TRADENER and the Platform against BBVA strongly rejects BBVA’s responsibility in filling the Ilisu dam in Kurdistan.

The BBVA, parapeted after its Corporate Social Responsibility, the Equator Principles and other verbiage, is presented as a bank that takes care of where it puts its money and refuses to do so in unethical projects. The falsity of this position forces us to think that it’s simply a deterrent measure that allows BBVA to act without questioning what finances and to continue making profit from illegal practices. The last case of financing the Ilisu dam in Kurdistan, the largest in Turkey, is the clear and most outrageous example.

Not that they have financed it just now, but because in these last days the Ilisu dam, once finished, has fullfilled the disaster by submerging theancient city of Hasankeyf (12,000 years) and the entire surrounding area. On top of this, Ilisu dam’s effects will be dramatic because closes the flow of the Tigris River at its entrance to Iraq, a country already heavily affected by drought, and now, to climate change, Ilisu will add this environmental and social nonsense. It will especially affect the wetlands of southern Iraq, in the Tigris Delta.

Because once again, this project lacks the approval of the inhabitants of Hasankeyf and the area, as well as bordering countries, especially Iraq. BBVA has financed a project that was already rejected in the United Kingdom for its serious impacts in 2001, and then by German, Swiss and Austrian governments and banks in 2009. Despite this, BBVA has continued to finance this project without questioning one single issue of the observations made by these banks and the financial institutions of those countries (on the other hand, entities not exempt from recognition in the matter). Nowhere will you find the questioning of the project by BBVA. He has been firm in financing Ilisu because, among others, this macroproject will bring macrobenefits to BBVA, but also because he is strongly committed to its consolidation in Turkey through the Garanti Bank, and this project also means government support.

We understand the Ilisu reservoir in a context in which Turkey does not require more energy production, but to use access to water as an instrument of pressure (weapon) to neighboring countries, as well as to exclude a large area of ​​land from Kurdish territory, suppress its road connections and eliminate their populations, as they have been doing for years. Therefore, the Ilisu dam itself has military purposes against the Kurdish people and against neighboring countries, so we also reject it.

Like Ilisu, BBVA finances other questioned and undesirable projects such as Hidroituango in Colombia, which poses a serious threat of collapse and flooding, even to the city of Medellín, or the DAPL pipeline in Dakota that crosses Sioux territory, and more and more (see complaints and funding lists on our website). Or BBVA is also the main funder of the arms industry and their export in Spain. What ethical values ​​are there in all that?

Therefore, we call for solidarity with the population of Hasankeyf and Kurdistan, to support all calls on their behalf, and we call to act against BBVA by any possible means: withdrawal of accounts, vigils, information at cash points, etc. For all these reasons we also call to support the protests that will take place on March 13th on the occasion of BBVA’s annual shareholders meeting (Euskalduna Palace, Bilbo).

This affront to people and the environment cannot be left unnoticed. This affront cannot go unpunished.

BBVA, utzi Kurdistan pakean! BBVA, leave Kurdistan alone!