An Evaluation of Public Power in Hydropower Planning in Van (Turkey)

Baylan E.

MEGARON, vol.12, no.4, pp.658-670, 2017 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.5505/megaron.2017.65471
  • Title of Journal : MEGARON
  • Page Numbers: pp.658-670


The number of planned and installed hydroelectric power plants has increased dramatically in the last 15 years in Turkey. The local natural and socio-cultural domains of the subject landscapes, however, have mostly been ignored in the decision-making and implementation processes for these plant projects. As a consequence, hydroelectric plants installed in the water-rich regions of the country had adverse effects on river landscapes. Local and national water and landscape stakeholders have confronted each other in several platforms as a result of their conflicting needs and interests. River landscapes in the province of Van, located in eastern Anatolia, are also faced with similar threats and disagreements as a result of multiple, river-type hydropower plants that are to be installed in the near future. A collaborative decision-making approach that would allow for active stakeholder participation and that would support negotiation and consensus among the stakeholders offers the potential to cope with the issues and to support the sustainability of the river landscape in Van. This article is an examination of the limitations and opportunities of a collaborative approach to hydroelectric energy generation planning in Van. With this aim, following a description of the landscape characteristics, the area was evaluated for its importance in landscape conservation and attractiveness for hydroelectric energy generation. The stakeholders' roles, their influence, and conflicts in hydropower planning were analyzed and assessed using qualitative procedures. Next, possible landscape changes and impacts that the hydroelectric plants may cause were identified. Based on the identified limitations and opportunities for active stakeholder participation in hydropower and landscape conservation, recommendations were provided for collaborative decision-making processes that would aim for sustainability of the river landscapes in Van.