Turkey starts building "friendship dam" with Syria
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended a groundbreaking ceremony for a long-delayed dam on a river that flows from Syria to Turkey, promising that it will help strengthen bilateral cooperation. Erdogan, speaking at the ceremony held in the border province of Hatay, said Turkey is also working on other cooperation projects such as building a high-speed rail line between the two countries, establishing a joint Turkish-Syrian bank, and linking the countries' natural gas networks. "Turkey and Syria are brothers, and friendly ties between us will continue forever," said Erdogan. The beginning of the dam's construction, dubbed a "friendship dam," was long delayed due to technical disagreements. Erdogan said Turkey and Syria will also jointly use the electricity produced by the dam, which is also supposed to promote fishing, water sports and other recreational activities. The costs of the dam's operation and maintenance will be covered by both countries, with each taking an equal share of the responsibility.