Water politics in the Middle East: The Euphrates-Tigris-Basin by Katharina Höhendinger

Water politics in the Middle East: The Euphrates-Tigris-Basin

byKatharina Höhendinger

Kobo ebook | January 14, 2008

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Seminar paper from the year 2006 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Region: Near East, Near Orient, grade: 2,0, Marmara University, course: Issues in the Middle East, 9 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Among the most important water flows in the Middle East are the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, both originating in southeastern Turkey. Turkey finds itself in a strategically strong position as the only country in the Middle East which enjoys abundant ground and surface water resources. Syria depends heavily on the waters of the Euphrates; Iraq as well is reliant upon the Euphrates, but also uses the Tigris river as an alternative source of water. Although the use of the waters by the three riparian countries has been subject to discussions since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, serious problems didn't emerge until the 1960s, when the midstream and upstream countries, Syria and Turkey respectively, initiated projects for developing the waters of the Euphrates. The most extensive and ambitious among these projects is the Southeast Anatolian Project (Güneydogu Anadolu Projesi, GAP) that involves both the Euphrates and the Tigris. Its centerpiece is the Atatürk Dam and hydroelectric power plant that also involves a major irrigation scheme. Syria and Iraq are strongly opposed to this project because they fear that Turkey's consumptive use of the Euphrates waters will disrupt both the current consumption patterns and future plans of the two downstream countries. The dispute about the project between the three countries has been going on for decades and brought Turkey and Syria to the brink of war in 1998. In this essay, first the importance of the Euphrates-Tigris basin for the water politics of the three riparian states is shown. Then the Southeast Anatolian Project and its implications for the region are described. An analysis of the conflict that emerged between Turkey, Syria and Iraq follows. While some authors seriously doubt that the dispute might lead to a serious clash including military means between the three states , others are highly concerned about this possibility . A realistic assessment of the conflict potential inherent in the dispute on the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris has to take the recent changes in the region - namely the consequences of the 2003 Iraqi War and the challenge by the United States towards Syria - into consideration. This effort is made in the concluding part of this essay.

Title:Water politics in the Middle East: The Euphrates-Tigris-BasinFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:January 14, 2008Publisher:GRIN VerlagLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:363889181X

ISBN - 13:9783638891813