While many WWF participants applauded the protest, the police detained the two protestors. Meanwhile, outside the conference center riot police used water cannons and tear gas against 150 peaceful protestors who shouted "water for life, not for profit" in opposition to the WWF's agenda of water privatization and river destruction. Seventeen protestors were arrested.
As she was being detained, Payal Parekh said: "Large dams have left a legacy of lies and loss. Continuing to build destructive dams will bring unacceptable risks to people and the planet." Ann-Kathrin Schneider said as she unfurled the banner: "The Ilisu Dam in Southeast Turkey is a symbol of outmoded water and energy policies which destroy communities and the environment. We call on the participants of the World Water Forum to embrace smarter and cleaner solutions which are readily available." Peter Bosshard, International Rivers Policy Director, said "The response by the Turkish authorities highlights the undemocratic nature of the World Water Forum. Two protestors being deported for unfurling a banner is unacceptable. We call on the World Water Council to respect and support the rights of all people to speak freely and protest peacefully."
The World Water Forum takes place every three years. It is organized by the World Water Council, a private organization whose most influential members are private water companies and some of the world's biggest dam construction companies, funders and government agencies.