Turkish water to north turned off as pipeline snaps

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One of the world’s longest water pipelines carrying reserves from Turkey to the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus has sustained serious damage after it snapped.

Turkish authorities said the water supply to the north through the pipeline has come to a halt.

According to Turkish online newspaper T24, a section of the 80-kilometre water pipeline was detached from its base under the Mediterranean Sea and came to the surface where it snapped in two.

The incident happened just 7-8 km off the Turkish coast of Anamur near Mersin.

Turkish Cypriot agriculture official Dursun Oguz said repairing the €380 mln pipeline will take about two months, depending on prevailing weather conditions.

Oguz said the Turkish Cypriot community has water reserves that can last them for 10 months.

T24 also reported that the water board authorities in Turkey do not have the technical staff trained to fix such problems.

The project to transfer water from Turkey’s Alakopru Dam to the north of the island was dubbed as the “Project of the century” and was supervised by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

It was presented as the ultimate solution for Turkish Cypriots’ water supply.

In October 2015 Erdogan himself turned on the tap at an opening ceremony of the water pipeline in Morphou with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

The Turkish President then called the water to be transferred to the north as “Water of Peace”, noting that Greek Cypriots could benefit from this water after a solution to the Cyprus Problem is found.

The incident has raised eyebrows among Turkish Cypriots critical of Turkey’s interference in the north.

Water from Turkey was hoped to bring down the cost of running water to households, however, Turkish Cypriots actually saw prices skyrocket, as in some areas the cost increased fivefold.

The pipeline – lying 250 metres under the sea – transports a total of 75 million cubic metres of water annually to the north, which suffers from water shortages.