Document Type : Article


1 Professor of International Law, Faculty of law and Political Sciences, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D. Student of International Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran


Turkey by constructing the Ilısu Dam on the Tigris in Turkey will result in stressful significant environmental consequences between Iraq, Syria, and Iran. The norms and principles governing the exploitation of common water resources have pushed the governments towards a lawful system that they are adhered to it according to general principles of law, customary international law, and international treaties. Not adhering to these principles and violating them will impose international responsibility for the governments. Turkey cannot proceed to exploit a project that its harmful effects will cause severe significant damages to the environment of adjacent countries. Therefore, the decision to operate the Ilısu Dam that became operational in the first half of 2019, according to experts estimations about its extensive consequences to adjacent governments, is in contradiction with international commitments of Turkey as preventing the transboundary environmental damages, violating the Principle of the Unharmful Utilization of Territory and The Principle of Equitable and Reasonable Utilization of Shared Water Resources, which nowadays, are considered as a rule of customary international law. In this research, the background of Ilısu Dam construction by the Turkish government and its destructive environmental effects will be studied using the library and internet resources and using international documents.


  1. انگلیسی
  2. A) Books
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  7. Kaya, Ibrahim (2003), Equitable Utilization, The law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses, Ashgate Pub Ltd.
  8. Kibaroglu A (2002), Building a regime for the waters of the Euphrates-Tigris river system, Kluwer Law International, London The Hague New York.
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  17. Vinuales, Jorge (2015), The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, A commentary, Oxford University Press.
  18. Wouters Patricia (1998), International Water Law Selected Writings of Professor Charles B. Bourne (International and National Water Law and Policy Series), Springer.


  1. B) Articles
  2. al-Samarai, Majed (2018), Ilisu Dam crisis proves the failure of Iraq’s successive governments,2018, available at: Visited : Apr. 2020)
  3. Belinskij, Antti (2015), “Water-Energy-Food Nexus within the Framework of 19. International Water Law”, Journal Water, Vol.7, No.10, pp.5396-5415
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  8. McCaffrey S (2001), "The contribution of the UN Convention on the law of the non-navigational uses of international watercourses". Int. J. Global Environmental Issues, Vol. 1, pp.250-263.
  9. Pallermaerts,Marc,(1992 ),”International Environmental Law from Stockholm to 26. Rio : Back to the Future?”,RICIEL, Vol.1, pp.254-266.
  10. Salman M.A, (2007),”The United Nations Watercourses Convention Ten years later: Why Has its Entry into Force Proven Difficult?”, International Water Resources Association, Water International, Vol.32, No.1, pp.1-15.
  11. Salman, S.M.A. (2007),”The Helsinki Rules, The UN Watercourses Convention and The Berlin Rules: Perspectives on International Water Law”, International Journal of Water Resources Development, Vol.23, No.4, pp. 625–640.
  12. Saner E., Turkiye (2006), Su ve Uluslararasi Boyutu. Paper presented at the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects- Proceedings of Congress of Water Policies, Ankara.
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  14. Soboka Bulto, Takele (2009), “Between Ambivalence and Necessity: Occlusions on the Path towards a Basin-Wide Treaty in the Nile Basin”,Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy, Vol. 20, Colorado, pp.291-320.
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  17. Tol, Richard & Verheyen, Roda (2004),"State responsibility for climate change damages-a legal and economic assessment", Energy Policy, pp.1109-1130
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  19. Zamanek, Karl (1991), 'State Responsibility and Liability' in Winfried Lang, Hanspeter Neuhold and Karl Zamanek (eds), Environmental Protection and International Law,Graham& Trotman Limited.


  1. C) Cases
  2. ICJ, Gabcikovo-Nagymaros case, (Hungary v. Slovakia), General List No. 92, 25 September 1997.
  3. ICJ, Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay, (Argentina v. Uruguay). 10 April 2010.
  4. Lake Lanoux Arbitration (France v Spain), 1957, United Nations Reports in International Arbitral Awards.
  5. Permanent Court of International Justice, The Territorial Jurisdiction of the International Commission of the River Oder United Kingdom, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden v. Poland), PCIJ, Ser.A, No.23, 1929.
  6. Reports of International Arbitral Awards, Trail smelter case (United States, Canada), 16 April 1938 and 11 March 1941.


References in Persian:

  1. A) Books
  2. Babaei, Mojtaba & Babaei, Hassan (2015), Legal Regime of Transboundary Aquifers Utilization Based on International Law Commission Draft 2008, Tehran, Scientific Assembly and Cultural Majd (In Persian).
  3. Caponera, Dante Augusto (2013), Principles of Water Law and Administration National and International, translated and researched by Mohsen Abdollahi and Asli Abbasi, Tehran, Shahr-e-Danesh Institute of Law Research & Study (In Persian).
  4. Kuro Kolasoria, Lal & Robinson, Nicholas (2011), Fundamentals of International Environmental Law, translated by Seyed Mohammad Mehdi Hosseini, Tehran, Mizan Publishing (In Persian).


  1. B) Articles
  2. Akbari, Narges & Mashhadi, Ali (2019), "Environmental Threats and Obligations of the Government of Turkey in Implementing the GAP Project in Relation to Environmental Impacts in Iran (Dust Storms)", International Law Review, Vol. 61, pp.351-311 (In Persian).
  3. Jafari-Voldani, Asghar, (2009), " Use of Water Resources of Iran and Iraq Border Rodham and International Law", Public Law Research, Vol. 26, pp.92-63 (In Persian).
  4. Ramezani Ghavamabadi, Mohammad Hossein (2007), "Quick Review of the Principle of the Unharmful (Sustainable) Utilization of Territory in International Environmental Law", Environmental Sciences, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp.73-57 (In Persian).
  5. Zamani, Seyed Ghasem (2002), " Development of International Responsibility in Shadow of International Environment Law", Journal of Legal Research, The SD Institute of Law Research and Studies, No. 1, Spring and Summer, pp.27-28 (In Persian).
  6. Sultan Qais, Farid & Alizadeh, Hossein (2017), " The Construction of the Ilisu Dam in Turkey and its Contradiction with International Obligations to Neighbors in Accordance with the International Law", Journal of Border Science and Technology, Vol. 4, pp.197-181 (In Persian).
  7. Mumtaz, Jamshid (1994), "Legal System of Water Resources of International Watercourse in The Middle East", International Legal Journal, Vol. 18, 94-45 (In Persian).
  8. Mianabadi, Hojjat (2013), "Political, Security and Legal Considerations in the Management of Border Rivers", International Relations Research, Vol. 9, pp. 233-203 (In Persian).
  9. Mousavi, Fazlollah, Seyed Hossein Hosseini and Seyed Hossein Mousavifar (2015), "Principles of International Environmental Law in Light of International Case Law ", Public Law Research, Vol. 48, pp.9-25 (In Persian).
  10. Najib Issa (1994),"The Role of Water in The Development of The Middle East", Middle East Studies, Center for Scientific Research and Strategic Studies of the Middle East, Vol 1 (In Persian).
  11. Navari, Ali (2018), " The Construction and Operation of the Ilisu Dam in Turkey and the Dust Haze Phenomenon in Iran: Supremacy of Relevant Principles of International Environmental Law ", Legal Studies, Vol. 4, pp.261-219 (In Persian).
  12. Navari, Ali (2019), " Utilization of Ilisu Dam in Turkey and the Rules of International Water Law ", Public Law Research, Vol. 63, pp.190-163 (In Persian).