No: 228, 4 July 2014, Press Release Regarding the Amount of Water That Turkey Releases from the Euphrates River

The reports and comments, which have been published in several media outlets, alleging that Turkey has cut off or reduced the water of the Euphrates River are unsubstantiated.

As it was expressed on many occasions previously, Turkey has never reduced the amount of water released from its transboundary rivers for political or other purposes throughout its history. This is also valid for the period of instability and crisis that our region is presently going through.

Turkey approaches the water issue solely from a humanitarian perspective and attaches great importance to the water needs of the Turkish people and the people of the neighboring countries.

On the other hand, lately our region has been facing a heavy drought. The climate change plays a great role in this phenomenon. Besides, this year has been reported as the driest season recorded since 1961 in our country.

Despite the severe drought and the fact that the amount of natural water flowing into its dams in the last 12 months was approximately 297 cubic meters per second, Turkey has released during the same period 599 cubic meters per second on average from the Euphrates to Syria and Iraq.

Whereas Turkey aims at releasing the necessary amounts of water in the upcoming period, depending on climate conditions and drought one should consider that there might be decrease in some periods in the released amount of water and therefore take the necessary precautionary measures.

On the other hand, it should not be forgotten that the claims of water shortage in Syria and Iraq stems from the wastage of the limited water resources in the said countries as well as the struggle between the conflicting parties to control these resources and to exploit the water issue for their own purposes.

Turkey is always ready to enhance cooperation with the neighboring countries to use the transboundary waters resources in an equitable, reasonable and optimum manner and to manage these resources with an integrated approach.