WAC President’s Letter to Council of Europe regarding Ilisu Dam, Turkey.


WORLD ARCHAEOLOGICAL CONGRESS

PRESIDENT’S OFFICE

President: Professor Martin Hall

Centre for Higher Education Development

University of Cape Town

Rondebosch 7700

South Africa

Telephone: +27 -21-6502645

Fax: +27 -21-6505055

mhall@ched.uct.ac.za

Mr Walter Schwimmer

Secretary General

Council of Europe

Palais de l’Europe

F- 67075

Strasbourg Cedex

France

Fax: 0033 388 41 27 99

President of the Parliamentary Assembly

Council of Europe

Palais de l’Europe

F- 67075

Strasbourg Cedex

France

Fax: 0033 388 41 27 96

21 January 2002

Dear Sirs,

Urgent: Document 9301 – Report on the Cultural Aspects of the Ilisu Dam Project, Turkey

The World Archaeological Congress draws your urgent attention to inaccuracies and misrepresentations in a report of the cultural heritage committee of the Council, to be presented to the general meeting of the parliamentary assembly in Strasbourg. The errors in this report have serious implications for cultural rights in Turkey and it would be unfitting and compromising were the Council to be associated with its recommendations.

WAC has prepared a first response to the report, highlighting the principle difficulties that it presents: this response is attached. We would be pleased to provide a full review at a later point or recommend further sources of information.

The Ilisu dam remains of the utmost concern, not least because the Turkish authorities have insisted on pressing ahead with it, despite the volumes of evidence and the opinion of professional organisations such as WAC, ICOMOS Turkey and others that the project would be disastrous for those most affected, economically, socially and culturally.

The Council’s work in the area of human rights need hardly be mentioned and we recall in particular the 1999 interim resolution on human rights in Turkey. The current importance of considering these rights with regard to Turkey’s process of accession to the EU is also widely acknowledged. Consequently, the World Archaeological Congress urges the Parliamentary Assembly to repudiate Document 9301.

Yours sincerely,

Martin Hall

President

World Archaeological Congress

Cc: Mr Bruno Haller

Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly

Council of Europe

Palais de l’Europe

F- 67075

Strasbourg Cedex

France

FAX: 0933 388 41 2745

Cc: Christopher Grayson

Head of Secretariat

Culture, Science and Education

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Palais de l’Europe

F- 67075

Strasbourg Cedex

France

FAX: 0033 388 41 2797

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