In the Ovacik district of Tunceli, snow-capped mountains loom over an Alevi holy site. Thomson Reuters Foundation/…zge Sebzeci
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Yildirim has filed lawsuits and won some cases over the years. His latest battle is to prevent the government seizing land for the Konaktepe dam, which would be located inside a nearby nature reserve.Moreoever, water stored in dams could prevent drought for several years if needed, the government has said.Four years ago, Yildirim won a lawsuit at the country's highest court halting construction of the Konaktepe dam.Despite the ruling the government has continued to push forward with the project by buying and seizing land, Yildirim said.Once completed, the dam would produce 1.2 percent of the country's energy, worth $80 million annually, according to a 2009 report from the Istanbul Water Tribunal, a body that resolves water conflicts.Back in 1985, Celal Kara's father sold his land when one of the first Tunceli dams – the Mercan – was being built.
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