The Ataturk Dam is considered one of the largest water projects, and the largest hydroelectric power generation project in Turkey, which took about 10 years to build, producing about 2,400 megawatts of electricity. The dam is located in the upper reaches of the Euphrates River, about 80 km northwest of the city of Urfa, and about 600 km away from the capital, Ankara, between the heights of the Anatolian plateau close to the Syrian border, not more than 60 km and more than 180 km south of the Karakia Dam.
The Atatürk Dam is the fourth largest cumulus dam in the world, and one of the largest facilities of the Southeastern Anatolia GAP Project, which consists of a group of dams, generating stations, and irrigation facilities.
The Turkish (GAP) project has negative effects on Turkey itself. Being located within the effective seismic belt, and that the project area embraces the Great Anatolian crack in an east-west direction, and the establishment of this large group of giant dams with high elevations and huge storage capacities in a short period of about (40-50) years will undoubtedly lead to an imbalance in the natural balance and increase The effectiveness of this main crack and other cracks in the project area, such as (Buzova), which is very close to the Ataturk Dam site, the backbone of the Turkish GAP project, and other areas of weakness in the project; Due to the weak tectonic and geological structure of the region.
The data and indicators indicate that the seismic risk analyzes conducted during a study by Dr. Hassan Toson entitled Earthquakes and Dams published on May 20, 2015 indicate that the Ataturk Dam is the backbone; The Turkish GAP project is one of the most critical dams within the Euphrates River basin.
Based on the author's recent studies of seismic risk analysis and evaluation of the stability of the static and dynamic site of the dam, and based on the earthquakes that occurred in the dam area over the past 100 years, where in the first design stage of the dam, only the East Anatolian gap was taken; To analyze the seismic risk of the dam site.
While the recent study conducted by the author indicates the most important thing is the fear of the effectiveness of the (Buzova) crack, which is very close to the body of the dam and may be a source of earthquakes because the crack (Buzova) has great potential to cause earthquakes for the Atatürk Dam, where the fault is located at a distance 3.0 km from the body of the dam and has a direction parallel to the top of the dam. This crack can produce an earthquake of magnitude 6.5 to 7.0 on the Richter scale. As a result of this study, the total risk factor (TRF) is 146.5 and is defined as a Category III risk. This means that it has a high risk of life and property below the body of the dam, in addition to the earthquakes that result from the fluctuation of the water of the Atatürk Dam reservoir.
Therefore, after the Turkish government realized this situation of the dam, the dam currently does not store more than half of its storage capacity, in addition to that the dam's foundations are soluble with time and need grouting as well. However, the media does not focus on it because of the state's control.
So, in this case, Turkey should reconsider its water policy towards the GAP project, not only because of the opposition of Iraq and Syria, but also because of nature's reaction, as if any of the dams' facilities are exposed to seismic problems, there will be catastrophes with unimaginable consequences.
The Atatürk Dam also suffers from some problems in the static condition and cannot meet the current seismic design standards, as the intensity of the earthquake increased at the dam site and the reservoir area after the water was blocked in the dam reservoir 30 years ago, as the storage of huge amounts of water behind the dams. The sudden fluctuation in the water level of the reservoir causes tremors known as induced seismic tremors. The strength of these tremors often reaches (6) degrees on the Richter scale, and these cause severe damage to the dam’s body. In this case, the collapse of any of These dams within the GAP project will directly affect the population and agricultural lands in Turkey itself, Syria and Iraq, causing unimaginable natural disasters, as we mentioned. Especially the dams near the Syrian border on the Euphrates River and the dams near the Iraqi border in the Tigris River Basin because of their topographical nature.