Multimedia Collection

Thirsting for War

50 minutes
HD1698 .M53 T45 2001

Water, one of life's necessities, is becoming a source of conflict on a global scale, much like oil. This film takes a comprehensive look at the struggle for control of water in the Middle East, specifically in Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Thirsting for War explores the political and economic dimensions of the growing tension in the region with great clarity. It is also sensitive to the personal dimension of these problems, including interviews with the displaced and suffering.

The Euphrates River runs from Turkey through Syria to Iraq. Its headwater is in Turkey which controls its flow through the other countries. Turkey's politicians argue that they have sovereignty over the water, ignoring prior claims of Syria and Iraq.

Turkey hopes to become the economic colossus of the region and sees their gigantic dam project, GAP, as a prime development and political opportunity. As Turkey pumps more water onto Turkish farmland and diverts it into dam projects, Syria and Iraq, both of whom need water for their crops, point an accusing finger.

It is not only Turkey's projects that have caused environmental and social problems. Saddam Hussein's government has diverted water to the Saddam Dam, destroying farmland along the Tigris and Euphrates, causing lowered water levels, pollution and contributing to growing numbers of cholera victims.

The last conference on water between these three heavily-armed countries occurred in 1993. Unfortunately, Turkey pulled out before an egreement was reached.

Distributed by Filmakers Library.

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