Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan proposed that Greek Cypriots can also benefit from potable water provided by the ‘Peace Water’ pipeline project to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] during the inauguration ceremony of the project on Saturday.
“Hopefully with this project, our [Turkish] Cypriot brothers will be able to obtain 50 years of potable water supply. If those in the south [of the island] say, ‘We want to benefit from this water,’ we can also provide south with potable water and name it ‘Peace Water’ as well. Because, our priority is humanity,” Erdogan said during the inauguration ceremony at the Anamur Stadium in southern Mersin province.
In addition, Erdogan said that the Turkish side has always been sincere towards resolution to the Cyprus dispute and been the side that has demanded fair and sustainable environment for peace in the divided island.
The project is expected to transfer 75 million cubic metres of water in total per annum from the Alakopru Dam in Mersin’s Anamur district to the Gecitkoy Dam near the shores of Kyrenia in northern Cyprus.
Construction on the pipeline, also dubbed the “Project of the Century,” began in 2011 and was finally completed in August of this year.
The pipeline is 80 kilometres long and runs 250-metres below sea level.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, TRNC President Mustafa Akinci, TRNC Prime Minister Omer Soyer Kalyoncu and many other Turkish and Turkish Cypriot politicians.
At the ceremony, Davutoglu underlined that the project has “clamped Turkey and Cyprus in a way that will never draw apart,” adding the political philosophy behind such projects is to carry peace and justice.
“I want to repeat that we are determined and sincerely engaged for a resolution in Cyprus. Turkey sincerely wishes for negotiation process to result in a fair, comprehensive and permanent resolution,” Davutoglu said.
Speaking at the ceremony, TRNC President Akinci noted the importance of the project which, he said, will “flourish the island in green.”
“The project will not only develop the economy of TRNC, it will enable the country to stand on its own feet and become self-sufficient. TRNC will become stronger and will be able to compete with European countries,” he said.