The text of the statement issued by these civil society organizations reads the following:
“The treaties to share river water are considered a very important issue in international relations and good neighborliness between the countries that share the water of the rivers that cross their lands. It is also a matter of human rights par excellence because it expresses respect for the rights of the peoples of these countries by all the countries involved. The issue of water strongly expresses the water needs of people in their economy, food and beverages. “
In recent years, Turkey has taken advantage of the disastrous conditions in Syria and started diverting water from the Euphrates River to the dams it recently built within its borders. This policy resulted in water shortages in the Euphrates River reaching Syria and Iraq, as the water level dropped sharply from about 600 m3 below the level sufficient for irrigation and the extraction of drinking water of 200 m3 according to the last Syrian-Turkish agreement signed in 1987, which reflects the life of the communities that depend on the Euphrates River in the Syrian Jazirah and in Iraq in a catastrophic impact, especially since the dry season began in the two countries. In addition, the specialists confirmed the amount of damage that would be caused to the pumps and projects built on the river.
More than 4 million people live in the Syrian region of al-Jazirah. They are completely dependent on water from the Euphrates for agriculture, industry, generating electricity from the Euphrates, Tishreen and al-Baath dams, and for drinking water. Residents have started to suffer from water shortages in spring, summer and fall due to the oppressive extraction of water from the Euphrates by the Turkish authorities, from where the Euphrates River originates. In light of the drought caused by the lack of rain for this year, Turkey’s exceeding Syria and Iraq’s allocations for Euphrates water will have a disastrous impact on the livelihoods of the residents of these areas.
The Turkish government should consider its policies towards the countries and comply with the water distribution treaties with Syria and Iraq for the sake of equitable distribution of water resources, especially since the inhabitants of these areas are already suffering major disasters due to difficult conditions, the outbreak of the epidemic and the deficiency of health institutions in their areas due to the problem of water shortage to increase their suffering worsened for years.
We in civil society organizations condemn and denounce the actions of the Turkish government, and call on the United Nations and the international community to effectively pressure the Turkish government to adhere to the rules of sharing water. and consider the needs of the communities in Syria and Iraq and not threaten the already fragile lives of the populations, especially as we are on the brink of a long season of dehydration.