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Hasankeyf is being destroyed MILLIONS Kurds do NOTHING

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Re: Call for global action for ancient Hasankeyf on 7 and 8

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:27 pm

Call from Hasankeyf:
It's not too late!


The Initiative to Save Hasankeyf and the Mesopotamian Ecology Movement have called for support for the ancient site of Hasankeyf on the banks of the Tigris

The Tigris Valley is to be flooded alongside Hasankeyf and 199 other villages. In two days, on 10 June 2019, Turkish authorities are set to start filling the Ilisu Dam reservoir. There has been a democratic massive protest against the project for twenty years.

A statement was read today in Hasankeyf on the 3rd Global Day of Action for the defense of the 12,000 year old town and the Tigris River. The demonstration was also joined by British Labour Party and European Parliament Culture and Education Committee member Julie Ward, HDP Batman MP Ayşe Acar Başaran, Batman Municipality co-mayors Songül Korkmaz and Mehmet Demir, HDP Batman provincial branch and Eğitim-Sen union administrators.

In the statement, attention was drawn to the fact that campaigns have succeeded in stopping the project three times so far, still Turkish authorities have amended laws, found new resources and continued with the project with persistence every time.

"It is still not too late for Hasankeyf! There are dams, nuclear power plants, and other projects in the world that have been built but never put into service because masses fought against it until the very end and gained achievements. Therefore, we invite all people and institutions to stand by our side and bring the fight for Hasankeyf to a successful conclusion,” read the statement.

On the occasion of the campaign days for Hasankeyf, there is a campaign on the social media under the hashtag # HasankeyfİçinGeçDeğil - It is still not too late for Hasankeyf.
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Re: Call for global action for ancient Hasankeyf on 7 and 8

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Re: Call for global action for ancient Hasankeyf on 7 and 8

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:29 pm

Artists joined the call to save Hasankeyf

The Turkish government announced that on 10 June it will start filling the Ilisu Dam reservoir

Artists joined the call and issued a video underlining that "it is never too late to safe Hasankeyf".

In the video, released in Kurdish and Trukish are artists, journalists, writers, singers, musicians such as Barış Atay, Cemîl Qoçgîrî, Dijen Roni, Ahmet Ümit, Bahar Feyzan, Ercan Y Yılmaz, Haluk Levent, Metin Uca, Mikail Aslan, Nazan Kesal, Pınar Aydınlar, Selim Temo, Şebnem Sönmez.

Over 100 environmentalist and civil society organisations had signed the call issued by the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive and the Mesopotamia Ecology Movement for the 3rd Global Action Day, while dozens of actions have been promoted in Kurdistan, Turkey and throughout Europe.
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Re: Call for global action for ancient Hasankeyf on 7 and 8

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:43 am

Catch last glimpse of 12,000-old Turkish town before it's devoured by water

phpBB [video]


Direct link:

https://youtu.be/iZsWf-hAfNo

The ancient Kurdish town of Hasankeyf may soon literally sink into oblivion, likely to be flooded with water from a massive reservoir built behind a dam despite international outcry and calls to stop the project.

Ruptly’s footage from Saturday shows the ancient city on the banks of the Tigris River as we probably should remember it, since in several months it might no longer be there. The reason is the Ilisu Dam, a part of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), estimated to generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity and add $260 million to Turkey’s economy per year.

The filling of the reservoir, with a capacity of more than 10 billion cubic meters, is scheduled to begin next week. It is estimated that the rising water levels will start affecting Hasankeyf and the neighboring village as soon as October, and might submerge them by next April.

The launch of the dam will displace hundreds of people, who have been promised new homes by the authorities.

Ankara attempted to fill the reservoir last June, but aborted the effort due to outrage from Iraq, which relies on the Tigris River as one of its major water sources. It is feared that the dam might lead to water shortages there.

Seventy-five civil society organizations, including from Turkey and Iraq, have called on Ankara to scrap the project, arguing in a letter in May that apart from "seriously jeopardizing the water supply of major Iraqi towns," it would damage the country's cultural heritage while having "no socio-economic or any other benefit for the majority of society in the affected region."

"Independent researchers state that Hasankeyf and the surrounding Tigris Valley are as important historically as Ephesus, Troy and Cappadocia and fulfill 9 out of the 10 UNESCO criteria for a World Heritage Site," they wrote.

https://www.rt.com/news/461409-turkey-c ... ged-video/
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Re: Call for global action for ancient Hasankeyf on 7 and 8

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:05 pm

The Swedish based Skanska, withdrew from the project in September 2000. In November 2001 the campaign won an important victory when it achieved that the UK based company Balfour Beatty decided to withdraw from the Ilısu Dam project due to ethical, environmental and economical concerns.

Many of us obtained Balfour Beatty shares and attended their AGM in order to protest. We also managed to gain a great deal of of support from the media, especially with the help of our Chairman, the well known UK comedian Mark Thomas.

The companies involved in the project had applied for Export Credit Guarantees from their home governments, which meant that UK taxpayers money would be used to finance the project. My friends and I were able to prevent the Ilisu Dam project from destroying Hasankeyf, by preventing UK support.

In 2005 the project resurfaced. This time one of the main contractors of the dam was Austria-based VA TECH, a subsidiary of Siemens AG. According to the Turkish government, new resettlement plans were planned and a large fund was supposed to be set up to rescue some parts of the town of Hasankeyf by moving them elsewhere.

According to the opponents of the dam, these new plans do not adequately address their original concerns.

Construction of the dam began in 2006 and shamefully, during the past 13 YEARS Kurds have done almost nothing to prevent it's construction.

It was our understanding that it is against international law for any country to have the ability to prevent water flowing into a neighbouring country in times of conflict. The damning of the Tigris gives Turkey the opportunity to hold parts of Iraq at water ransom.

Besides Hasankeyf itself, some of the first causalities will be the unique flora and fauna along the Tigris river downstream. Also the Mesopotamia marshes are at risk of drying out, with all the destruction it's unique flora and fauna.

Much of Iraq's agricultural land and food production may well be affected.

I AM DISGUSTED BY KURDS INACTION
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Re: I AM DISGUSTED BY KURDS INACTION TO SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:52 pm

Hasankeyf Festival held after 3 years of silence

The festival was held until 2015 to commemorate Imam Abdullah in Hasankeyf, but was suspended for 3 years due to the state of emergency declared in 2016. This year it eventually took place

Organized by Batman Association, Batman Wildlife Conservation Association, Batman Seyidler and Ehli Beyt Association and Batman Tourism Association, the festival started with the sad commemoration of Imam Abdullah Tumb that was removed a few months back because of the Ilisu Dam and resettled in the new settlement near Hasankeyf.

The festival, which will continue until 16 June will see the participation of local artists who will give concerts every evening.

Opening Concert

Cemo, Ikbal and Yusuf Eren were the local artists in Batman who took the stage at the festival for the opening concert on Monday evening.

Speaking at the festival attended by many people, Batman Seyidler and Ehli Beyt Association President, Abdulmalik Müjdeci, said that they organized the festival in order to commemorate Imam Abdullah. continuing the tradition of passing down to the next generations continuing to tell the next generations about him.”

Criticizing the decision to flood Hasankeyf Müjdeci said: "We are here to protect Hasankeyf and its spiritual values. It is a great cultural heritage that humanity can see. Preserving this ancient city intertwined with nature and history should be the interest of every person. It is not too late. We think an alternative to the flooding can be created if the conditions are established.”

Imam Abdullah

Abdullah was the grandson of Cafer-i Tayyar, uncle of the prophet Mohammad. The tomb is dated to the 14th century and an epitaph on the tomb states that the tomb was restored in the Ayyubid period.
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Re: I AM DISGUSTED BY KURDS INACTION TO SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:56 pm

Ilisu Dam reservoir not filled yet

Hasankeyf, the 12 thousand years old historical site, will be left under water because of the construction of the Ilisu Dam. Some 199 settlements along the Tigris River will be inundated along with Hasankeyf

For Hasankeyf residents a new residential area was built on the slopes of Mount Raman. With the coordination meeting previously held in the district, it was announced that the settlements had to be emptied between 15 May and 15 June. However, because the infrastructure of the new settlement was not finished, emptying operations could not be done in Hasankeyf.

In his speech before the 31 March elections, President Tayyip Erdoğan announced that 98 percent of the Ilisu Dam was completed and that the reservoir will be filled with water on 10 June. However, this did not happen.

According to the information provided by the State Hydraulic Works (DSI) authorities, technically it was not possible to close the dam covers on the date previously announced by the President. DSI officials said: "This year due to rainfall in the dam area it was not possible to followed the schedule and the water needs to fall even further in order to close the dam.”

Another DSI official stated that the filling and transportation operations in Hasankeyf have not been completed yet, and that the Iraqi Government has been assured that the water will not be cut off for a while. Noting that the dam is still not completed, he said that the test phase on the dam continues.

Thousands of people mobilised around the world on 7 and 8 June to protest against the Ilisu Dam project which will have a heavy impact on both the people, the environment and of course the historical site.
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Re: I AM DISGUSTED BY KURDS INACTION TO SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:38 pm

Turkish police detain 33 during protest for ancient southeastern town of Hasankeyf

Turkish police on Wednesday detained 33 people during a protest against the flooding of the historic site of Hasankeyf in the country’s southeast

Police formed a barricade and sprayed tear gas on a group of pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Youth Parliament members who were preparing to release a statement on the flooding, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency reported.

A total of 32 HDP members as well as one reporter covering the protest were detained, it said.

The 12,000-year-old town of Hasankeyf made international headlines in 2014 following news that the ancient site, home of 2,500 people today, will be submerged upon completion of the Ilisu dam just about 25 miles downstream from the town.

I have known about this for 20 YEARS and been posting here for 6 YEARS trying to make people aware of what is happening and hoping to gain support

The Ilısu dam is expected to raise the level of the Tigris River by 60 metres, submerging 80 percent of the ancient city alongside several other villages.

Turkish authorities have been pushing ahead with the transportation of historic artefacts in Turkey’s southeastern ancient town and plan to move several of the 300 monuments from Hasankeyf, despite a decision from the country’s Council of State to cancel the tender for the move.

Officials from State Hydraulic Works told Cumhuriyet daily on Tuesday that water retaining at Ilısu dam had been postponed for one month due to heavy rains. However, environmental groups maintain the postponement decision came as a result of public’s outrage to the plan.

Meanwhile, dozens of Turkish artists and intellectuals have started a social media campaign under the hashtag “#HasankeyfİçinGeçDeğil - It is not too late for Hasankeyf”.

https://ahvalnews.com/hasankeyf/turkish ... -hasankeyf
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Re: I AM DISGUSTED BY KURDS INACTION TO SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:50 pm

ERCAN AYBOĞA FROM THE INITIATIVE TO KEEP HASANKEYF ALIVE:

‘It is not a Dream to Save Hasankeyf, We Can Hold a Referendum’

The Ilısu Dam Project, which will engulf the ancient city of Hasankeyf, 199 villages and biofiversifically rich Tigris Valley, is about to be finalized.

Though the government authorities announced that the filling of Ilısu Dam reservoir would start on June 10, the recent information coming from the local sources has confirmed that the process has not started yet.

We have spoken to Ercan Ayboğa from the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive about the latest developments in the region. Referring to other projects that were cancelled though their construction had been completed, Ayboğa has said, "It is not a dream to save Hasankeyf, let's raise our voice."

'The government says nothing'

"We have not yet received information that the filling of the dam reservoir started today (June 10), we are still waiting for information from the local [sources]. But, since yesterday, we have been receiving news that it has been postponed.

"If the filling of the dam is postponed, then, it is because of our reactions against it. We would, of course, prefer the cancellation of the project. Though we have written numerous letters, the government says nothing. The government is unfortunately playing deaf and dumb.

"On June 7-8, people came together in 35 cities of the world, which is important. Solely in Iraq, people reacted against it in 10 cities. People defended Hasankeyf from Iraq to Basra. They laid claim to it across the Mesopotamia.

"Prominent people from Turkey took up a stance in protests on June 7-8, which is also important.

'Upcoming months are very critical'

"We want to develop it further in the upcoming weeks. The upcoming months are very critical. We have gained a momentum with the protests. The Ilısu Dam needs to be stopped in autumn without any interruptions.

"I don't think that it is an imaginary demand, because what is at stake here is a cultural heritage. Hasankeyf is the heritage of all peoples in Middle East.

"And we want all peoples to claim it. Hasankeyf is a critical point: Yes, the construction has been continuing for years and so have the campaigns. The construction was halted for five times in 20 years as a result of reactions.

"It is the struggle of us all, everyone can do something in their own right. There are several projects in the world that were not put into operation though their construction had been completed.

"There were dams and nuclear power plants among them. For instance, in Thailand, the construction of a dam named Pak Mun was completed, but they backed down from filling the dam as a result of fishers' protests.

'Turkey can also hold a referendum'

"In Austria, a nuclear power plant that was built 40 years ago stopped operating as a result of a referendum. A referendum can also be held in Turkey. We can suggest something like that.

What we say to the Turkish government is this:

STOP IT NOW

"OK, they perhaps do not cancel the project immediately, but come here and discuss it here with the local community. Let us initiate a common discussion process and act in accordance with the result of this discussion. The government should take such a step, it should talk to the local community about issues concerning the society."

'Hasankeyf meets 9 criteria of UNESCO'

Concluding his remarks, Ayboğa has commented on UNESCO's silence about the issue in following words:

"Sur [in Diyarbakır] is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List, but it does not do anything about it, either.

"The World Heritage Committee should attend this issue, it consists of 21 states. Since they are all aware of the incapability to protect heritage sites, they keep silent about it. For us, there are dirty alliances among the states.

"It is said that Tigris valley meets nine of the 10 criteria necessary for the world heritage list. It is based on a report published in 2018, it was prepared by Prof. Dr. Zeynep Ahunbay.

"While the majority of protected sites across the world meet five of these criteria on average, a site which fulfills nine criteria must be paid attention.

"The report also shows that there is a mound. But the government and the ministry do not take it seriously." (PT/SD)

http://bianet.org/english/culture/20923 ... referendum
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Re: WE MUST HOLD A REFERENDUM TO SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:44 pm

New dam on River Tigris threatens thousands of years of heritage in Turkey

    Some call it the cradle of civilisation

    Historians refer to it as Mesopotamia

    The place where the Stone Age began
But the ruined buildings that have dotted the landscape of southern Turkey for thousands of years, will soon be lost forever. A new dam being built on the River Tigris is believed to responsible for potentially displacing around 50 thousand people from the area, and the historical losses are incalculable.

The new dam on the river will provide irrigation for farming, and electricity for modern living in Turkey. But the rising waters will consume the entire area of the town of Hasankeyf, which will soon be underwater, flooded forever.

Vahap Kusen is the mayor of Hasankeyf said the new dam will solve the draught in the area: "Hasankeyf has, with its 12 thousand years-long history, housed several civilisations. It is a human heritage which will be completely destroyed." He then added: “In the last years the need for water has increased considerably, because of draught. I hope this problem in between the countries is solved so that everyone receives the water they have the right to. This is what we are hoping for."

    A local resident said: “They should not do it. It is difficult for us. They should not do it. We will lose everything. We will be homeless. We receive little compensation, it is difficult.”

    Another resident from the area added: “This is history. Our culture is very rich. In the West and in Europe they value preserving history, but here we are sitting right in the middle of a world treasure. I am a supporter of preserving it. We must have something to show our children.”

https://www.euronews.com/2019/06/10/new ... -in-turkey
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Re: WE MUST HOLD A REFERENDUM TO SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:52 pm

The Disappearing Marshlands of Mesopotamia

A continuation of his long-term documentation of the water crisis in the Fertile Crescent, Mathias Depardon’s Tales From the Land in Between explores how the depletion of the Iraqi marshes is changing the daily lives of the millions of people living around them

Photojournalist Mathias Depardon started to work on the water crisis in Eastern Turkey when investigating the controversial Guneydogu Anadolu Projesi (GAP) - a series of dams congesting the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Besides the many cities and ecosystems along the rivers on the brink of vanishing in Turkey - among which the spectacular ancient town of Hasankeyf - the impact of GAP expands beyond Turkish territory, to neighbouring Iraq and Syria.

Tales From the Land in Between focuses on a unique Mesopotamian wonder, the Iraqi marshes, once the Garden of Eden and now threatened by the worst drought since 1930.

“At the roots of the reeds emerging from the marshes' water, the mark left by this decrease is clear. In addition to becoming scarcer, the water that flows through lower Mesopotamia is dirtier and more polluted.

It is sullied by domestic waste, the toxic products discharged by the petrochemical plants, and by the fish farms that have multiplied to compensate for the disappearance of the fish” journalist Guillaume Perrier, who has been a long-time field partner of Depardon, describes of the scene.

“The pollution suffocates the flora and fauna and drives away the bird species. The salinity level is spiralling up. The eggplant bushes have burnt, the bees are dead, not to mention the hecatomb among the palm trees” he adds.

Depicting this desolation, Depardon’s images are almost monochromatic, filled with burnt grass, fires, barely floating wooden boats, and the earth-colour clothes that the few remaining inhabitants of the marshes wrap themselves with.

Some shots emphasise the striking contrast between the needs and the reality – looking with despair at a tiny pond of water, a group of farmers are surrounded with a flock of sheep so large they could not quench their thirst.

More than in his previous reportages, most of the portraits Depardon shot in Iraq are posed, as if people were here, standing for their rights, waiting for a solution to be found before it’s too late.

Along with environmental and social risks, the geopolitical impact of the dam is at stake. “This water crisis is not only a result of climate change; it is also caused by the mismanagement of resources by the Iraqi government; two decades of war in the region, and the construction of dams upstream in Turkey, which should be the object of a clear water-sharing agreement with Iraq and Syria”, Depardon explains.

The dependence of Iraq on the two rivers enclosing the region, increased with the effect of climate change, have turned the Turkish land and water development project into a major challenge of international cooperation. If no solution is found, population displacements are inevitable in the medium-term, which would result in a volatile mix of Shiite and Sunni communities in Iraq, possibly setting off a regional conflict.

Mathias Depardon is a French photojournalist whose immersive process and slower approach to journalism allow for comprehensive bodies of work that reveal and frame important social, economic, and political issues in territories under tension where he questions the idea of identity and territory. Follow him on Instagram.

https://phmuseum.com/news/the-disappear ... esopotamia
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Re: WE MUST HOLD A REFERENDUM TO SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:11 pm

Signature campaign for Hasankeyf

On 11 June a petion was launched in English against the Ilisu Dam, aimed at the Turkish government

The text is based on the call made by the Keep Hasankeyf Alive and Mesopotamia Ecology Movement on 15 May, which was signed by 121 organizations so far.

Following the call to join the 3rd Global Days of Action for Hasankeyf on 7 and 8 June, protest actions were carried out in in 35 cities against the destructive and controversial Ilisu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant Project.

Under the slogan “Hasankeyf is our culture, Tigris our nature” people from Hasankeyf, Iraq, Rojava and nine European countries called for the Turkish government not to start filling the Ilisu Dam reservoir, as was announced for 10th June, 2019.

Indeed, just two days after the 3rd Global Days of Action for Hasankeyf, on 10th June 2019, the news spread that the filling of the Ilisu Dam reservoir has been postponed. The responsible state agency DSI (State Hydraulic Works) declared to several media agencies that due to high river flow at the Ilisu dam site and uncompleted construction work in Hasankeyf and for roads in the affected region, the filling would be done later, probably in July.

On the noon of 7th June, in several European cities, such as Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Freiburg, and Ljubljana, activists joined the viral FridaysForFuture actions, bringingdiscussions about how large dams like the Ilisu contribute to the climate crisis. Afterwards, actions were carried out in two dozen cities.

In Iraq, actions against the Ilisu Dam and for Hasankeyf and the Tigris river took place in ten cities, from Sulaymaniyah to Basra, on the evening of 7thJune. This high level of participation shows a strong awareness about the crisis of the destruction of nature and the need to struggle against destructive projects from the grassroots.
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Re: WE MUST HOLD A REFERENDUM TO SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:38 pm

Kurdistan's 12,000-year-old town
soon to be submerged by dam waters


Environmental experts said that the Kurdish ancient town of Hasankeyf built 12,000 years ago on the Tigris River in the Mesopotamia basin, is soon to be lost forever under the waters of a dam

According to Ercan Ayboga, spokesman of the Initiative "to Keep Hasankeyf Alive," tens of thousands of people living in the southeastern Batman province, as well as nomadic people, are facing displacement due to the development of the hydroelectric Ilisu dam, part of the massive Southeastern Anatolia Project, a major irrigation scheme aiming to save the region from drought. (while causing drought downstream)

This environmental engineer said that many of the people in the area have already been displaced by the authorities in recent years as the artificial flooding of the reservoir was expected to start in June and submerge Hasankeyf and nearby villages beneath 60 meters of water.

He said that "it seems for some technical reasons that his efforts are still ongoing, and possibly because of the public reaction to the project, the flooding project could be postponed for several months."

"We are calling on authorities to put the brakes on the project in order to hold a meaningful debate on how we can find an acceptable solution," to address social problems of the displaced and the faith of hundreds of ancient monuments which will be submerged, Ayboga added.

Now, the Ilisu Dam is complete about 40 km downstream Hasankeyf. The giant structure is poised to generate 3,800-gigawatt hours of electricity annually, according to the Turkish government that has decided to go ahead with the project.

The dam, located near Iraq, will generate nearly two percent of Turkey's electricity supply, and create an 11-billion-cubic-meter reservoir essential for irrigation purposes for farming in this arid region, as well as provide electricity for modern living in Turkey as well as Iraq. However, it will inundate 300 historical sites, activists have said for years.

Local Kurdish residents generally understand the need for energy supply but are also sad that they will eventually lose their home town.

"There are other ways for energy supply such as solar and wind energy models," said Ridvan Ayhan, 56, who was born and raised in Hasankeyf.

Ayhan explained that he was born in one of the many Neolithic caves located in the area used until the 1970s as dwellings by the locals.

Now turned into an activist over the years against the Ilisu dam, he insisted that "a dam which will have a lifespan of 50 years will engulf a history of 12,000 years, and this is something that we are not ready to accept."

Only a small portion of the archeological sites around Hasankeyf have been unearthed so far in a race against time by archeologists who fear that historical artifacts will be lost forever once the authorities give their green-light to the flooding in the next weeks.

Local authorities are also working to rescue the important historic sites of Hasankeyf by gradually moving them to the park before the construction of the dam is completed.

A 12th-century Islamic monastery, an 800-year-old bathhouse, or hamam in Turkish, and the 650-year-old Zeynel Bey tomb have already been moved to the new Hasankeyf Cultural Park.

Now there is less than 3,000 residents left in Hasankeyf as most of them have been displaced to a newly constructed village about two km away, above the reservoir's water line, where it is expected that they adapt to the new situation.

A final lawsuit in the European Court of Human Rights was rejected in spring on the ground that the protection of an individual's cultural heritage is not a universal right.

Archeologists believe that Hasankeyf's history began 12,000 years ago, based on Neolithic remains found in the surrounding caves. Over the centuries, as the Tigris River became an important Silk Road thoroughfare, Hasankeyf passed through the hands of the Assyrian, Ayyubid and Ottoman Empires.

After the discovery of Neolithic remains, scientists believe the caves of Hasankeyf were settled as early as 10,000 BC. When the area is flooded, many archeological sites will be inaccessible.

Environmentalists also fear that the delicate ecosystem of the Tigris River basin, home to some of the world's earliest civilizations, will be disrupted forever.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-0 ... 150792.htm
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Re: WE MUST HOLD A REFERENDUM TO SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:14 pm

Visiting Hasankeyf Before the Flood

For over a decade, Hasankeyf has been the focus of international attention due to the soon-to-be-completed Ilısu Dam project that will flood much of the historic town. Last Saturday, June 8, I made the side excursion to the town of Hasankeyf, a town between Midyat and Batman in current southeastern Turkey thought to be continuously inhabited for over 12,000 years

The Tigris River runs through Hasankeyf with its ancient structures rising high above overlooking the cave dwellings along the opposite shoreline. Armenians are one of the many people who have had a presence in the town, especially when it was a major point along the silk road. On the eve of the genocide, few Armenians remained; though even late in the 19th century, the head of the Christian community there was an Armenian.

After a decade in the works, the dam shut down this week to begin the flooding stage. The water level will ultimately rise by approximately 200 feet, submerging much of the historically significant remains. The Turkish government has built a new town on the hillside above and will force the remaining residents to relocate.

The dam project has been controversial not only for the cultural impact, but also for the political leverage resulting from limiting the flow of the Tigris to water-deprived Syria and Iraq, particularly in areas heavily populated by Kurds. Four days after I was there, 33 activists were arrested during a protest of the flooding.

While it will take six months or longer for water for rising water levels to reach Hasankeyf, one could feel the sense of urgency of hawkers to sell their tourist trinkets before time runs out. All the while, construction workers and their equipment buzzed along the hillside making the final preparations moving large amounts of gravel and dirt.

The controversy around building dams is nothing new in Turkey, or elsewhere for that matter. Here in Massachusetts, we have the towns impacted by the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs. In Turkey, the Keban dam submerged a number of previously Armenian villages in the Kharpert region in the early 1970s. Today, you can just see the highest point of the village of Habousi above the waterline. My own grandmother’s village of Uzunova in the Palu district was also submerged by the Keban Reservoir, thus preserving it for posterity.

Of course, being underwater does not protect Armenian historical sites from misrepresentation. The Armenian monastery on Lake Goeljuk [Hazar] is being billed as a “sunken city” with no reference to Armenians – euphemisms are the norm.

As my friends and I contemplated the soon-to-be life altering changes, it occurred to us that instead of viewing the dam as another destruction of a cultural site, one could argue this is one of the few ways to actually preserve heritage in Turkey. All too often, looters, treasure seekers and ultra-nationalists purposefully destroy any accessible cultural site in search of Armenian wealth or to purge evidence of an Armenian presence. Much of Hasankeyf will no longer be under threat of such a fate.

https://armenianweekly.com/2019/06/19/d ... the-flood/
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Re: WE MUST HOLD A REFERENDUM TO SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:26 pm

Save the Tigris Invites Members, Followers, and Supporters to Join the “Big Jump” for Hasankeyf

Save the Tigris Invites Members, Followers, and Supporters to Join the “Big Jump” for Hasankeyf

In just a few short weeks, on 14 of July, 2019, the community-led campaign Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive will host a “Big Jump” into the Tigris river at the 12,000 year old town of Hasankeyf in order to demonstrate for the preservation of the town and of the river.

Both Hasankeyf and the entire Tigris River are currently facing an existential threat due to the construction of the Ilisu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant Project in southeastern Turkey. As part of the dam project, Hasankeyf, an ancient city of rich cultural heritage, with hundreds of archeological sites and monuments, and some 6,000 residents, will be completely flooded. Heritage will be destroyed and people will lose their homes and livelihoods.

The damage does not stop at the shores of Hasankeyf. The dam project will degrade the Tigris River ecosystem, which is both beautiful and rich in biodiversity. Downstream, communities along the Tigris River face loss of livelihood and poverty as the dam threatens to significantly reduce water flow to the entire Tigris River valley. The consequences will be particularly felt in Iraq, affecting major cities, agriculture, and posing an existential threat to the Iraqi Marshes, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The filling of Ilisu Dam reservoir was scheduled to start on 10 June 2019, but this has been postponed due to widespread protests in the framework of the 3rd Global Action Days for Hasankeyf from 7-8 June 2019.

For these reasons, Save the Tigris invites you to come and join the Big Jump with our colleagues in Hasankeyf! At 1:00pm on 14 July, we will join together with banners and a strong spirit and jump into the Tigris River in support of its preservation, and the preservation of beautiful Hasankeyf.

If you want to do something but can’t make it all the way to Hasankeyf, you can create your own local Big Jump, film it, and tag Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive and Save the Tigris in the post! You can also use the hashtags #SaveHasankeyf and #SaveTheTigris.

Lastly, we kindly invite you to sign the following petition: Save 12,000 Year Old Hasankeyf!

This new petition demands that the Turkish government refrain from filling the Ilisu Dam and instead initiate a participatory discussion with the local population on the future of the region. It further seeks to achieve an agreement between Turkey, Iraq, and Syria which would guarantee fair water supply within the region. Don’t forget to share!

https://www.savethetigris.org/save-the- ... elTs8E-veE
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Re: WE MUST HOLD A REFERENDUM TO SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:19 pm

Historic Hasankeyf cave flooded with concrete

Demolitions continue in Hasankeyf, an ancient city with 12 thousand years of history that the Ilisu Dam that is currently under construction will flood. So-called restoration efforts also continue in the form of the Hasankeyf Citadel being covered in concrete. Dozens of caves leading up to the citadel were covered in concrete. The most famous cave in Hasankeyf, standing by the road to the historic Hasankeyf Bazaar from the citadel and is assumed to be around 10.000 years old, was torn down with excavators and flooded with concrete.

CONCRETE CLADDING UNDER THE GUISE OF PRESERVATION

Since the day the demolitions began, some of the most important artifacts in the district, the Zeynelbey Tomb, Imam Abdullah Tomb and Hermitage, El Rizk Mosque Minaret, Selahattin Eyyubi Mosque and Minaret, Artuklu Bath House and the Roman Gates leading to the citadel were removed. The artifacts were taken to the Archeopark area in the new Hasankeyf set up by the skirts of the Raman Mountain, but it is not clear how much damage they suffered during transport. On top of the relocation, the historic Hasankeyf Citadel is being clad in concrete under the guise of “restoration” and “protection from water”.

HISTORIC CAVE FLOODED IN CONCRETE

Over a hundred caves have been flooded with concrete by construction equipment without any studies or inspections, under the guise of “restoration”. Some have been demolished with giant excavators, and many more were buried under concrete. The most famous cave in the area was demolished by excavators, and buried in concrete afterwards.

The cave where some scenes of Atif Yilmaz’s 1974 film “Kuma” (“Second Wife”) were recorded was dubbed “the Empty Crib Cave” by locals and tourist guides as one of the prop cribs used in the film was placed in the preserved cave in the 2000s. Every tour would stop by the cave, which was estimated to be around 10 thousand years old.

GUIDES CONTINUE TO MENTION THE CAVE

Despite the demolitions and the transportation of artifacts, tourist guides from Hasankeyf continue to inform the visitors of the town as they pass out booklets depicting Hasankeyf before the destruction. Hasankeyf guide Sehmus Turgay said they were saddened by the historic cave being flooded under concrete and added that the thousands of years of the cave’s story was sacrificed for a dam with a lifecycle of 50 years. Turgay said: “We don’t know what to do anymore. We are being pushed out of these lands we were born on and nobody is happy about this.”

Turgay said he has been telling visitors about the cave and the town since he was little and added that he will continue to do so as long as he lives, despite the destruction in Hasankeyf.
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