Turkey begins laying controversial pipeline to Ceyhan
Construction of the Ceyhan portion of Turkey’s Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline project commenced this week, reported Turkiye. Construction began on BTC’s Azerbaijan leg last week in Baku.
Over sixty non-governmental organizations (NGOs), most of which are European-based, have recently urged international financial institutions and bilateral export credit agencies to deny funding for the multi-billion-dollar oil pipeline, headed by British Petroleum (BP).
The BP-Turkey agreement, known as the Host Government Agreement (HGA), creates a corridor running through some of Turkey’s most politically volatile regions. The corridor would effectively be outside the national government’s jurisdiction for the 40-year lifetime of the proposed project.
The NGOs claim that the Host Government Agreement (HGA) allows the consortium building the pipeline to demand unlimited protection from Turkish security forces, without safeguards against human rights abuses.
It exempts the companies from obligations under any current or future Turkish law that may threaten the project's profits, including environmental, social and human rights legislation. The only Turkish law not superseded by the agreement is the Constitution, according to the a press release jointly published by a group of NGOs.
The 1760-kilometer venture will stretch from Baku on the Caspian Sea, through T'blisi in Georgia, to the Turkish port city of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast. Slated for completion in 2005, BTC would operate for at least 40 years. — (menareport.com)
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