSAmed) - NICOSIA, AUGUST 10 - The final section of an underwater pipeline that will make it possible to transport millions of cubic meters of water from Turkey to Northern Cyprus, occupied by Turkish troops since 1974, has been completed. The pipeline is the first underwater pipeline between the mainland and an island in the world and will address a chronic water shortage suffered by Turkish Cypriots. Local media have called it a 'dream project'. The announcement, reported the Turkish-Cypriot broadcaster BRT, was made on Friday by Turkish forestry and water affairs minister Veysel Eroglu, who said that water would begin to arrive on the island starting in October. The pipeline is made of sections of plastic material welded together and suspended about 200 meters under the sea using steel stay rods anchored to the sea bed. It is 107 kilometers long and will transport water from the Alakopru dam on the Anamur river, in the Mersin region on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, to Northern Cyprus. The water will then be pumped and collected in a dam built for the express purpose over the past two years near the Gecitkoy village, close to the Kyrenia tourist resort on the northern coast of Cyprus. The ambitious project, called 'Baris Su' ('Water of Peace') cost a total of 1.5 billion Turkish lira, the equivalent of 492 million euros. The General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI) was tasked with the project, which will bring to the island about 75 million cubic meters of water every year and meet the water needs of the northern section of Cyprus for the next 50 years.

    About 60 million cubic meters of water will be used for field and crop irrigation and the rest distributed throughout the hydraulic system as drinking water. Eroglu said that projects for cable-based electricity supply to Cyprus were being drawn up. The Turkish minister added that, if the talks underway for the reunification of the island proved successful, the water would be shared with the Greek-Cypriot residents of the Republic of Cyprus in the southern part of the island, the only part recognized at the international level. Several Greek-Cypriot political representatives have however long criticized the building of the pipeline, saying that it is an attempt by Ankara to bolster its influence in the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)', which is recognized only by Turkey. Cyprus was been divided since 1974, after Turkish military intervention to protect the Turkish-Cypriot minority after a failed coup d'état by nationalist Greek-Cypriots planning to annex the island to Greece. (ANSAmed).

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