Memorandum from S L Donovan
TURKEY AND ACCESSION TO THE EUNATURAL
Having attended several recent hearings of the
Select Committee on the position of Turkey and its desire to accede
to the EU, I make the following points.
While (in the sessions I attended) there were
comprehensive depositions from organisations concerning human
rights issues and Turkey's shortcomings in this respect, which
I accept, other issues which are importants in my view were not
touched on at all.
I consider equally relevant Turkey's achievements,
or shortcomings, as regards environmental issues. Turkey is, I
believe, perceived as a "convenient offshore" manufacturing
area as far as EU (and other) global enterprises are concerned;
an area outwith that where EU environmental constraints on industrial
I travelled in Turkey on several occasions in
the 1970s, out of both cultural and geological (my own field)
interest. This took me to fairly remote areas in both the NE and
to parts of the Taurus in the SW. I value the pristine rivers
and landscapes and agricultural produce I saw then, However, even
by the end of the 1970s it was apparent that Turkey was being
opened up and could become a free-for-all for uncontrolled manufacturing,
to its detriment.
I accept that environmental issues were touched
on in relation to these projects (memorandum, paragraphs 43-45;
I ask the Committee to take note of the need
to examine environmental issues, in the broadest sense, in relation
to Turkey's long awaited accession to the EU. Personally I hope
this will soon proceed.
I mentioned my concerns to Andrew Mackinlay
following the hearing on 13 March. I hope it is not too late for
them to be taken into account.
Major projects in Turkey in which British and
other European countries' construction and finance companies are
contractually involved have recently come to notice of those outside
Turkey. In spring 2000 a group with which I am involved made representations
to the Prime Minister and the four relevant Secretaries of State
about the damage (humanitarian, environmental, archaeological
and political) imminent as a result of construction of the Ilisu
Dam complex on the River Tigris. We objected to Turkey's failure
to observe international treaty obligations, or conditions upon
which financing was premised, and to the UK's apparent blindness
to the consequences of supporting projects of this nature.
We were especially critical of the DTI's intended
ECGD support. It appears that the same mistakes may now be made
over the Yusufeli Dam on the River Coruh in NE Turkey. Once again
our ECGD (this year with a quadrupled budget) is involved. Quite
apart from other issues, huge earth moving projects of this nature
may be judged unsustainable by today's standards.
As regards Turkey's energy needs, we believed
Britain should be supporting the development of new technologies,
such as solar energy generation, eminently suited to the Anatolian
climate, rather than damaging outdated technologies.
S L Donovan
18 March 2002
8 See evidence, pages Ev. 60-Ev. 61, paragraphs