Turkey to begin supplying water to Northern Cyprus

The Water Supply Project will provide the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with water for the next 50 years

The Water Supply Project will provide the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with water for the next 50 years

ANKARA - Turkey will begin transferring water to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Turkey's forestry and water minister Veysel Eroglu said on Friday.

"Water will be supplied to Northern Cyprus as part of 'The Northern Cyprus Water Supply Project' on the anniversary of the July 20 Cyprus Peace Operation," Eroglu told a press conference held at the ministry in Ankara.

The Water Supply Project will provide the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with water for the next 50 years. 

The investment cost of the Alakopru and Gecitkoy dams for the Northern Cyprus Water Supply Project are close to 80 million Turkish lira ($36.6 million) and the project will supply around 130 million cubic meters of water to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus every year, the minister said.

Underlining that the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs invested 78 billion Turkish lira ($33 million) over the last 12 years in Turkey, Eroglu said a total of 2,361 facilities have been constructed during this period. He added that 3.25 billion young trees have been planted by the ministry over this same period.

Pointing out that Turkey’s hydroelectric energy potential is 168 billion kilowatts per hour, Eroglu said hydroelectric power dams cause no harm to the environment and they actually prevent erosion and floods.

“Electricity prices in Turkey remain the same thanks to these dams, as we import less natural gas to produce electricity,” the minister said. 

"The Ilisi Dam will be completed in 2015, Sivan Dam in 2017, Yusufeli Dam in 2019 and 182 new dams will also be constructed," he said, referring to the ministry’s aims between for the 2015-2019 period.

He added that in 2015, as part of the Southeastern Anatolia Project, 1,903 square miles will be available for irrigation and another 4,085 square miles of agricultural area will be available in 2019.

While the European Union recognizes the Greek Cypriot administration on the island, only Turkey recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus diplomatically.

The negotiations between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots resumed after a two-year pause in February 2013. The previous round of talks collapsed in 2012.

However, the Greek-Cypriot administration suspended the talks over the divided island on Oct. 7, 2014, after Turkey sent a ship to monitor an oil-and-gas exploration mission off the coast of Cyprus.

Copyright © 2015 Anadolu Agency