NGOs call on World Bank not to finance the Trans Anatolian Pipeline

letterA group of 39 international NGOs sent a letter to the Directors of the World Bank (WB) today urging the Bank not to finance the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP). TANAP is the Eastern part of the Southern Gas Corridor, a 3500 kilometres-long chain of gas pipelines from Azerbaijan to Europe.

The WB Directors will consider on December 20th a loan to the Turkish company Botas for the construction of the pipeline.

NGOs express concerns about the loan, in a context of political crisis and crackdown on civil society and media in Turkey. Arbitrary arrests of thousands of people, closing of newspapers, limited freedom of civil society and continuous martial law became the normality after the attempted coup, exacerbating an already difficult context. In addition, signatories alert the WB about violations of the implementation of the World Bank’s due diligence and safeguards and therefore claim that this project should not qualify for a board’s vote.

Finally, NGOs urge the Board to at the very least postpone this discussion until:
– the martial law in Turkey is cancelled;
– the NGO legistation in Azerbaijan is modified as requested by the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI);
– and democratic participation in both countries is restored.

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