Environmental controversies in the Tigris and Euphrates basin countries about Turkey's dam construction in international law

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty of Law, Shahid Behehti University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: The Euphrates–Tigris river system is among the most intensely developed freshwater resources worldwide. At the center of its development are large-scale dams supplying extensive irrigation schemes and hydroelectric power plants, which substantially impact the river system’s dynamic and water quality that always objected by other riparian state. considering the lack of multilateral and comprehensive treaty between Euphrates–Tigris basin countries, To determine the extent of the rights and obligations of these countries on controversial issues, identifying of the rules of the international customary law is inevitable. On the other hand, dam construction in the basin, especially from the Turkish state has been followed by Downstream governments and has direct relation with the rights of these states and the obligations of the upstream government from international law perspective. This article seeks to identify and review the international rules governing the basin, while expressing the controversies made by the Downstream governments regarding the Turkish dam-construction.
Material and methods: In this research, The method for collecting information and data is in the form of library sources. initially, with the study of the environmental impact of turkey dam construction on downstream government of Tigris and Euphrates basin Among the documents and resources available, The law governing of this basin are identified and defined in the context of international law. The research methodology is based on dogmatic and analytical and descriptive doctrines.
Results and discussion: Identifying the rules of international law governing sharing water resources is of great importance and allows states to recognize their rights and duties as well as other neighboring states, provide the maximum protection of the environment and, ultimately, achieve sustainable development in the light of respect for international law and norms.
Conclusion: Governments are always recognized as the most important subjects of international law and the main actors in the international arena. Although the Turkish government refers to the use of the Tigris and Euphrates international rivers as absolute sovereignty, however, with regard to the constant development of international law, today the traditional perceptions and views of the absolute sovereignty of each state about the use of sharing water resources has become outdated and in accordance with the existing international law and emergence of international environmental rules, turkeys sovereignty is limited in the use of the Tigris and Euphrates international rivers


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