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Turkish Fishing Villages Blame Pipeline for Dwindling Catches

"For the fisherman, life has gotten worse since the pipeline arrived," said Mesut Altinkayak, a former fisherman who now helps manage a small seaside restaurant owned by his family. "There have been some jobs at the terminal, but most of them are temporary."

"The fishermen don't have work, so even our grocery stores are closing. The fishermen don't even have money to buy cigarettes," Altinkayak added with a weary smile.

As elsewhere along the pipeline's route through Georgia and Azerbaijan, the BTC company compensated local residents for disruption caused by the project, paying some 50 fishermen around $12,000. Pipeline officials also came to Golovasi before the BTC was constructed and asked the locals what the village needed, Altinkayak recounted.

Potable tap water was named as the most pressing need. "Our mukhtar" -- the village head -- "gave them our request, but we are still waiting," Altinkayak said. Several years later, the village water remains undrinkable.

To read the full story

Yigal Schleifer is a freelance journalist based in Istanbul. Rena Effendi is a freelance photojournalist based in Baku.

Turkish Fishing Villages Blame Pipeline for Dwindling Catches

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