South Eastern Anatolia (GAP) Project
This project has been described as: Dam;Hydropower
The Ilisu Dam is one of 22 dams built or planned by the Government of Turkey as part of its Southeastern Anatolia Project (Turkish acronym: G.A.P.), which is a large scale, long term initiative aimed at developing the region’s water resources. According to the project’s official website:
“The South Eastern Anatolia Project (GAP) is a multi-sector and integrated regional development effort approached in the context of sustainable development. Its basic objectives include the improvement of living standards and income levels of people so as to eliminate regional development disparities and contributing to such national goals as social stability and economic growth by enhancing productivity and employment opportunities in the rural sector. The project area covers 9 administrative provinces (Adiyaman, Batman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Kilis, Mardin, Siirt, Sanliurfa and Sirnak) in the basins of the Euphrates and Tigris and in Upper Mesopotamia.
“The GAP had originally been planned in the 70s consisting of projects for irrigation and hydraulic energy production on the Euphrates and Tigris, but transformed into a multi-sector social and economic development program for the region in the 80s. The development program encompasses such sectors as irrigation, hydraulic energy, agriculture, rural and urban infrastructure, forestry, education and health. The water resources development component of the program envisages the construction of 22 dams and 19 hydraulic power plants and irrigation of 1.82 million hectares of land. The total cost of the project is estimated as 32 billion US $. The total installed capacity of power plants is 7476 MW and projected annual energy production reaches 27 billion kWh.” 
The GAP program administration estimates that upon completion of the project, its facilities on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers will control 28% of the country’s water supply, and it expects that the project as a whole – with its other social and economic initiatives included – will boost the per capital GDP of the region fivefold. Following the Turkish tradition of comprehensive, state led development, the GAP project aims to develop not only the water resources of the region but also includes initiatives in “urban and rural infrastructure, transportation, industry education, health, housing, tourism and various other sectors.” 
As of 2005, eight of these large dams had been completed, while the others were either in the construction or planning phases. According to the GAP administration, the region has seen significant improvements in economic and health indicators since the outset of the project 
The GAP Project is overseen by the GAP Regional Development Administration, which reports directly to the Prime Minister. 
The GAP project has large ramifications for the rights and well being of Turkey’s citizens, government-periphery relations, finances, Turkish foreign policy, and international involvement in Turkish development.
- ^ "What is Gap" http://www.gap.gov.tr/english accessed May 11 2012
- ^ "History of GAP" http://www.gap.gov.tr/english accessed May 11 2012
- ^ Republic of Turkey Ministry of Development Southeastern Anatolia Project Regional Development Administration (GAP). (2006). “Latest Situation on Souteastern Anatolia Project: Activities of the GAP Administration”, Ankara. Available online at www.gap.gov.tr
- ^ “About the GAP RDA” http://www.gap.gov.tr/english accessed May 11 2012
- Inventory of Conflict and Environment (ICE) case study for the G.A.P Project — ICE database entry at American University
- Official (governmental) G.A.P Project Informational Page — (English Language Version)