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
NameTortum Bagbasi Hydroelectric Power Plant, Turkey
ProvinceTortum District
SiteBagbasi 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 CommoditiesFruits and Vegetables
Live Animals
Biological resources
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsInstalled 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.

It consists of 2.066 meter long CTP (closed throttle position switch) pressurized pipeline, 11.281 meter long U-PVC pipeline, forebay pool, 356 meter long penstock pipe and a plant operation building.

Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population12500
Start Date2009
Company Names or State EnterprisesKayen Heta Electricity Production Inc. from Turkey
PALDET Construction Contract Tourism Consultancy and Energy Production Distribution Inc. from Turkey
Relevant government actorsGeneral Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI in Turkish acronym);, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources;, Energy Market Regulatory Authority
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersNo to Commercialization of Water Platform;, Brotherhood of Rivers Platform;, The Black Sea Uprising Platform;, Water Council of Turkey;, Green Party;, Republican Peoples Party (CHP)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationLawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Street protest/marches
Showing resistance in order to prevent construction machinery from entering the area
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-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
OtherLoss of income, difficulties in access to water
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.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

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)


Report: Community Centres Environment and Water Report, June-September 2011 (Halk Evleri Cevre ve Su Raporu- In Turkish)
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Radikal: HESteki gozyaslari! (In Turkish)
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Kayi Construction
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Cumhuriyet: Tortum, Bagbasindaki HES calismasi durdu (In Turkish)
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SonDakika:Bagbasinda Heyelan Korkusu (In Turkish)
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Bianet: HES Projesi AKPli Baskani Istifa Ettirdi (In Turkish)
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Bianet: Tortumda HES Mucadelesinde Dort Yarali (In Turkish)
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Prosem Engineering:
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Newspaper articles:

Construction Company Websites:

Media Links

Documentary (In Turkish) : Iste Tortumun Hikayesi (Here is the Tortums Story) 10 Minutes
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Documentary (In Turkish English Subtitles) Iste Boyle / Damn The Dams - Trailer -3.41 Minutes
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorEkin Kurtic
Last update08/04/2014