Turkish Ambassador to Georgia Fatma Ceren Yazgan responded to the developments around the construction of Namakhvani HPP. The diplomat notes that she welcomes all decisions and statements that contribute to the transparency of the process.
“This project is being built for Georgia and Georgians and it cannot be built against Georgians. I welcome the government working to restore trust and dialogue with people who oppose the construction of hydropower plants and especially this project (Namakhvani HPP). There should be a civil dialogue between the government, the Turkish-Norwegian company ENKA and the project opponents. I think it is a bit late, however, the process has started, which is good, I am glad that the misinformation and propaganda directed against my country – Turkey – is gradually disappearing.
“There should have been communication not only from the government or the company, but also there should have been NGOs today who have questions about this project, for many years when the project was being developed, they were not active. With all this in mind, yes, there was some failure in communication and I am not here to put my hand on anyone in particular, or that person, or that government. I understand that there were other concerns in the country after the elections, but I think that unfortunately, part of the communication and information was lost in translation,” the ambassador said.
She says the developments around Namakhvani HPP have raised questions among Turkish investors about the value of investing in Georgia.
“Investors are already asking questions and I assure them that misinformation and propaganda come mainly from outside Georgia and that there is a friendly environment for Turkish businessmen. To be honest, I want to remind everyone that even during the 2008 war, Turkish businesses did not leave Georgia and continued to enter the country. With new projects, they keep coming in, but it takes constant effort, I still see new Facebook pages spreading crazy ideas, speculations, which is why I want to tell you that no one is going to steal Rioni water for Turkey, it’s Georgia’s natural wealth and belongs to Georgia. Investments are being made in the Balkans and Central Asia by Turkish companies, and they will maintain interest,” the diplomat said.