The areas concerning Turkey in which Jean takes a particularly active interest are human rights, the situation of the Kurds, the Ilisu Dam and the related issues of Export Credit Agencies. Jean has called for Turkey to address its human rights situation so that its application to join the EU can proceed.
Jean meets regularly with Kurdish Groups in London and made a particular focus of the Ilisu Dam Campaign. She has also highlighted the positive role that Kurdish women can play in conflict resolution.
“There is clear evidence that the UK has been turning a blind eye to Turkish bombing missions into northern Iraq, which have killed many Kurds, including civillians. How can our Givernment call this a ‘safe’ area when people’s lives are at risk from Turkish attacks which it chooses to ignore?”
Jean Lambert MEP
Ilisu Dam Campaign
Jean is a leading voice in the campaign to halt the development of the Ilisu Dam, a controversial project on Turkey’s Tigris River that threatens to destroy the environment, the ecosystem and the Kurdish territory it runs through. Her commitment to the cause has seen her visit the historic city of Hasankeyf, which is due to be submerged by the Ilisu Dam.
Over the many years that the project has been on the drawing board, various financial backers have come and gone as ethical and moral issues have been raised. Recently, the dam acquired two new funders in the form of the Turkish banks AKBANK and GarantiBank and Jean joined a protect outside the London headquarters of AKBANK to urge them to withdraw their funding. Jean has also urged Turkey to rethink its energy policy by developing one which accords with the protection of the environment and human rights.
“The environmental and social consequences of this scheme are huge and it has immense regional implications. The project could displace some 80,000 Kurds and cause serious problems relating to the issue of water resources.”
Jean Lambert MEP