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The Associated Press March 7, 2011, 2:19PM ET

Turkey builds water pipeline to northern Cyprus

Turkey says it will provide fresh water to the northern part of Cyprus via a pipeline from the Turkish mainland.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the Mediterranean pipeline will carry 75 million cubic meters (2,648 million cubic feet) of drinking water annually. He spoke Monday during a ceremony to begin construction of a dam for the project near the Mediterranean coastal town of Anamur.

A dam will also be built near the Turkish Cypriot town of Gecitkale, or Lefkoniko in Greek. Erdogan says the 107-kilometer-long (66-mile-long) pipeline will be operational by 2013.

Both Turkish and Greek Cypriots sides of Cyprus suffer from a shortage of fresh water and is forced to import water in tankers from Turkey or Greece.

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