Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday the construction of a dam and a hydroelectrical power plant on a historical site in southeast Turkey would continue.
Erdogan said the consortium, which undertakes Ilisu Dam the project, had found necessary financing after a group of Western export credit insurers withdrew in July 2009 financial support for the project citing that it did not meet standards on environment, preservation of cultural heritage and relocation.
"As I have been informed by the contractors, additional commercial loan had been found and the construction works for the Ilisu Dam will continue in 2010," Erdogan said.
Ilisu Dam on the River Tigris is one of the 21 dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), Turkey's biggest regional development project.
The dam will inundate the historical site at Hasankeyf in the southeastern city of Batman, an ancient city dating back 10,000 years. The site was declared a natural conservation area in 1981.
The dam will also swallow up more than 80 villages and hamlets by the time of its planned completion in 2013.