Turkey is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world, as Turkey's seismic history is replete with many seismic disasters because of its location, which occupies the middle sector between the Alpine-Himalayan system, because the Alpine Orogeny movement was the result of the compressive movement between Europe and Africa, at the time when the movement was the building of the Himalayas; As a result of the (Indo-Asian) plate collision, the seismic forces have become irregularly distributed within the Alpine-Himalayan range.
Seismic activity is intensely concentrated at the edges of tectonic plates; The reason for the increase in local seismic activity in Turkey is attributed to the rapid and sudden small movements of those plates, and the Adrum earthquake on 10/13/1983, which had a magnitude of (6.9) on the Richter scale; It caused great human and material damage, including the destruction of more than (50) villages, the displacement of more than (25) thousand people and thousands of deaths and injuries.
The cause of the earthquakes is attributed to the weak geological structure, including the presence of the (Abul Samsar Fracture) with a north-south-south-west direction, and that this area of fractures extends from the Erzurum earthquake area to cover the eastern parts of the Anatolian Fault. This area embraces the (Cape) giant project.
Therefore, Turkey's implementation of all these water projects - and in a relatively short time - will undoubtedly cause severe damage to it and the neighboring countries located downstream of the rivers on which these facilities are built. In the foreseeable future, it is expected that the Erzurum region will be exposed to another earthquake within the next few years; Because of the activity of the fracture zones, in addition to that, the formation of a large number of artificial lakes behind the dams, will generate additional seismic activity due to loading the earth's crust beyond its carrying capacity, and these lakes will also cause induced seismicity.
Despite the fact that the phenomenon of seismic activity of dam reservoirs is a recent phenomenon that is no more than fifty years old, the data obtained by seismologists during the study of the seismic background of dam sites before and after construction, show the presence of induced seismic activity in the dam basins. As a result of several factors, including the size of the lake, its depth, the topography of the area, the seasonal change in the lake water levels, the rate of filling and emptying the lake, in addition to geological factors such as the type of rocks, the presence of weak areas such as cracks and fractures, the presence of groundwater, and others.
On 17 August, 1999, the Turkish city of Izmit was hit by a violent earthquake, with a magnitude of (7.4) on the Richter scale. It caused very large material and human losses, in addition to the negative effects on the infrastructure of Turkey's economy and the Turkish people as well. On September 25, 1999, another earthquake of magnitude (4.5) on the Richter scale occurred in Turkey. This time, its epicenter was southeast of Turkey and close to the Ataturk Column Dam. The backbone of the Turkish Cap project may be due to the start of filling the dam’s reservoir. Because the considerations were hydro political rather than technical, and herein lies the danger in dealing with nature.
So, Turkey has to reconsider its policy towards the Cap project, not only because of the opposition of Syria and Iraq, but also because of the reaction of nature, as if any of the dam facilities were exposed to seismic problems; There will be unimaginable disasters.
However, the state of Turkey plans these projects based on its own interests, as Turkey's insistence on implementing the GAP Southeastern Anatolia Project and its insistence on buying time without obtaining the approval of Iraq and Syria on the water share decided for them according to the agreements concluded in this regard; Which will put both Iraq and Syria in front of a fait accompli, and that the position of international law on Turkish challenges is clear, as the provisions of this law clearly stipulate that all countries in whose territories a common river (an international river) flows must take what is necessary for their different needs and take into account at the same time that its exploitation of the part of the river that enters its territory does not harm other countries.
The American Professor, Thomas Naff; He is a specialist in water affairs. If Turkey follows this approach, it will cause great harm to Syria and Iraq, as Iraq will lose about 80-90% of the waters of the Euphrates River which will cause a great disaster in central and southern Iraq.
In a report prepared by the CIA for submission to the government, reference was made to the possibility of war breaking out in ten places in the world over the distribution of water, and that most of these potential hotbeds of crises are located in the Middle East, and that Turkey is the source country for the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and raises the issue of its right to dispose of the water. Similar to oil-producing countries, i.e. they have the right to dispose of their water wealth, ignoring the fact that oil is a national resource for the producing countries, and that water is a natural resource for all countries benefiting from this resource.
The American professor, John Kollars; An expert in water affairs in the Middle East, the water crisis is much more serious than the oil crisis.