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Turkey Starts Building Water Pipeline to Northern Cyprus

Turkey started construction on a pipeline under the Mediterranean Sea to supply fresh water to northern Cyprus, a Turkish journal said today without citing anyone.

Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay and Irsen Kucuk, prime minister of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot republic, attended the ground-breaking ceremony in the province of Mersin on Oct. 13, said the Journal of Turkish Weekly, published online by the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization.

The 107-kilometer (67-mile) pipeline will run from Alakopru dam near Anamur on the Mediterranean to a dam that will be built in Gecitkoy in northern Cyprus. It’s expected to be operational by March 2014, the Turkish Weekly said.

When done, the pipeline could also supply water to the southern Greek Cypriot side should the island be unified, the Turkish government has said. The line is designed to carry 75 million cubic meters (19.8 billion gallons) of water a year to northern Cyprus. Cyprus has been divided between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkish-held northern part since 1974.

Turkey also plans to provide electricity to northern Cyprus through underwater cables that will run parallel to the water pipeline. “We intend to complete the electricity-transmission project at about the same time as the water project,” the Turkish Weekly quoted Atalay as saying.

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