WIT Press

Violations Of Water Rights, Socio-ecological Destruction And Injustice In Turkey By Hydro-electric Power Plants


Free (open access)





Page Range

147 - 158




321 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


G. Öztunalı Kayır


Water is an essential part of any ecosystem, and reduced water quantity and quality both have serious negative impacts on the ecosystems; on health as on human rights.

The UN Human Rights Fact Sheet No. 35 about water rights is our basic document. General Commentary No. 15 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights accepts within the perspective of social rights that water rights are in an inseparable relationship with the right to live, adequate nutrition, the right to health, housing right and human dignity. 41 countries, including Turkey, express reservations on the decision taken by the UN in 2010 that acknowledges water and public hygiene as a human right.

In this study, on the basis of the main principle “Water is the right of nature; water is the right of all living creatures” it is explored how the constructions of a great number of hydro-electric power plants resulting in social-ecological destruction and injustice take away local people’s and vulnerable groups’ water rights and right to live. The hydro-electric power plants, water transfer schemes which violate water rights in Turkey in collaboration with the private sectors, are analyzed from the point of social-ecological rights. Giving the examples of countries which have water rights in their constitutions, the necessity to regulate water rights in the Turkish Constitution for the purpose of protecting collective social-ecological rights of water is presented.


water rights, hydro-electric power plants, hydro-electric plants struggle, social-ecological destruction, constitutional regulation