Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP)

The Southeastern Anatolian Project is Turkey's largest and most multifaceted development project, and also, one of the largest development projects in the world. The project includes active farming with extensive irrigation systems and electricity production, alongside of which are the tourism, mining, petrol, education, health, communication, industry and tranport sectors.

The Southeastern Anatolia Project covers the lower parts of the Firat and Dicle rivers; and Gazi Antep, Sanli Urfa, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Mardin, Siirt, Batman and Sirnak, which are situated on the plains between the rivers. This project will also bring with it a change in climate in the area.

The Ataturk Dam and Hydroelectric Plant, the largest in Turkey and the sixth largest in the world, is situated in the Bozova town of Sanli Urfa. Ataturk Dam, which is the major foundation of the Southeastern Anatolia Project, is important not only for energy production but also for irrigation.

The water obtained from the reservoirs of the Ataturk Dam on the Firat river is going to be carried to the Harran plain by the Sanli Urfa Tunnel System. The Sanli Urfa Tunnel System is the largest in the world, in view of its length and flow rate. The waters of the Firat river will pass through tunnels which are 26.4 kilometers in length and 7.62 meters in diameter, and be distributed to the vast cropland on the Southeastern Anatolian plains from central and side channels, bringing a production boom and prosperity to the region. As of late 1994, the tunnel system is open, and the waters of the Firat are flowing to the Harran plain.