Power plants and dams destroy natural habitat in Lake Van basin

Power plants and dams built in the centre and districts of Van province cause mass death of thousands of species, especially the pearl mullet.

The basin of Lake Van is home to very diverse animal and plant species. There are hundreds of large and small streams and creeks in the basin. The swamps and reeds around these streams constitute a very rich habitat with breeding and feeding sites for species, but in recent years, they have been facing destruction due to corrupt policies.

The power plants and dams established along many streams and creeks in Van's Erciş, Muradiye, Gevaş and Gürpınar districts are destroying the natural habitat of various species. Moreover, the migratory routes of species are blocked due to stream improvements.

Power plants kill natural life

In the last few years, the AKP has built more than 40 power plants and dams around Lake Van to make profits for its supporters in the region. The AKP government, which destroyed a large part of the region for the sake of profit, continues to destroy the rest of the natural habitat gradually. Most of the streams originating in the mountains of Van's Erdîş, Çardêran (Çaldıran), Bêgir and Westan districts and flowing into Lake Van have dried up thanks to the power plants and dams built along these streams. Thousands of animal and plant species in stream beds have thus become extinct.

Power plants cause mass death of fish species

Originating in the Zîlan region of Erciş, the Zîlan Stream is home to numerous endemic species and living creatures, especially the Pearl Mullet. Pearl mullets, which migrate between April 15 and July 15, migrate to the Zîlan Stream and lay their eggs. Due to the power plants and dams on the Zîlan Stream, the stream water is poisoned, and the bed of the stream dries up. Thus, pearl mullet fish, which cannot migrate, cannot lay their eggs. Moreover, migratory routes are closed due to obstacles around the stream. Therefore, thousands of fish die on the migratory routes.

A power plant brings damage to the Bendîmahi Stream passing through Çaldıran and Muradiye districts. The power built in the Bendîmahi Stream, which is one of the creeks where pearl mullets migrate and is a breeding site for them, causes mass mortality of fish.

Reed fields burned

The AKP government, which has destroyed hundreds of thousands of species for the sake of profit, has been systematically burning the reeds, which are the breeding and feeding sites for thousands of species in the Lake Van basin. The fires which break out and last for days around the reed fields are not extinguished on purpose, killing thousands of living creatures.

The reeds in the Gölağzı neighbourhood of Erciş have been burned several times in the last few years. In May, a reed field on the shore of Lake Van in Gölağzı district was burned twice. Thousands of animals died in the fire that lasted for days.