What is GAP
The Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) is a multi-sector and integrated regional development effort approached in the context of sustainable development. Its basic objectives include the improvement of living standards and income levels of people so as to eliminate regional development disparities and contributing to such national goals as social stability and economic growth by enhancing productivity and employment opportunities in the rural sector. The project area covers 9 administrative provinces (Adiyaman, Batman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Kilis, Mardin, Siirt, Sanliurfa and Sirnak) in the basins of the Euphrates and Tigris and in Upper Mesopotamia.
The GAP had originally been planned in the 70s consisting of projects for irrigation and hydraulic energy production on the Euphrates and Tigris, but transformed into a multi-sector social and economic development program for the region in the 80s. The development program encompasses such sectors as irrigation, hydraulic energy, agriculture, rural and urban infrastructure, forestry, education and health. The water resources development component of the program envisages the construction of 22 dams and 19 hydraulic power plants and irrigation of 1.82 million hectares of land. The total cost of the project is estimated as 32 billion US $. The total installed capacity of power plants is 7476 MW and projected annual energy production reaches 27 billion kWh.
The project rests upon the philosophy sustainable human development, which aims to create an environment in which future generations can benefit and develop. The basic strategies of the project include fairness in development, participation, environmental protection, employment generation, spatial planning and infrastructure development.