Turkey to Spend $5.6b Liras on Dams in Next 5 Years

Turkey will spend about 10 billion liras ($5.6 billion) over the next five years on the Southeast Anatolia Project, a chain of hydro-electric dams and irrigation systems in the mainly Kurdish southeast.

The plan would increase land under cultivation in the region more than sixfold, Sadrettin Karahocagil told reporters in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa on Nov. 10. The project, widely known by its Turkish acronym GAP, will increase farm areas to 2 million acres (809,000 hectares) when completed in 2017, Karahocagil’s office said today by telephone.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government will start allocating money for the project from the budget in 2013, ending the practice of transfers from the unemployment benefit fund. Three decades of war with autonomy-seeking Kurdish militants in the southeast has retarded economic development.

The project is also expected to create more than 3 million jobs in the southeast, where the government is offering incentives such as cheaper energy, free land and cuts in payroll taxes paid by employers, Karahocagil said. Pinar Sut Mamulleri Sanayii AS (PNSUT) is among companies planning to invest in Sanliurfa, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ali Berat Meric in Ankara at americ@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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