President Ersin Tatar’s message on 10th anniversary of foundation-laying of Alaköprü Barrage -- which forms part of the ‘Project of the Century’

President Ersin Tatar issued a written message in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the foundation-laying of the Alaköprü Barrage in Anamur, Turkey, saying that the Turkish Cypriots “share the same excitement and contentment” because the 80km long undersea pipeline today transports 75 million cubic metres of fresh water from the barrage to the drought hit TRNC resolving the water shortages. He emphasised the importance of support attributed by Republic of Turkey to the TRNC – indicating that the barrage is part of the ‘Project of the Century’. 

President Tatar also took the opportunity to commemorate the birthday of former President, Dr. Derviş Eroğlu – who was President in 2009 when the foundation-laying of the barrage had taken place.

The message of President Tatar states:

“I was serving as Minister of Finance in the Cabinet of Dr. Derviş Eroğlu in 2009, when the acquisition of water from Turkey to the TRNC project was listed in the Government programme. Some had claimed during that period that this project was “nothing more than a pipe dream that will never materialize”. However, Dr Eroğlu attributed great importance to the project. Later on, the Prime Minister at that period, Mr İrsen Küçük, also afforded great importance to this project with us. This project was speedily initiated with great belief and faith and finalised as a result of the great support and attention of Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Known as the ‘Project of the Century’, the project was completed and found life in October 2015 – and will meet the water demand of the TRNC for 50 years.   Motherland Turkey has given us the water that we need, just like she has sacrificed lives, blood and never withholding support and assistance for the Turkish Cypriot people. Our people and drought hit soil embraced the fresh water of Anatolia. We no longer have water shortages today, and are debating as to how the fresh water can be distributed to Güzelyurt and the Mesaoria Plain. We should remember as to what we have endured in the past and in what circumstances we arrived to the current position. 

As I commemorate the anniversary, I would like once again to thank Motherland Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and to all the workers who laboured very hard for this project and I express our gratitude on behalf of myself and the Turkish Cypriot people.”