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Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

A place for discussion and exchanging ideas about Kurdistan issues here, also a place for sharing article & views and analysis about Kurdistan .

Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy the CAVES Protect the TIGRIS

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:23 pm

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The Tigris and Euphrates Basins

The Euphrates River originates in the mountains of East Turkey, where two tributaries rise before merging near Keban/Elazig to form the Euphrates River itself. After Keban, the river flows south, crossing into Syria at Jarablus. Within Syria, it is joined by the Sajur and Balikh rivers before entering Iraq at Al’Qa’em. It finally joins the Tigris in the south of Iraq to form the Shatt Al-Arab River, which drains into the Persian Gulf near Al-Faw.

The length of the Euphrates is around at 2,940 kilometres (km), with 40% in Turkey, 20.5% in Syria and 39.5% in Iraq. Although more than two thirds of the drainage area lies outside Turkey, 92% of the water in the river originates in Turkey. The drainage area of the Euphrates is widely accepted as 444,000 square kilometres (km2). The share of each state in the basin is like this: Turkish share at 28%, with Syria at 17%, Iraq 40% and Saudi Arabia 15%. The annual mean flow rate of the Euphrate at the Turkish-Syrian border is around 32 billion m3.

Like the Euphrates, the Tigris (1,840 km) also flows through Turkey, Syria and Iraq. In the Turkish Republic, the Tigris flows through the southeast for about 400 km where the main tributories Batman, Garzan and Botan join it, then forms the border with Syria for 40 km, and flows downstream to Iraq. In Iraq the Tigris is fed by the Great Zab, the Little Zab, the ‛Adhaim, and the Diyala rivers. Iraq’s share of the basin is at 45%,

Turkey’s share at 25%, Syria’s at 2% and Iran’s share at 28%. The river’s flow is characterized by a high annual and seasonal variability. The annual mean flow is 520 m3/s at the border between Turkey and Syria (17 billion m3). The lowest flow was 9.6 billion m3 in 1973, and the highest was 34.3 billion m3 in 1969. Mean flow in April is 1433 m3/s, while the driest month is September with 113 m3/s. Downstream, at Baghdad, the average flow is 1236 m3/s.1 Although Turkey shares only around 25% of the basin area, together with the Great Zap River, which originates in the province Hakkari within the Turkish borders, 55% of whole Tigris mean annual flow comes from Turkey.

Dam Constructions and Conflict on the Tigris and Euphrates before the GAP

In the case of the Tigris and Euphrates basins, the role that dams have played in exacerbating conflict between the major riparian States - Turkey, Syria and Iraq - is clear.

All three countries rely on the waters of the Euphrates and Tigris for their agriculture, energy and future development. Unsurprisingly, the development of engineering projects on the two rivers, notably large dams and irrigation works, has been a source of growing tension between the riparian states.

Although outright violence has been avoided, hostilities have mounted each time that a new dam has been built or proposed. On at least three occasions, water related hostilities have brought the various parties to the brink of war, with troops being mobilised and threats made to bomb existing dams.

Iraq, the last downstream state on the rivers, was the first to develop dams on the Euphrates, constructing the Hindiya Dam on the Euphrates in 1914 and a second Dam at ar-Ramadi in the 1950s.

Although both Turkey and Syria began feasibility studies for developing the two rivers in the mid-1950s, neither country undertook construction of any major works until 1966 when Syria started the Tabqa High Dam, later renamed al-Thawrah ("The Revolution"), on the Euphrates and Turkey began construction of the Keban Dam, also on the Euphrates.

Both dams triggered major international disputes. The start of construction on the Keban Dam prompted protests from Syria to Turkey, whilst the completion of the Tabqua Dam led Iraq to threaten military action in 1974 and again in 1975,4 with both Syria and Iraq mobilising their troops and moving them to the border.

Mediation by the Soviet Union and Saudi Arabia diffused the crisis after Syria agreed to release more water from the dam. Subsequently an agreement was reached between Syria and Iraq whereby Iraq receives 58% of the Euphrates water crossing the Syrian Turkey border. The agreement has greatly eased tension between the two countries, leading to what Syrian government sources describe as "an era of cooperation between the two countries over water".

The GAP – Southeastern Anatolia Project

Relations between Syria and Iraq on the one hand, and Turkey on the other, have however remained tense, with both Syria and Iraq expressing grave concerns over Turkey's ambitious Southeast Anatolia Project, known as GAP, after its Turkish name "Guneydogu Anadolu Projesi". Under the GAP, the Turkish government plans to develop a cluster of 14 dams on the Euphrates basin and 8 on the Tigris.

Launched in 19776 and covering nine mainly Kurdish populated provinces with a total area of 74,000 square kilometres, the $32 billion project is the largest development project ever undertaken in Turkey, and one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Together with other planned projects, a total of at least 90 dams and 60 power plants8 will have been built on the two river basins, regulating 28 per cent of Turkey’s total water potential. In addition to generating 27 billion kilowatt hours (7467 MW capacity) of electricity, the dams would be used to irrigate 1.82 million hectares of land in order to grow cash crops and encourage the growth of agro-industries, such as food processing for export.

The newly irrigated land would increase the area in Turkey under irrigation by 40 per cent. Around the Ataturk dam, the region has been transformed into one of the most important centres of cotton production in Turkey. Overall, it is claimed that the GAP will generate 3.8 million jobs and raise per capita income in the region by 209 per cent.

Numerous government departments are involved in the implementation of GAP, under the aegis of the Southeastern Anatolia Project Regional Development Administration (GAPRDA).
To date, Turkey has invested some $20 billion12 from its own domestic resources in GAP, with international institutions and the private sector investing a further $3.5 billion.

Of the planned water projects, 14 dams and 9 hydroelectric power plants have already been built - including the giant Ataturk, Karakaya, Keban, Birecik, Karkamis, Batman and Kralkizi dams. 74 percent of the planned hydroelectric plants are running, generating 51 percent of whole Turkey’s hydroenergy and approximately 15 per cent of Turkey’s total electricity production. As of 2009, 15 per cent of the total planned irrigation target had been achieved, with 8 to 10 per cent under construction.

Although originally conceived solely as a water development project, the GAP has now been expanded to include other infrastructure programmes, including the building of industrial areas, schools, health care centres, roads, housing and tourism centres. According to the GAP authorities, the integration of these projects into the GAP programme reflects Turkey's commitment to "sustainable human development that is in conformity with the Rio principles".

In reality, however, the GAP typifies "top down" development. There has been little or no consultation with affected communities and the projects are implemented without any local participation. Hundreds of thousand people have now been displaced, often forcibly and rarely with adequate compensation. Many have ended up in the shantytowns of the major cities, unable to find full-time employment and living in poverty.

The GAP has also caused major environmental degradation. Salinisation of irrigated land and soil erosion are now serious problems. Salinisation and high groundwater table occure already in 55% of the irrigated land in the plain of Harran (province Urfa), the main irrigation area.

The created dam reservoirs have destroyed rich habitat for numerous plants and animals and they have big problems with the water quality which is a threat to flora and fauna species and also to the health of the population.

Today 95% of diseases can be determined in the region around the dam reservoirs on the Euphrates River.

Further the dam reservoirs have flooded in that area, which is also known as Upper Mesopotamia, very important cultural heritage – thousands of archeological sites – along the rivers which have a history of up to 12.000 years. The most known of the submerged archeological sites are Samsat, Nevala Çori, Zeugma/Belkis, Hallan Çemi.

Concern has also been expressed over the political motivations underlying GAP. There is little doubt that the majority of GAP officials and field workers are deeply committed to the programme’s overt aims of poverty alleviation and economic development, or that the majority of people in the region, which is one of the poorest in Turkey, seek means to improve their living standards and to gain access to modern technologies, health care and education.

Yet the project has from its inception been underpinned by the Turkish State’s longpursued policy of assimilating the region’s Kurdish majority into mainstream Turkish society and culture. Indeed, the Turkish government’s official publicity for the project explicitly states that the GAP is intended to “dramatically change the social and cultural make-up of the region.” So, it is widely held in many quarters that the Turkish authorities have promoted the GAP project as a means of altering the demography of the region, through the displacement of Kurds into larger towns so as to exercise more effective control over the region.

Dam Constructions and Conflict on the Tigris and Euphrates together with GAP

Since the 80ies Turkey and Iraq have started to implement ambitious water development schemes on both the Tigris and the Euphrates, transforming the river and the lives of people who depend on it.

Iraq completed the large multi-purpose Mossul Dam with a reservoir capacity of 10 billion m3 in the late 1980s, and has started to construct the other big Samara dam on the Tigris with a similar storage capacity.

The Mosul Dam, combined with massive drainage works constructed after the Gulf War, has resulted in the transformation of the lower Tigris River and the destruction of main parts of the unique Mesopotamian Marshland ecosystem which has been followed by forced displacement of the indigenous Marsh Arabs. Meanwhile an important part of the destructed Marshlands could be restored after 2003.

Turkey's aggressive water politics were illustrated dramatically in 1990, when Turkey blocked the flow of the Euphrates for 9 days whilst filling the reservoir of the Atatűrk Dam, the biggest dam on the Euphrates.

Both Syria and Iraq accused Turkey of failing to inform them of the cut-off, prompting Iraq to threaten to bomb all the Euphrates dams. Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs rebutted such claims, arguing that its co-riparians had "been informed in a timely way that river flow would be interrupted for a period of one month, due to technical necessity", and that, prior to impoundment, more water than usual was released downstream, in order to allow Syria and Iraq to store sufficient waters to carry them through the impoundment period.

Turkey also argued that the average flow downstream never fell below 500 million cubic metres per second (m3/s) - the minimum agreed under a 1987 Protocol signed between Turkey and Syria.16 This is disputed by both Syria and Iraq, which point out that the decision to release “extra” water downstream prior to impoundment was taken unilaterally by Turkey and without sufficient notice.

Syria also notes that whilst the average monthly discharge at Jarablus on the Turkish-Syrian border for the year 1989-90 may not have fallen below far the agreed 500 m3/s, the monthly discharge in January and February 1990 was far lower – 321 m3/sec and 320 m3/sec respectively.

Further protests by Syria and Iraq were lodged with Turkey in 1993, prior to the construction of the Birecik Dam on the Euphrates. The same year, with many GAP dams at a low level due to drought, Turkey “chose to turn off the tap during the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice in June, reducing the flow from 500 cubic metres per second to 170”18 in contravention of its agreement under the 1987 Protocol with Syria.

In Fall 1998 Turkey threatened Syria with war if Syria will not banish Abdulla Öcalan, the leader of PKK. Besides the threat with war Turkey blackmailed Syria with the cutting of Euphrates water. At the same time was a NATO military manoeuvre which was also an indirect signal to Syria. In the end Syria stepped back and Öcalan left Syria which ended up in its kidnapping to Turkey in February 1999.

In 2001 Turkey announced unilaterally that it was going to reduce the flow of the Euphrates to Syria to one third of the previously agreed amount because of severe drought in the region.

Concerns over GAP

Turkey argues that the GAP is key to its future economic development. Although both Syria and Iraq are at pains to point out that they respect Turkey's right to develop, both countries fear that the GAP will result in serious downstream impacts, including dramatically reduced flow and increased levels of pollution. Both countries also fear that Turkey is using the GAP to establish control over the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates as part of a wider policy of establishing regional hegemony.

Link to Full Extremely Interesting Article:

https://ercanayboga.blogspot.com/2009/0 ... tolia.html
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy the CAVES Protect the TIGRIS

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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy the CAVES Protect the TIGRIS

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:56 pm

Cont:

Reducing the Flow

Much of the water stored in GAP dams is intended for irrigation. All GAP dam reservoirs are planned to irrigate a total of almost 1.82 million hectares of land. On the basis of the figures published by the GAP authorities, Iraq calculates that the Tigris irrigation projects will reduce the flow of the Tigris as it passes the border into Syria at Cizre by 46% - considering that there is an annual mean flow rate of 17 Bm3.

Such a big shortage in the Tigris River resources will have grave repercussions for Iraq. The majority of Iraq's population depends on the Tigris to meet their drinking water needs, agricultural requirements and others.

Agriculture has been practiced for thousands of years along the said river and technical studies have shown that a decrease of 1 Bm3 in the river's resources will result in the non-use of arable lands estimated at 62,500 hectares (ha).

The non-use of such areas will have severe consequences for the entire agricultural production and the water supply for existing farms, as well as other social and economic repercussions on farmers deprived of agricultural requirements, let alone the problem of desertification which will be exacerbated as a result of the above mentioned reduction of arable lands.

Here is to mention that especially the Marshlands in the South of Iraq are under threat. In the Marshlands, which have been restored partially after 2003, live between 4 and 5 Million people who produces 40% of all Iraqi food. The predicted reduce would threaten many hundred thousands of people and an important part of the Iraqi food production.

Iraq also predicts that the reduced flow “will be reflected badly on power generation” from the Mossul and Samara dams. As for two years the Mossul Dam’s water level is decreased significantly because of structural and security reasons the loss would be less than as it would be fully impounded.

Nevertheless such an potential power reduction may be important. Syria, which has a similar dependency on the downstream flow of the Euphrates, forecasts similar problems arising from reduced flow of that river.

Before the construction of the Keban Dam in 1966, Turkey used just 3% of the waters of the Euphrates for irrigation. If GAP is completed, the total irrigated area for the Euphrates basin in Turkey will require 9 to 16.9 Bm3 of water a year.

Syrian officials estimate that the downstream flow of the Euphrates as it crosses the Syrian border will be reduced by 30%-60%. In effect, “Turkey is planning to use completely half of the Euphrates yield, leaving Syria and Iraq the other half. Moreover, 11% of this half will be of lower quality water since it is return irrigation water from Turkey.”

The argumentation of Syria and Iraq against the large irrigation projects on the Turkish side is that they have used the Euphrates and Tigris water for thousands of years. The southern border of Turkey is more or less the border from where downstream agriculture is only possible with irrigation. The precipitation in the parts along the Euphrates and Tigris in Syria and Iraq is not enough for agriculture. So the Syria and Iraq emphasize that they have a natural and historical based right on the water of Euphrates and Tigris.

Decreased Water Quality

The quality of the water release from Turkey to Syria and Iraq will be significantly of less quality than before entering the dam reservoirs within Turkey. This is caused by inscreasing waste water from urban areas and by inscreasinf water use for irrigation.

The original planning for the GAP project appears to have paid little attention to the problem of return flows from irrigation schemes. Both Syria and Iraq fear that the result will be increased levels of salinity in the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates, a problem which will be compounded by pesticide and fertiliser run-off and by increased sewage discharges from the new urban centres that GAP is seeking to stimulate.

Already before reaching Syria and Iraq the water quality in the most large dam reservoirs of GAP will be decreased enormously. So in Syria and Iraq the use of contaminated water in irrigation results in the transmission of contaminants to the irrigated plants and consequently to humans, as well as increasing soil salinity, reducing productivity and converting areas of agricultural land into barren land.

The deterioration of water quality definitely reduces the uses to which the water can be put, even if it does not render the water completely unusable for human or agricultural consumption. This can create a shortage in water supply, converting the quality problem into a quantity problem.

Estimates vary, but one independent study has predicted that insecticide levels in the Syrian portion of the Euphrates and its tributaries could increase by 35%.25 Technical studies conducted by Iraq have also forecast a doubling of salinity levels in the Tigris as a result of upstream irrigation in Turkey.

Iraq also believes that existing dam projects on the Tigris and Euphrates will affect about 1.3 million hectares of agricultural land - some 40 per cent of the agricultural land available - as a result of declining water quality.

Turkey's Regional Ambitions; Controlling the Water

There are also fears that the dams that Turkey has built - and intends to build - will enable Turkey to exercise control over its downstream neighbours. Such fears for an hydrohegemony by Turkey are not without foundation.

The potential to hold water back, which the GAP - even uncompleted - gives Turkey over its downstream neighbours, is huge. Turkey's three major dams on the Euphrates - Keban, Karakaya and Ataturk - have a storage capacity (some 90-100 billion cubic metres of water), which greatly meets almost the three time of annual flow of the Euphrates.

If all dams in the Tigris Basin are built, Turkey will have a storage capacity of 22 bm3 which is more than the annual mean flow of 17 bm3. Should Turkey decide to cut off downstream flow completely, especially in the irrigation period, it would therefore have the means to do so for a considerable period of time.

Noting the strategic importance of Turkey’s abundant water resources, a 1998 report by the UK Defence Forum warned that the GAP project as a whole is: “…one of the region’s most dangerous water time bombs. The dispute has not erupted yet because the project has not yet reached its full potential. By the time of its planned completion in 2010, the vital interests involved give it the potential to become one of the region’s most dangerous flashpoints.”27

Over the years, Turkey has made a number of statements that leave little room for doubting its “first come, first served” approach to the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates. The former Turkish president Suleyman Demirel once said in 1992: “The water resources are Turkey's; the oil resources are theirs. We don't say we share their oil resources, and they cannot share our water resources."

In the last ten years Turkey's tone has softened somewhat from outright belligerence to studied imprecision. Nonetheless, despite the talk of collaboration over the use of the Tigris and Euphrates, the language is still uncompromising. Inevitably, questions have been raised as to why Turkey should have built in such huge surplus storage capacity.

The main problem in this context is that Turkey does not sign international accepted conventions on international water courses and does not want to have a mutual agreement with Syria and Iraq on water sharing.

For example Turkey has not signed the UN Convention on Non-navigational use of Transboundary Watercourses (1997). Because Turkey is not bound legally to any agreement nobody can accuse it in case of holding back flowing water. But the disrupting of flowing water to Syria and Iraq would be a breach of international customary law regardless of whether there were formal legal agreements between Turkey and the other countries.

Even if an agreement is reached on water sharing, assurances that downstream flow rates will be maintained will ultimately depend on Turkey's political ambitions in the region. Turkey's membership of NATO, its close relations with the USA and the negotations for a membership of the EU all place it in a strong bargaining position vis-a-vis its downstream neighbours, particularly Iraq, which is after the US occupation in a very weak position.

Indeed, officials in both Iraq and Syria expressed the view that Turkey had taken advantage of the sanctions against Iraq till 2003 and of a weak iraqi government in the following years to push ahead with its GAP projects on the Tigris, on the assumption that opposition from Iraq (the major downstream co-riparian, since the Tigris only flows through Syria for 40 kilometres) would be either ignored or muted.

Even if today the relations between Iraq and Turkey are good – they have improved in the last some years – allowing a state in times of peace to wield this powerful tool will have always a negative impact on the relations between these two neighbouring countries. No open threat is necessary, as the potential for doing that is sufficient to affect the relations between the states in the political fragile Middle East. Who can assure by which parties or circles Iraq or Syria will be governed in five years?

Water as a commodity

Beside the regulating capacity of the dams and their use as a weapon against the two downstream countries, Turkey regards water as a commodity in the Middle East context. The expectation that soon different factors like growing population, increasing life standard, developing industry and agriculture and missmanagement of water resources will enhance the need for water in countries like Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Saudi Arabia, would allow to sell water via pipelines.

If all dam reservoirs are completed Turkey will have a huge storage capacity which would allow to sell water in a big scale without any problem. As mentioned above, the total storage capacity of all dams in the Euphrates and Tigris Basin is at least 120 bm3.

The selling of water has been realized in the past; Turkey sold water to Israel from the Antalya region for around two years via ships. Because of different technical and financial it has been stopped.

After the completion of the Ataturk Dam the Turkish president Özal proposed carefully to some Middle East countries to build a water pipeline from the Euphrates to Jordan, Israel and Palestine. But Syria had no any interest and the water scarcity was not yet so extremely big, thats why this idea has not been followed any more in the following years. But slowly its becoming more interesting again.

Link to Full Exciting Article:

https://ercanayboga.blogspot.com/2009/0 ... tolia.html
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES Protect downriver countries

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:36 pm

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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES Protect downriver countries

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:48 am

Erdoğan Removes UNESCO-Listed Cappadocia Valley from List of National Parks

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Göreme Valley, famous for its "Fairy Chimneys", is no longer a national park after a decree by the President has been published in the Official Gazette

Cappadocia Valley, also known as Göreme Valley in Turkish, has been removed from the list of national parks by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

According to a presidential decree that has been published in the Official Gazette, the valley's national park status is removed due to Article 3 of the Law on Encouragement of Tourism.

The valley in the central Anatolian city of Nevşehir was declared a national park with a decree by the Cabinet of Ministers on October 30, 1986. It was inscripted in UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 1985.

The "Fairy Chimneys"

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Cappadocia and its area were first planned to be declared a national park in 1967 and a "long term development plan" was prepared for the region.

According to Erdoğan's decree, Torba district and its area and Kızılağaç içmeler area in the western Muğla province are declared a "protection and development zone for culture and tourism."

About Göreme Valley

Located on the central Anatolia plateau within a volcanic landscape sculpted by erosion to form a succession of mountain ridges, valleys and pinnacles known as "fairy chimneys" or hoodoos, Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia cover the region between the cities of Nevşehir, Ürgüp and Avanos, the sites of Karain, Karlık, Yeşilöz, Soğanlı and the subterranean cities of Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu.

The area is bounded on the south and east by ranges of extinct volcanoes with Erciyes Dağ (3916 m) at one end and Hasan Dağ (3253 m) at the other. The density of its rock-hewn cells, churches, troglodyte villages and subterranean cities within the rock formations make it one of the world's most striking and largest cave-dwelling complexes. Though interesting from a geological and ethnological point of view, the incomparable beauty of the decor of the Christian sanctuaries makes Cappadocia one of the leading examples of the post-iconoclastic Byzantine art period.

It is believed that the first signs of monastic activity in Cappadocia date back to the 4th century at which time small anchorite communities, acting on the teachings of Basileios the Great, Bishop of Kayseri, began inhabiting cells hewn in the rock. In later periods, in order to resist Arab invasions, they began banding together into troglodyte villages or subterranean towns such as Kaymakli or Derinkuyu which served as places of refuge.

Cappadocian monasticism was already well established in the iconoclastic period (725-842) as illustrated by the decoration of many sanctuaries which kept a strict minimum of symbols (most often sculpted or tempera painted crosses). However, after 842 many rupestral churches were dug in Cappadocia and richly decorated with brightly coloured figurative painting. Those in the Göreme Valley include Tokalı Kilise and El Nazar Kilise (10th century), St. Barbara Kilise and Saklı Kilise (11th century) and Elmalı Kilise and Karanlık Kilise (end of the 12th – beginning of the 13th century).

Source: UNESCO
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES Protect downriver countries

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:45 am

Hasankeyf Museum awaits visitors

Hasankeyf Museum awaits visitors

Poor Hasankeyf :(( :(( :(( :(( :(( :(( :((

A museum in the southeastern province of Batman hosts some of the most compelling treasures from the early ages of civilization.

What about the live treasures in the forms of unique flora and fauna the NOT NICE Turks are destroying

Hasankeyf Museum, which recently opened, holds 1,453 works belonging to the Paleolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze, Iron and Middle Ages and the Roman, Artuqid and Ottoman periods from five different cities including Batman, Mardin, Siirt, Şırnak and Diyarbakır.

By next year, some 4,000 artifacts will be exhibited at the museum after their transfer from neighboring areas.

They will be displayed in chronological order with visual animations that will take visitors back in time.

Lifesize wax sculptures will show visitors how cavemen lived on the banks of the Tigris River. The museum will also house a cafeteria, foyer, conference hall, library, laboratory and children’s education workshop.

Also, the mockups of Zeynel Bey Mosque, Er Rızk Mosque, Süleyman Han Mosque, Yamaç social complex and the gate of Koç Mosque will be displayed at the museum.

Visitors will be able to reach the museum by boats and through a newly built bridge.

Ali Rıza Altınel, Deputy General Manager of Cultural Heritage and Museums, said that the museum will shed light on the history of the region.

Stating that the Hasankeyf Museum is one of the rare structures built within the scope of the Ilısu Dam, Altınel said the following:

“The museum has two floors and display halls. It was built for the display of many artifacts from the mounds, neighboring cities and villages in the region within the scope of the construction of Ilısu Dam. Especially, we transferred many works from the Hasankeyf old settlement area to an archaeology park. We show the original scaled-down models of these structures in the museum.”

Altınel called for tourism agencies and travel companies to bring tourists to the museum. “We want our guests to see this museum. Perhaps they will not be able to see the old Hasankeyf, but when they want to feel Hasankeyf, I think they will experience Hasankeyf much more by visiting this museum,” he said.

Archaeological and ethnographic features

Altınel said that the museum houses artifacts from all periods, adding that it has both archaeological and ethnographical features.

Starting from the prehistoric period, the museum has many works from Roman, Artuqid and Ottoman periods. At the same time, it contains Hasankeyf’s contemporary, cultural and artistic life and aesthetics. The museum is both an archaeological museum and has ethnographic features. Due to these features, it reflects all kinds of culture from past to present, Altınel said.

He said that more than 4,000 works will be exhibited in the museum.

“In terms of cultural assets, I think that we have accomplished an important work by saving Hasankeyf and many archaeological artifacts and taking them to the archaeological site or preserving them in our museum. We have 1,453 artifacts on display, but there are many more under restorations in storage. More than 4,000 archaeological finds will be exhibited here when everything is finished,” he said.

Just think of all the thousands of artefacts that remain undiscovered in the countless hundreds of unexplored caves that the Turkish NOT NICE people are flooding - against the wishes of the local Kurdish inhabitants

Hasankeyf, located 32 kilometers southeast of Batman, was declared a conservation area in 1981. There are nearly 6,000 caves around the town which provide insight into the Christian and Muslim civilizations that inhabited the region. It also has a Byzantine fortress.

The museum includes artifacts excavated by teams from the Ilısu Dam, a project that will generate electricity for southeastern Turkey. As teams started filling the dam downstream, the historic city of Hasankeyf had to be evacuated.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/hasank ... ors-147905
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES Protect downriver countries

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:01 am

Die Flutung von Hasankeyf

Hasankeyf is supposedly the oldest inhabited settlement in the world. But 12,000 years of history will drown in the floods of the Tigris, for a dam project. In about a year, the rich culture will have almost completely sunk.

Link to video:

https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/zdf-mitt ... JZOgWaeWNY
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES Protect downriver countries

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:37 pm

Hasankeyf Matters

Hasankeyf has mattered to me for more than 20 years <3

Yesterday the market was closed, the merchants evicted. Today, word is the demolition of the market - located on a slope that once was a Christian neighborhood, where the remains of churches are still visible - has begun.

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This forced resettlement deprives the people of Hasankeyf of their heritage, their way of life, their means of making a living.

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But it's still not too late to save the archaeological and architectural treasures of the Salihiyye and Kasimiyye districts, which - combined with the natural ecosystem of the Upper Tigris Valley - could serve as a strong foundation for sustainable economic development.

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It's not too late to change course, alter the project and stop the flood. It's not too late to #SaveHasankeyf #SaveOurHeritage #HasankeyfİçinGeçDeğil

https://www.facebook.com/11081562571175 ... =3&theater
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES Protect downriver countries

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:37 pm

Hasankeyf und der Staudamm:

Vom Wasser vertrieben

Der Ilisu-Damm ist eines der Megaprojekte der türkischen Regierung: Durch ihn entsteht ein riesiger Stausee. In ihm versinkt die antike Kulturstadt Hasankeyf, Hunderte Familien müssen ihre Heimat verlassen.

Im türkischen Hasankeyf sind die Bagger in Betrieb. Sie zerstören die Häuser der Menschen, die künftig in Neu-Hasankeyf leben werden. Sie weichen dem Wasser des Tigris, das hier jeden Tag steigt.

Wo bisher die jahrhundertealte Stadt steht, wird künftig ein Stausee sein. Er wird die Fläche von München haben und entsteht dank des Ilisu-Damms. 135 Meter hoch ist das Bauwerk. Die Regierung geht davon aus, dass Hasankeyf im November oder Dezember geflutet ist.

Bis dahin müssen alle Bewohner weg sein. Etwa 3000 Menschen - viele von ihnen Kurden - leben in der einer der ältesten, dauerhaft bewohnten Siedlungen der Menschheit. Vor 12.000 Jahren hätten ihre Vorfahren hier schon gelebt, behaupten sie. Der Staat hat ihnen zwar eine Entschädigung für das alte Haus bezahlt, aber das neue in dem höher gelegenen Neu-Hasankeyf ist doppelt so teuer.

Und: Es steht auf der anderen Seite des Flusses. Hunderte exakt gleiche Einfamilienhäuser aus dem gleichen grauen Stein warten dort auf die etwa 700 Familien. Vier Zimmer, Küche, Bad, Dachterrasse.

Hoffen auf den Tourismus

Doch die Motivation, dort hinzuziehen, hält sich in Grenzen. "Nach der Flutung soll es hier mit dem Tourismus weitergehen. Besucher sollen Boot fahren können und mit einer Seilbahn auf die Burg. Aber ob das wirklich so kommt, werden wir erst Jahre später erfahren, nachdem es geflutet wurde", berichtet Osman Yavuz. Er ist Fremdenführer in Hasankeyf und ist skeptisch, ob die Pläne der Regierung aufgehen. Die träumt von Tauchtouristen, die die dann untergegangene Stadt erforschen werden. In türkischen Medien ist die Rede von Jet-Skis.

"Archäologiepark" statt historisches Dorf

Eine "einzigartige Kulturlandschaft" nennt Architekturprofessorin Zeynep Ahunbey das Gebiet. "Da wäre noch so viel zu erforschen und auszugraben gewesen."

Gerettet vor dem Wasser werden insgesamt acht Monumente - etwa die jahrhundertealte Moschee, ein Grabmal aus dem 15. Jahrhundert und ein Badehaus. Sie werden umgesiedelt in einen nahen "Archäologiepark".

Mit Informationen von Christian Buttkereit, ARD-Studio Istanbul

Über dieses Thema berichtete die tagesschau am 04. November 2019 um 12:00 Uhr.

Link to Article - Heartbreaking Video:

https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/hasan ... Rqj_7tyX4o
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:05 pm

Act Now to Protect People and
the Environment - Save the Tigris


International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, 6 November 2019

The international community needs to take bold actions before, during and after armed conflicts to protect people and the environment.

That is the call being made today by 102 NGOs and experts from 33 countries to mark the UN day on conflict and the environment. It includes Save the Tigris Campaign.

A number of serious incidents in armed conflicts have harmed people and the environment recently. This has occurred even though more attention than ever is being paid to how environmental factors can lead to conflicts, how the environment is affected by conflicts, and how the environment can help restore peace. But this increased attention has yet to translate into meaningful change on the ground.

Broad coalition

The NGOs behind today’s statement are active in the fields of human rights, humanitarian disarmament, development and environmental protection, and are joined by leading experts in conservation, international law, public health, peacebuilding and other fields.

Wim Zwijnenburg, Project Leader for PAX on Conflict and Environment: “We have witnessed the severe environmental degradation and pollution in the various conflict areas PAX is working in. This has affected the health and well-being of communities, and their opportunities to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. The international community should step up their efforts to rethink military operations, improve research into environment dimensions of armed conflict and mainstream environment in humanitarian response. We need a robust, international coordinated and comprehensive mechanism to ensure this happens timely and swiftly.”

Positive developments

The signatories welcome the trend to recognize the important links between the environment, peace and security, citing UN-led efforts to strengthen the laws protecting the environment in relation to armed conflicts, and to establish a climate security mechanism. They also welcome the increasing recognition of the role of the environment in the protection of civilians, and steps to mainstream the environment in post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding.

Momentum

New constituencies have also engaged on the topic, with conservation experts recently calling for measures to protect biodiversity in areas affected by conflict. The signatories argue that this momentum for change has been underpinned by a growth in understanding about the connections between the environment and armed conflicts.

It is vital that the international community builds on this momentum to ensure that the environment is accepted as a critical component of peace and security. To do so, governments should draw on the knowledge of civil society, experts and communities to help develop policies that can protect human health and ecosystems, and restore damaged environments.

November 6 is the UN’s Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, which aims to increase awareness of the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts.

https://www.savethetigris.org/act-now-t ... 2yjf34FiMU
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:17 pm

Demolition and Resistance
Continue in Hasankeyf's Bazaar


The transfer of historical buildings due to the construction of a dam in Hasankeyf, Urfa continues.

For the transfer of the 600-year-old Er Rızk Mosque, the historic bazaar on Kale Street was demolished on Wednesday (November 6) :((

Authorities had given time to shop owners in the historical bazaar to move to the new settlement area until November 3.

The ancient city of Hasankeyf, which was founded 12 thousand years ago, will be submerged in the water once the Ilısu Dam operates in full capacity. Authorities transferred numerous historical buildings from the area that will submerge.

"Some artisans were not granted a place"

Mehmet Kızmaz, a journalist from the region, told bianet that "both the demolition and resistance continue."

"Some left the historical bazaar, which has about 50 shops, but there are also those who stayed because they were not given a place in the new settlement area. Some artisans, although they lived in Hasankeyf, were not counted as people of the region because, I guess, they are not married and they were not granted a place, a shop in the new area. These artisans are resisting.

    Hasankeyf'in tarihi çarşısı dozerlerle yıkılıyor.
    O anları kayda alan esnaf:"Hasankeyf'i koruyoruz dedikleri budur"

    Hasankeyfliler gibi esnafı da,onlarca yıl her türlü baskı gördü.Mecbur bırakılarak,pazar zorla çıkarıldı.Kale Sokağındaki çarşının yıkımına da pazartesi başlandı. pic.twitter.com/Bx0AXzBuX8
    — Mehmet Kızmaz (@MehmedKizmaz) November 6, 2019
"There was an intense public reaction to the demolition. Thereupon, in an area that is already in the historic docks, the artifacts from Seljuks were presented as if they had just been found. They spread it as if they had come during the demolition.

"They are spreading, saying, 'We are building a library.' The number of people is low but still, they announce that 'We are building a library.' We are under intense manipulation from the media. For this reason, we give importance to spreading the right information." (EMK/VK)

http://bianet.org/english/environment/2 ... ric-bazaar
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Nov 10, 2019 7:05 pm

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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:26 pm

Turkey’s Other Weapon
Against the Kurds: Water


In times of conflict, war, and climate change, hydropower is state power

Since the early 2000s, a massive hydropower project in southeastern Turkey has been mired in controversy, moving forward in fits and starts. But as of this past July, construction is finally complete. As the dam and its reservoir become fully operational, the line between hydropower and state power will be washed away. This fall, the violence that followed a sudden, destabilizing withdrawal of US troops from nearby northern Syria captured the world’s attention as it cleared the path for Turkey’s military to dominate the Kurdish opposition.

Meanwhile, the water slowly rising behind the 442-foot-high, more-than-a-mile-wide wall of the Ilisu Dam across the Tigris River is a less overt sign of that same determination

“This dam is a weapon against the lowlands,” said Ulrich Eichelmann, a German ecologist and conservationist and head of the Austrian NGO RiverWatch, over the phone from Vienna. “It was planned and is now being built in a way they can hold back the whole Tigris for a long time. If you see water as a weapon, dams are the new cannons. Iraq has the oil, Turkey has the water, and sometimes, it’s much better to have the water.”

The Tigris and Euphrates rivers, two of the three longest rivers in the Middle East after the Nile, both originate in Turkey. The Euphrates flows across Turkey, south through the heart of Syria, and into Iraq. Now, both of these storied, sacred, ancient rivers are drying up, and the (once) Fertile Crescent is giving way to arid, cracked ground.

To some extent, the culprit is climate change. More immediately, the fate and exploitation of these rivers lies with Turkey’s hydropower development and the 41-component project of which the Ilisu Dam is just one part: Dams on the Euphrates have reduced water flow into Syria by an estimated 40 percent in the past 40 years and into Iraq by nearly twice that. With the damming of the Tigris, the last lifeline to this region will also be in Turkey’s grip.

Downriver, the effects will be water shortage. The Mesopotamian Marshes in Iraq may turn to desert. This region, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, was drained during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980 and again by Saddam Hussein in a tactical maneuver to expose his enemies. After Hussein’s ouster, the dikes he had built were torn down in celebration, and the parts of the marshland ecosystem began to return to its previous, verdant state. With the Ilisu’s restricted water flow will come not only ecological repercussions but also a tactical advantage for enemies of the region’s inhabitants.

Upriver, the problem will be not too little water but an inundation. As with the creation of any major reservoir, bird and fish habitats will be wiped out and the regional climate will be altered. Ecosystems, residential areas, and archaeological sites will be submerged.

For the past few years, though, one loss has loomed particularly large: the 12,000-year-old settlement of Hasankeyf, a Kurdish heritage site with untold archaeological value, soon to be inundated by Ilisu’s artificial lake.

In the context of Turkey’s history of imperialism against the Kurds, the impact of this dam-building spree extends well beyond Kurdish Turkey to the entirety of Syria and Iraq. From there, the geopolitical repercussions ripple outward. More than progress, Ilisu is a play for power and domination.

After World War I, the Ottoman Empire broke into pieces. One became independently ruled Turkey; others were divided among Western superpowers, who made a provision to the Kurds—indigenous peoples of the stretch of Mesopotamia that stretches across parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Armenia—for an independent Kurdistan.

But when the boundaries of modern-day Turkey were drawn shortly thereafter in 1923, that provision was left out. The Kurds, now the minority in every country they inhabit, have been fighting for their homeland ever since. Violent friction between Kurdish separatist groups and Turkey over this question is ongoing.

As early as the 1930s, the new Turkish nation under founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk began to explore how its rivers and the Euphrates in particular could be harnessed for power generation. A proposal for the eventual Southern Anatolia Project—Güneydoğu Anadolu Projesi, or GAP—was floated as early as the 1960s. Today, GAP consists of 22 dams—including Ilisu and, on the Euphrates, Atatürk—and the hydroelectric infrastructure to support them.

Turkey put the first of GAP’s dams on the Euphrates into use in 1974, gaining new control over the water supply to Kurdish, Syrian, and Iraqi neighbors downriver. That same year, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK, the militant separatist organization that tends to frame most discussion about contemporary Kurdish-Turkish relations) was founded.

In step with the Keban Dam, Syria opened its own dam on the Euphrates, the Tehba, for which planning had been underway in partnership with the Soviet Union since the late 1950s. The combined effect of Turkey’s and Syria’s two dams on the Euphrates sent Iraq into a devastating drought, bringing Iraq and Syria to the brink of war.

After successfully pitting its neighbors against each other, Turkey entered into an interim water protocol accord with Iraq in 1984 and one with Syria in 1987, early in the PKK’s full-scale insurgency. In the Syrian agreement, Turkey guaranteed a set minimum annual flow from the Euphrates basin into Syria. Further down the page, Syria vowed to end PKK activities on Syrian soil: a vivid quid pro quo.

In the early 1990s, the Turkish government completed the Atatürk Dam—the fourth-largest dam in the world—causing the forced resettlement of upwards of 50,000 people in a predominantly Kurdish region. It demolished the ancient city of Samosata, an ancient Hellenistic and then Roman capital and birthplace of ancient Greek poet Lucian, as well as Nevalı Çori, a Neolithic settlement where, in the little time they had, archaeologists discovered some of the world’s oldest known temples and monuments. In filling the Atatürk reservoir, Turkey cut off the majority of the Euphrates’s flow into Syria and Iraq for weeks, crippling agriculture. In virtually the same moment, then-President Turgut Özal asked Syria and Iraq to help combat the PKK.

In the decades that followed, Kurdish-Turkish relations continued to deteriorate; democracy under President Erdoğan continued to backslide; and Turkey’s grip on its neighbors’ fate through control of water only tightened, bringing drought to once-fertile Syrian and Iraqi farmlands, drying up entire villages, and forcing people to relocation to cities In 2009, Turkey responded to an election victory for the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) with hundreds of arrests and detainments of DTP members. That same year, Syria was in the midst of a five-year drought and desperate for Turkey to relinquish more water resources.

Syria was of no great use in tempering opposition from the PKK, and—possibly in response—Turkey refused to come to Syria’s aid in the water crisis. The mounting unrest that followed ultimately created the political and social volatility that led to Syria’s 2010 Arab Spring. In 2018, The New York Times reported that the Euphrates, surrounded by parched land and depopulated villages, serves as a barrier between American-backed Kurdish-led militias and Turkish-backed rebels. It was this area that fell into chaos with Trump’s October withdrawal of American troops.

An ancient cemetery in Hasankeyf as pictured in 2008. Today, the graves are being excavated one at a time and moved to plots in a new cemetery at New Hasankeyf. (Alexandra Marvar)

The Turkish government has stood by the Ilisu project as a means of development and progress in Southern Anatolia. The Turks argue that since the $2 billion dam will generate a projected 2 percent of the national energy budget—enough electricity to power well over a million homes—the displacement of 80,000 people over 125 square miles doesn’t seem significant enough to alter a plan that has been decades in the works. It also claims the project will aid a transition to carbon-neutral power (if one disregards the carbon footprint of constructing a mile-long wall of rock and steel over the course of decades), is rife with new opportunities from irrigation to tourism, and that regulation of water flow into drought-plagued Syria and Iraq could bring the benefit of year-round consistency.

But experts aren’t buying it. Ercan Ayboga is an environmental engineer and a spokesperson for Keep Hasankeyf Alive, a Kurdish-led NGO advocating for the preservation of Hasankeyf and other at-risk sites in the future Ilisu basin. Of course, the project will generate some electricity, he said over the phone from his home in Germany. At its core, though, he sees the dam as a tool to facilitate the assimilation of Kurdish people into Turkish society, forcing them into cities where their communities and culture will be more diffuse. “Today, [Ilisu] is a tool to use against the Kurdish guerilla,” he says. “Tomorrow it could be used against something different—against any form of opposition.”

The loss of a priceless world heritage site at Hasankeyf was the argument on which the project might have been halted in its tracks. Continuously inhabited for more than 10 millennia by the Byzantines, Romans, Mongols, Ottomans, and, for centuries, the Kurds, these civilizations artifacts and architecture all layered upon each other—ancient cave dwellings, amphitheaters, aqueducts, mosques, minarets—Hasankeyf could easily have fulfilled the necessary five of 10 criteria to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some experts say, in fact, it meets nine of the 10. But the organization couldn’t intervene to stop the flood because, it said, Turkey never applied for the inclusion of the ancient city of Hasankeyf on the World Heritage List.

If Hasankeyf could not offer leverage to stop the Turkish government, the UNESCO-protected Mesopotamian Marshes, which experts say will wither and desertify as a result of Ilisu, may have offered another chance. But Iraq, beholden to Turkey by hydropolitics, was unwilling to advocate for the marshlands (and the Marsh Arabs to whom they are home)—it could mean retribution in the form of water deprivation via any of the number of existing dams on the Turkish-Iraqi border. And more dams on this border are already in the works.

Through the relocation and subsequent cultural assimilation resulting from this development, water policy has helped the Turkish government exercise direct control over the Kurds in Turkey, and by controlling water flow to Iraq and Syria, indirect control over a much larger part of the Kurdish nation.

According to data from 2016, 11 GAP dams are currently operational, and at least three are under construction. PKK separatists desperate to keep control of the water out of Turkey’s hands have bombed the construction sites of some of the new dams, prolonging the building phase, but development moves forward.

In Hasankeyf, a barricade blocks the entry of outsiders, and Ayboga reported that the process of relocating its residents—slated for completion earlier this month—has been slow, unclear, and disorganized, leaving hundreds with nowhere to go as the water approaches.

NGOs like Keep Hasankeyf Alive vow to continue their work to stop Ilisu. But now that halting construction through petition, plea, or compromise is no longer an option, the objective has shifted to somehow emptying the reservoir. Even if Hasankeyf as it was can’t be saved, for the Kurds to give up the fight against this move of Turkish imperialism—against Kurdish heritage, culture, community, agency, autonomy, and health—would be to admit a bludgeoning defeat. “This is not a project we can accept,” Ayboga said.

Meanwhile, Turkey continues to broaden its reach in the name of progress. The more control over water it has, the more power it has over its enemies.

https://www.thenation.com/article/turke ... raq-kurds/
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