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BTC Pipeline: Turkey

Technology and Environment

BP and other ten members of the consortium of companies building the BTC pipeline face significant social challenges in Turkey, where the longest section of the pipeline wends its way over 1,076 kilometers to the marine terminal in Ceyhan. Turkey has been denounced for its lackluster human-rights record, its limits on freedom of speech, and its intolerance of political protest. Turkey also faces international pressure to protect human rights as part of its bid to gain accession to the European Union in December, 2004.

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The Ceyhan port will distribute oil to all parts of the globe.
Controversy over the construction of the BTC in Turkey has often revolved around the Host Government Agreement (HGA) signed between BP and the Turkish government. In what some consider an extraordinary concession, Turkey's HGA prohibits both the enforcement of current laws and the creation of new laws that would impact the functioning of the BTC pipeline without an "imminent, material threat." Watchdog groups insist that this agreement will create an atmosphere in which human rights such as a healthy environment, land reclamation, and the legal settling of grievances will take a back seat to the interests of big oil.

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