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Tortum Bagbasi Hydroelectric Power Plant, Turkey


Kayen Heta Electricity Production Inc. began planning for a hydroelectric power plant construction in Bagbasi town of Erzurums Tortum district in 2009 and got its first HPP licence on 09.06.2010. Local people organized opposition demonstrations in order to get their water access rights back and prevent the negative effects of the project on local flora and fauna. During these protests 6 people were arrested and sentenced for 6 months. The first nationwide demonstration was on 05.09.2011. After the police and gendarmerie intervention to the HHP protest on 26.09.2011 15 people were banned to make contacts with other HPP protesters. As a result of these, Bagbasi Mayor resigned from his party on September 27th. Once again the project was stopped by DSI (State Hydraulic Works) inspection team upon the complaint made by Bagbasi Municipality regarding the companys disposal of excavation waste to the local stream.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Tortum Bagbasi Hydroelectric Power Plant, Turkey
State or province:Tortum District
(municipality or city/town)Bagbasi Town, Erzurum
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Water access rights and entitlements
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Electricity

Fruits and Vegetables
Live Animals
Biological resources
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Installed power 12,15 (MWe). Bagbasi HPP is derivation type hydroelectric plant which will be built on the dam head level between 1.355 m and 1.151 m of Katikli Stream.

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Type of populationRural
Affected Population:12500
Start of the conflict:2009
Company names or state enterprises:Kayen Heta Electricity Production Inc. from Turkey
PALDET Construction Contract Tourism Consultancy and Energy Production Distribution Inc. from Turkey
Relevant government actors:General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI in Turkish acronym);, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources;, Energy Market Regulatory Authority
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:No to Commercialization of Water Platform;, Brotherhood of Rivers Platform;, The Black Sea Uprising Platform;, Water Council of Turkey;, Green Party;, Republican Peoples Party (CHP)
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Street protest/marches
Showing resistance in order to prevent construction machinery from entering the area
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Soil erosion
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: displacement, Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsLoss of income, difficulties in access to water
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The project was stopped in March 2012 by DSIs inspection team who upon the complaint made by Bagbasi Municipality regarding the companys disposal of excavation waste to the local stream. HPP construction was stopped by DSIs decision that is would cause nature destruction. But this decision looks temporary. According to the various sources and DSI representatives, plant construction is stopped until excavation waste discharged to the stream bed is removed.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislationsĀ - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Law Numbered 5346 on the Utilisation of Renewable Energy Sources in Electricity Generation;

Electricity Market Law numbered 4628;

Electricity Market License Regulation (Last Updated on 03.04.2012);

Regulation on Procedures and Principles regarding the Signing of Water Use Right Agreement for production activities in the Electricity Market (26.06.2003)

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Report: Community Centres Environment and Water Report, June-September 2011 (Halk Evleri Cevre ve Su Raporu- In Turkish)
[click to view]

LinksĀ to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Radikal: HESteki gozyaslari! (In Turkish)
[click to view]

Kayi Construction
[click to view]

Cumhuriyet: Tortum, Bagbasindaki HES calismasi durdu (In Turkish)
[click to view]

SonDakika:Bagbasinda Heyelan Korkusu (In Turkish)
[click to view]

Bianet: HES Projesi AKPli Baskani Istifa Ettirdi (In Turkish)
[click to view]

Prosem Engineering:
[click to view]

Newspaper articles:

Construction Company Websites:

Bianet: Tortumda HES Mucadelesinde Dort Yarali (In Turkish)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Documentary (In Turkish) : Iste Tortumun Hikayesi (Here is the Tortums Story) 10 Minutes
[click to view]

Documentary (In Turkish English Subtitles) Iste Boyle / Damn The Dams - Trailer -3.41 Minutes
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Ekin Kurtic
Last update08/04/2014