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There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroyed

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 CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:20 pm

Turkey demolishes market
in 12,000-year-old Hasankeyf


The historic Hasankeyf market was demolished in early November

In early November, Turkish authorities told the people living in the village of Hasankeyf that it was time to leave. Despite years of protests by residents and activists, the small village on the banks of the Tigris River will soon be under water as part of a controversial dam project. Authorities have started to move some historic monuments, and have already destroyed others. The historic market, for example, just fell to demolition crews, to the dismay of our Observer.

Hasankeyf is a village located in southeastern Turkey. Most of its current residents are Kurdish. Once a stop on the old Silk Road, the village has seen has seen the rise and fall of numerous civilizations during its 12,000-year history. However, its own demise is near. The village will soon be flooded by waters from the Ilisu Dam, located 60 kilometres downstream. Construction on the dam is finished and it has already started to hold water. It is set to begin producing electricity in February 2020.

    TEKNİK BİR DÜZELTME. Hasankeyf'teki yıkımı kayda alan ve "Hasankeyf'i koruyoruz' dedikleri budur" diyen esnafın sesi yukarıdaki videoda,yüklenirken farkında olmadan sorun oluşmuş,ses ağırlaşmış.Bu videoda esnafın yıkıma karşı tepkisine ulaşabilirsiniz. #HasankeyfİçinGeçDeğil pic.twitter.com/Jx50MwOZi8
    Mehmet Kızmaz (@MehmedKizmaz) November 6, 2019
A resident of Hasankeyf posted this video on November 4, 2019.

Turkey's General Direction of State Hydraulic Projects (DSI) is supervising the evacuation of Hasankeyf. Residents are being moved to a newly constructed village at a higher elevation. A total of six historical monuments are scheduled to be transported to the new settlement.

The minaret of the Al Risk mosque, for example, was dismantled and has already been brought to "New Hasankeyf" ("Yeni Hasankeyf" in Turkish). DSI bulldozed the historic market in early November, saying it was necessary for the construction of a road to transport the rest of mosque up to the new settlement.

Mechanical shovels sit on the rubble of several demolished shops in this video posted on Twitter on Nov. 10. "These shops were at least 200 or 300 years old and we found Roman ruins under the rubble. As you can see, all the shops were bulldozed,” says the person filming. At the start of the video, you can see the mosque, which has been placed on a slab on concrete.

"We saw our souls, our past and our stories buried under our homes”

Murat Takin, a 40-year-old shopkeeper, witnessed the historic market being bulldozed.

    I was born in Hasankeyf and I own a shop where I sell gas cylinders. I felt incredible sadness as I watched them bulldoze the historic market. It was like a scene from war, but instead of seeing men trapped under the debris, we saw our souls, our past and our stories buried under our homes. All of that for a dam.
    Dün itibariyle tarihi Hasankeyf çarşısı zorla boşaltıldı. Bugün de yıkmaya başlanacak.
      Kelimeler tercüman olamıyor,50 yıllık ömrü olacak bir baraj için bu yaşatılanlara,hissedilenlere.

      İşte o an bir esnaf eşyalarını, "Kalpleri soğuklar gelip ısınsın artık" diyerek yakıyor. Acı. pic.twitter.com/ST5HZ0VrCH
      Mehmet Kızmaz (@MehmedKizmaz) November 4, 2019
A shopkeeper from Hasankeyf, visibly angry and upset, throws his belongings into a fire as a protest to the dam and the destruction of the market.

When they demolished the market, they found ruins from the Roman and Ottoman eras

    They excavated the area but it was all very rushed, they just wanted to make it look like they were doing something when really they wanted to finish it as soon as possible. They aren’t being careful at all and will probably destroy precious artifacts.

    Looks like a massive find underneath #Hasankeyf's now-demolished old bazaar. The shopping area was cleared out in order to move the 600-year-old Rizk Mosque to higher ground, ahead of flooding. ???? Ahmet Sevinç pic.twitter.com/nuu4OXD0MA
    durrie bouscaren (@durrieB) November 13, 2019

It’s terrible knowing that there are lots of other ruins hidden under homes in Hasankeyf. If this area is flooded in January, all of these ruins will be lost forever.

An estimated 80% of Hasankeyf and 289 archeological sites will be submerged, according to activists from Hasankeyf Koordinasyonu (Coordination Hasankeyf), who spoke with FRANCE 24. Some of these sites are located in rural areas near the village. A few of them have been partially excavated.

John Crofoot, the founder of the site Hasankeyf Matters, said the destruction of these ruins would be a terrible loss.

    Several major monuments will be submerged, including the pillars on the historic bridge, which are from the 12th century, the Koç mosque, the Mardinik complex, which includes a palace, a mosque and a madrasa as well as lots of other smaller archeological sites and mosques.

    It’s an entire medieval city and below it are layers upon layers of archeological evidence from the Roman, Hittite and Byzantine Empires. All of that will be under water.

    "Rushed excavations beneath what was the Hasankeyf market until 2 weeks ago. Invaluable archaeological record of 12000 years of urban history on the verge of destruction," tweeted activist John Crofoot on Nov. 20, 2019, alongside a video showing the excavations underway.

    No one knows exactly what there remains to discover, but this site is unique because of its longevity. The Turkish government needs to take responsibility for preserving the dignity of this exceptional site and sharing the potentially exceptional archeological discoveries with the entire world.

According to The Guardian, only 10% of the area has been explored by archeologists.

https://observers.france24.com/en/20191 ... -hasankeyf
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:25 am

Save HASANKEYF
by occupying CAVES


A dam is about to burst, flooding one of the world's most ancient towns

The time had finally come for Ramsiz Alcin to leave, generations after her ancestors settled in this ancient town on the Tigris, decades after the state proposed building a dam down river and after years of protests that had ultimately failed to stop it.

The dam would leave Hasankeyf almost totally submerged.

The water was coming, soon, officials said. So Ms Alcin and her family moved last month, abandoning their house with its fig and pomegranate trees. A flatbed truck transferred their belongings to a new home, on higher ground, but the place - shoddily built, with a garden full of rocks - was no substitute.

"They made victims of the people of Hasankeyf," she said.

It is expected to take a few months before the water starts to rise in this 12,000-year-old town, one of the oldest known, continuously inhabited settlements in the world, as the reservoir created by the Ilisu dam more than 35 miles downstream begins to fill.

Turkey's government has promoted the dam as a vital development project – part of a larger network of dams aimed at reducing the country's dependency on energy imports and providing jobs in its impoverished southeast region.

But the project has also faced years of stiff resistance from critics who said its benefits were hardly worth the cost to local communities and from historians, archaeologists and others who say the preservation of Turkey's cultural heritage is a global concern.

The reservoir will stretch nearly 100 miles from Ilisu and displace more than 70,000 people, wipe out endangered wildlife species and erase the splendour of Hasankeyf.

The town is arranged like a living museum, in the shadow of limestone cliffs, with remnants of its past settlers - Neolithic, Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman - strewn delightfully about for visitors. Two majestic, stone piers rise from the river at an entrance to the town – the remnants of a 12th century, four-arched bridge.

Farther down the river are caves, carved out of the banks like a honeycomb by settlers thousands of years ago.

The arguments over the project pit ambitious development plans against historical preservation and poorer citizens against government and big business. The dam, built in a Kurdish-majority area, has also added to the complaints by ethnic Kurds that they are marginalised by the state.

The ancient town has history from the Byzantine, Roman and Neolithic eras

The dam is also a source of regional tension, too. Turkey's construction of dams and irrigation projects have reduced the flow of water in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to Iraq and Syria, its downstream neighbours, causing hardship and sparking fears of greater conflict.

The Ilisu dam is part of a government plan dating to the 1970s aimed at developing southeastern Turkey with 22 dams and 19 hydroelectric plants, according to a summary on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Technology. The goals of the project - the largest and costliest in Turkey's history - include "eliminating development disparities existing between the region and other parts of the country", the summary says.

Protests against the dam have drawn in foreign environmentalists and scored a major victory in 2009, when European creditors withdrew funding from the project.

The project to flood Hasankeyf has been met with years of widespread condemnation (Shutterstock)

But the next year, Turkish banks stepped in to provide the government with hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, and the project moved forward.

The government has spent millions relocating artefacts from Hasankeyf, including a 15th-century tomb, a bathhouse and a mosque. Some are already on display in New Hasankeyf, and others will be housed in a new museum. One of the town's best-known attractions, a Roman citadel, will remain visible above the waterline. But the other iconic structure - the remains of the old Tigris bridge - will be submerged.

"Thousands of years of history will be left underwater," said Midini Cicek, who picnicked with two friends near a pond a few miles from Hasankeyf, in a spot he said they had all visited since childhood. Thousands of people living in nearby villages are being displaced, and fishermen who worked along the river are facing the loss of their livelihood, he said.

Many generations of families have lived in the town and have not ever left (Getty)

The valley where they sat would be transformed. But Mr Cicek tried to find a bright spot. "We'll put Jet Skis on the water," he said.

On a recent Sunday, Hasankeyf was filled with tourists, some saying they came to catch a last glimpse of the place before it vanished.

Mehmet Arif Ayhan, who owns a rug store in the central market, tried to coax them into his shop, looking to make sales in the days or weeks that remained. "The tourists are here to take pictures," he said. "They don't come inside."

His family had lived in the town for at least 500 years, according to his parents, who were part of a generation that lived in the caves carved into Hasankeyf's cliffs. He had not decided what to do once he was forced out. "Most likely, I'll be one of the last people moving," he said.

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Ms Alcin surveyed her new neighbourhood in a government-built settlement called New Hasankeyf, a mile away from the old town. The gray houses, laid out like a barracks, erased the sense of the community that had been built in old Hasankeyf, she said.

"We'll barely be able to see each other here," she said.

Ahmet Akdeniz, whose family also had lived in Hasankeyf for hundreds of years, has been one of the vocal supporters of the government plans to transform the area – so enthusiastic, in fact, that the Turkish foreign ministry had flown him abroad to promote the project to European audiences, he said. He said residents displaced by the dam would benefit from larger homes and more tourists as the government promoted the attractions in New Hasankeyf.

But even Mr Akdeniz acknowledged some of the complaints about the new settlement, blaming the shoddy construction in the homes on "mistakes" by government contractors.

Further downstream, Ahmet Demir, the mayor of Irmak, a village of 200 people, said a government compensation system would allow residents to build new homes on higher ground, a process that had already begun.

But nothing about the future was certain. The residents were farmers who raised animals, and "that will end with the lake," he said, referring to uncertainty about the quality of the soil as the landscape was transformed. "Maybe we will fish?"

"I never wanted any of this. This is my home," he said, gesturing to the lush valley, as the sun set. "What is money, compared to this?"

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 20376.html
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:24 am

World's Most Ancient
Town Being Destroyed


A Dam In Turkey Will Soon Submerge One Of The World's Most Ancient Towns

Image

It will be a few months before the water starts to rise in this 12,000-year-old town of Hasankeyf.

The time had finally come for Ramsiz Alcin to leave, generations after her ancestors settled in this ancient town on the Tigris, decades after the state proposed building a dam down river and after years of protests that had ultimately failed to stop it.

The dam would leave Hasankeyf almost totally submerged

The water was coming, soon, officials said. So Alcin and her family moved last month, abandoning their house with its fig and pomegranate trees. A flatbed truck transferred their belongings to a new home, on higher ground, but the place - shoddily built, with a garden full of rocks - was no substitute.

"They made victims of the people of Hasankeyf," she said

It is expected to take a few months before the water starts to rise in this 12,000-year-old town, one of the oldest known, continuously inhabited settlements in the world, as the reservoir created by the Ilisu dam more than 35 miles downstream begins to fill.

Residents flee ancient Turkish town before dam waters rise

In the ancient Turkish town of Hasankeyf, the Ozturk family are selling all the livestock that was their livelihood as they prepare to uproot to government-built housing across the Tigris River before the waters rise.

Turkey's government has promoted the dam as a vital development project - part of a larger network of dams aimed at reducing the country's dependency on energy imports and providing jobs in its impoverished southeast region.

But the project has also faced years of stiff resistance from critics who said its benefits were hardly worth the cost to local communities and from historians, archaeologists and others who say the preservation of Turkey's cultural heritage is a global concern.

The reservoir will stretch nearly 100 miles from Ilisu and displace more than 70,000 people, wipe out endangered wildlife species and erase the splendor of Hasankeyf.

The town is arranged like a living museum, in the shadow of limestone cliffs, with remnants of its past settlers - Neolithic, Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman - strewn delightfully about for visitors. Two majestic, stone piers rise from the river at an entrance to the town - the remnants of a 12th century, four-arched bridge. Farther down the river are caves, carved out of the banks like a honeycomb by settlers thousands of years ago.

The arguments over the project pit ambitious development plans against historical preservation and poorer citizens against government and big business. The dam, built in a Kurdish-majority area, has also added to the complaints by ethnic Kurds that they are marginalized by the state.

The dam is also a source of regional tension, too. Turkey's construction of dams and irrigation projects have reduced the flow of water in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to Iraq and Syria, its downstream neighbors, causing hardship and sparking fears of greater conflict.

The Ilisu dam is part of a government plan dating to the 1970s aimed at developing southeastern Turkey with 22 dams and 19 hydroelectric plants, according to a summary on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Technology. The goals of the project - the largest and costliest in Turkey's history - include "eliminating development disparities existing between the region and other parts of the country," the summary says.

Protests against the dam have drawn in foreign environmentalists and scored a major victory in 2009, when European creditors withdrew funding from the project. But the next year, Turkish banks stepped in to provide the government with hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, and the project moved forward.

The government has spent millions relocating artifacts from Hasankeyf, including a 15th-century tomb, a bathhouse and a mosque. Some are already on display in New Hasankeyf, and others will be housed in a new museum. One of the town's best-known attractions, a Roman citadel, will remain visible above the waterline. But the other iconic structure - the remains of the old Tigris bridge - will be submerged.

"Thousands of years of history will be left underwater," said Midini Cicek, who picnicked with two friends near a pond a few miles from Hasankeyf, in a spot he said they had all visited since childhood. Thousands of people living in nearby villages are being displaced, and fishermen who worked along the river are facing the loss of their livelihood, he said.

The valley where they sat would be transformed. But Cicek tried to find a bright spot. "We'll put Jet Skis on the water," he said.

On a recent Sunday, Hasankeyf was filled with tourists, some saying they came to catch a last glimpse of the place before it vanished.

Mehmet Arif Ayhan, who owns a rug store in the central market, tried to coax them into his shop, looking to make sales in the days or weeks that remained. "The tourists are here to take pictures," he said. "They don't come inside."

His family had lived in the town for at least 500 years, according to his parents, who were part of a generation that lived in the caves carved into Hasankeyf's cliffs. He had not decided what to do once he was forced out. "Most likely, I'll be one of the last people moving," he said.

Alcin surveyed her new neighborhood in a government-built settlement called New Hasankeyf, a mile away from the old town. The gray houses, laid out like a barracks, erased the sense of the community that had been built in old Hasankeyf, she said.

"We'll barely be able to see each other here," she said.

Ahmet Akdeniz, whose family also had lived in Hasankeyf for hundreds of years, has been one of the vocal supporters of the government plans to transform the area - so enthusiastic, in fact, that the Turkish foreign ministry had flown him abroad to promote the project to European audiences, he said. He said residents displaced by the dam would benefit from larger homes and more tourists as the government promoted the attractions in New Hasankeyf.

But even Akdeniz acknowledged some of the complaints about the new settlement, blaming the shoddy construction in the homes on "mistakes" by government contractors.

Further downstream, Ahmet Demir, the mayor of Irmak, a village of 200 people, said a government compensation system would allow residents to build new homes on higher ground, a process that had already begun.

But nothing about the future was certain. The residents were farmers who raised animals, and "that will end with the lake," he said, referring to uncertainty about the quality of the soil as the landscape was transformed. "Maybe we will fish?"

"I never wanted any of this. This is my home," he said, gesturing to the lush valley, as the sun set. "What is money, compared to this?"

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/a-dam-i ... is-2139842
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:27 am

HEARTBREAKING

Image

A wonderful ancient community is being destroyed and all the lovely people are being forced into concrete boxes X(
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:47 am

Hasankeyf Lake

Turkish Valley Home To Human Settlements For Millenia Soon Will Be A Lake

In Southeastern Turkey, an ancient town that has long been associated with the region's Kurdish heritage is slated to be flooded by a massive dam project on the Tigris River.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And now to southeastern Turkey, where an ancient town is due to be flooded by a massive dam project on the Tigris River. As Durrie Bouscaren reports, thousands of people have been forced out of their homes ahead of the expected floods. That will close a final chapter in a valley thought to have been inhabited for more than 11,000 years.

DURRIE BOUSCAREN, BYLINE: The stone and dirt pathways of Hasankeyf might be a maze to an outsider, but a local tour guide, Ahmet Sevinc, knows exactly where to stop.

Up a staircase, over the roofs of the old bazaar, through an alley that hugs an abandoned home. Far below our feet, the hulking columns of a 12th-century bridge long since collapsed rise out of the Tigris River. Once, it was one of the most important trading centers of the Kurdish heartland. Soon, it'll all be underwater. A hydroelectric dam downstream is in the process of filling a massive reservoir. When it's full, the area it covers will be 120 square miles, displacing at least 15,000 people.

AHMET SEVINC: (Non-English language spoken).

BOUSCAREN: Near the top of a hill, we reach a tiny stone convent. It was built centuries before Syriac Christians and Armenians were massacred and driven out into the Syrian desert.

SEVINC: There was lots of Syriac people who used to live in Hasankeyf. They'll just come to visit every year.

BOUSCAREN: For a moment, we try to figure out if the convent stands above or below where the water will reach.

SEVINC: Oh, yeah. It will be - that's the line. You see the red line? It will be right there, the water. So it'll disappear, also.

BOUSCAREN: There will be no single day that is the last for Hasankeyf, no biblical wave of water. It's been creeping up slowly for months. But even before that started, the town was being dismantled. Historic monuments were dug up and transported to higher ground, where the government hopes to build a new tourism destination. Others were buried under concrete to try to preserve them underwater. The sinking of Hasankeyf has been in the works for decades.

After multiple delays, the Ilisu Dam is about to be one of the cornerstone pieces of Turkey's plan to bring hydroelectricity, irrigation and prosperity to an underdeveloped southeast. Nicholas Danforth researches modern Turkish politics for the German Marshall Fund. He lays out the debate this way.

NICHOLAS DANFORTH: It's long been a concern of the Turkish government that the southeastern part of the country has lagged behind.

BOUSCAREN: Residents and archaeologists mounted a decades-long opposition, arguing that the displacement of thousands of people, the disruption of the river's ecosystem and the cultural loss just isn't worth it. Most modern dams only last 50 to 70 years. But Danforth says supporters of the dam have won out.

DANFORTH: For supporters, the goal remains in progress and development. And the specific concerns of the people who are affected are less important.

BOUSCAREN: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a statement by email saying that while the nostalgia of living here may be romantic, it doesn't address the social and economic needs of southeastern Turkey.

SEVINC: (Singing in Non-English Language).

BOUSCAREN: At night, Sevinc, the tour guide, sits with his friends in the old bazaar. It's slated for demolition, so they build a fire with the debris around them. Most of their families have already moved New Hasankeyf, a neighborhood of matching stucco houses that sit above where the water will reach.

The conversation is peppered with Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic - a legacy of the town's layered cultural history. Tiny glasses of tea are passed around.

SEVINC: So then this keep going like this every night. So just having a conversation about the future, what's going to happen in New Hasankeyf.

BOUSCAREN: If anything, it feels surreal, they say. They wonder what their grandparents would think.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Non-English language spoken).

BOUSCAREN: Sevinc translates for a friend.

SEVINC: If they were, like, woke up from the grave today, they would spit on our face (laughter) probably. And then they would go back because we couldn't do anything about this situation.

BOUSCAREN: Days later, Sevinc sends me a video of workers clearing the bazaar area to make way for the relocation of a 600-year-old mosque to higher ground. They stumbled on a ruined hidden in the dirt below. Archaeologists are scrambling to uncover as much as possible before the waters arrive.
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:41 am

    There is still a chance

      to save Hasankeyf
Uzmanlardan Hasankeyf çağrısı: Hala bu yanlıştan dönülme şansı var

Sular altında kalacak Hasankeyf’i ziyaret eden enerji jeopolitiği uzmanı Mehmet Öğütçü ve EMO Yönetim Kurulu Başkanı Gazi İpek, gözlemlerini ve çözüm önerilerini Mezopotamya Ajansı’ndan Lezgin Akdeniz’le paylaştı. Uzmanlar, Türkiye’nin enerji ihtiyacı adı altında bu projeye ihtiyacı olmadığını belirterek, “Hala bu yanlıştan dönülme şansı var” dedi.

Haber: Lezgin Akdeniz

Türk Mühendis ve Mimar Odaları Birliği (TMMOB) adına, Elektrik Mühendisleri Odası (EMO) tarafından Diyarbakır Şubesinin ev sahipliğinde “Enerji, Ekoloji ve Toplumsal Barış” başlığıyla düzenlenen 12’nci Enerji Sempozyumu’nun katılımcıları sular altında kalacak Hasankeyf’i ziyaret etti.

Ziyarete katılanlardan The Bosphorus Energy Club Başkanı Mehmet Öğütçü ve EMO Yönetim Kurulu Başkanı Gazi İpek, gözlemlerini ve çözüm önerilerini Mezopotamya Ajansı’yla paylaştı.

‘Manzara ürkütücü, utandım’

Hasankeyf’i ziyaret edenlerden enerji jeopolitiği uzmanı Öğütçü, gördüğü tablo karşısında çok üzüldüğünü ve utandığını belirterek, “Gördüğünüz manzara gerçekten ürkütücü. Evler yıkılmış, karşıdaki tepede Selahaddin Kalesi’nin hemen altında muazzam bir beton ve taş var. İstinat duvarı yapılmış. Tarihi köprünün ayakları aslına uymayan bir şekilde restore edilmiş. Bazı türbeler, eserler kaydırılmış ama tarihi mekanın bütünlüğü bozulmuş” dedi.

‘Enerji ile tarih ve çevre bağını kuramıyoruz’

Türkiye’nin orada üretilecek elektriğe ihtiyacı olmadığını verilerle ortaya koyan Öğütçü, “Enerjiye ulaşmak için medeniyetin izlerini tahrip etmek, betona ve suya gömmek kabul edilebilir bir şey değil. Hele ki geldiğimiz aşamada. Biz medeniyete yeni izler bırakacağımıza geçmişten gelen izleri silmeye başladık. Enerjiyle tarih ve çevre arasındaki bağlantıyı iyi kuramıyoruz” diye konuştu.

“Bu sadece Hasankeyf’te yaşadığımız bir olgu değil. Ülkemizin neresine giderseniz gidin, hidroelektrik, altın madenleri, termik santrallerde insan sağlığını ve doğayı tahrip eden bir yaklaşım izliyoruz. Savunma olarak ‘Enerjisiz kalacağız’ demek, basit bir izahat.

“Kendi yeteneklerimize, zekâmıza, tarihimize ve medeniyet mirasımıza ihanet olur. Ne su ne enerji ne güvenlik mülahazaları böyle bir şeyi haklı gösterebilir. Ben burada tamamen Hasankeyf’in tarihi özelliğine odaklanması gerektiğini düşünüyorum. Bu her türlü siyasi, ekonomik mülahazanın üzerindedir.”


“Hala bu yanlıştan dönülme şansı vardır” diyen Öğütçü, şöyle devam etti:
“Ya suyun akış yönü değiştirilebilir ya barajın belki mühendisliğinde zamanında hatırlıyorum bir takım çalışmalar yapılmıştı kademeli olarak yükselttirilirse ya da alçaltılırsa ona göre bu alan kurtarılabilir.

“Bunun için maliyeti ne olursa olsun Türkiye maliyeti karşılayabilir. Böyle bir medeniyet mirasının koruyabilmek için bunu geri çevirecek adımlar atılmalıdır. Bu konuda hükümetin tamamen inşaat, enerji ve su odaklı hareket etmesi doğru değildir.

“Çünkü öyle şeyler vardır ki onlara değer biçemezsiniz. Bu onlardan bir tanesidir. Yani Topkapı Müzesi’ne koyabileceğiniz değerde nitelikteki eserleri suyun altında bırakmak betona boğmak anlaşılır bir şey değil.

“Oranın doğal yapısına uygun evleri yıkıp tepede beton yığınlardan TOKİ inşaatları yapmak bu o çevreye o habitata, o tarihe hakarettir. Ben işin politik güvenlik mülahazalarından bağımsız olarak Hasankeyf’i bir kültürel tarihi miras olarak görüyorum.”

‘Çağ ve insanlık dışı bir proje’

Elektrik Mühendisleri Odası Yönetim Kurulu Başkanı Gazi İpek de gördükleri karşısında duygulandığını dile getirdi.

Böyle bir projeye ihtiyacın olmadığını vurgulayan İpek, “Çok rahatlıkla çözülebilir bir sorun olduğu halde adeta bir hesaplaşma gibi görüyorum” dedi ve şöyle devam etti:

“Toplumla hesaplaşma, zıtlaşma ve bölge içerisinde ben istediğimi yaparım diyen ve toplumu dikkate almayan projeler çok eski çağların, dönemlerin politikaları. Günümüzde yereldeki insanların desteğini almadan, onların ihtiyaçlarına uygun bir hale getirmeden hiç kimsenin böyle projeler yapmaya hakkı yok.

“12 bin yıllık bir mirası kalkıp bir iktidarın ben istediğim gibi kullanırım deme hakkı da yok. Bu çok çağ dışı insanlık dışı bir proje. Tarihler sular altında kalıyor. Kalmaya devam ediyor. Tarihsel yapıyı taşıdığınızı söylüyorsunuz. Anlaşılır şeyler değil, evet bu çok çağdışı, adeta gözü dönmüş siyasal bir iktidarın toplumda hesaplaşması gibi görünüyor.”

‘Hızla durdurulmalı’

Projenin hızla durdurulmasının bir zorunluluk olduğunu ve alternatifinin olduğunu ifade eden İpek, “Bunun dışında bir çözüm yok. Bir kere projeyi durdurup sonra bunu nasıl kurtarabileceğimizin tartışmasını yapabiliriz” dedi.

“Su hızla dolmaya başladı. Şu anda yüzde 30 civarında bir doluluk var” diyen İpek, sözlerini şöyle sürdürdü
:
“Yılbaşından sonra Ocak- Şubat’ta da tamamen sular altında kalacağını görüyoruz. Bu tabii kurtarılabilir ama öyle bir niyet yok, sağır duvara konuşuyoruz. Türkiye’de olağanüstü bir güneş var. Rüzgar projeleri var. Bunlar desteklenebilir.

“Gelecekte çok büyük iletim hatları, dağıtım hatları yapmamıza gerek kalmayacak. Güneş ve rüzgar gibi diğer bir takım imkanlar artık daha küçük boyutlu depolanabilir. Kontrol edilebilir. Böyle bir çağda kör kör parmağım gözüne anlaşılır gibi değil. Hızla durdurulması gerekiyor.”

‘Rant ve lobi belirleyici’

İktidarın enerji politikalarındaki tercihleri ve lobilerin etkileyici olduğunu belirten İpek, Karadeniz’deki HES’ler dahil, doğaya ve tarihe zararlı projelerin tamamının durdurulması gerektiğini yineledi.

Ekonomik krizin bir anlamda enerji sektöründe rant dağıtılarak çözülmeye çalışıldığını da sözlerine ekleyen İpek, sözlerini şöyle tamamladı:

“İhtiyaçtan fazla üretim yapılıyor. Üstelik de yanlış tercihler yürütmelerinin altında gördüğümüz temel faktör rant ve lobi faaliyetleri. Sahipsiz bir ülkeye dönüştük. Yani hiç kimsenin sözü dinlenmiyor. Ne söylerseniz dinleyen yok, karşılığı yok. Yetki bir elde toplanmış oradan adeta parmak basılıyor. O parmağa göre her taraf yürüyor.

“Bu bir rezalet ama biz inanıyoruz ki Türkiye böyle gitmeyecek. Aklın ve bilimin hakim olduğu yeni günler yaratılacaktır. Ve hepimiz de bunun mücadelesini veriyoruz. EMO olarak halka karşı sorumluluklarımız var. Uyarılarımızı yapmaya devam edeceğiz.”

https://gazetekarinca.com/2019/12/uzman ... oU-s21dYIc
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:31 am

Hasankeyf Koordinasyonu

It was said that the ilisu dam lake has reached the county border and destroy it, it is not too late in the " Hasankeyf Panel in the field of struggle and destruction Prof. Dr. Dr. "there is no reason for this destruction Zeynep Ahunbay said," there is no reason for this destruction

Today, the panel, which took place at the tmmob architecture room in Istanbul, started at 14:00 PM. Panel, protection specialist Prof. Dr. Dr. Listen to the honorable President of ttb, onur hamzaoğlu, economist prof. Dr. Dr. Semsa Özar, one of the founder of konda research founder, politician-Writer, head of the Istanbul branch of Istanbul branch of Istanbul Branch, Dr. Dozens of people, including, the head of the Eastern East Association, and the head of the Eastern East Association, have participated.

'every step is illegal'

"every step taken along the ilisu dam is illegal." every step taken along the ilisu dam is illegal. If we were as strong as those who did the destroy, we would not have to face this situation today he said.

'none of them are independent of the destruction in the city of man'

Then, an attempt to live in the attempt to live in the first place, the historical district, the title of the historical district, and the struggle since 1988 " no history and nature massacre living around the country is independent of the destruction in the city of the city. All the way has been tried on the matter of happened. But especially in the legal field, the struggle has been missing he said.

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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:07 am

Last historical artefact
removed from Hasankeyf


The last remaining historical artefact has been removed from the ancient southeastern town of Hasankeyf ahead of its submergence as part of a dam project, Diken news site reported on Monday

The main body of the 610-year-old Er-Rızk mosque was removed from the 12,000-year-old town in a four-hour operation and transported to a cultural park where the town’s artefacts will be displayed, Diken said.

Turkish authorities are pushing forward with a dam project to power the region despite years of international outcry and decades of resistance by local and national organisations.

The Ilısu dam project, which is expected to raise the level of the Tigris River by 60 metres, will submerge 80 percent of the ancient city of Hasankeyf, home of 2,500 people today, alongside several other villages which are home to thousands of residents.

Turkish authorities have been transporting hundreds of historic artefacts and monuments in Hasankeyf, including centuries-old tombs, gates and mosques, despite a decision from the country’s Council of State to cancel the tender for the move.

Hasankeyf locals have already started to settle in their new houses built by the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ), which began the construction of 710 houses to accommodate the locals approximately two years ago.

https://ahvalnews.com/hasankeyf/last-hi ... -hasankeyf
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:15 am

Hasankeyf cave church:

https://youtu.be/a0ywP4t8F_U
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:34 am

It is the duty of every country, from turkey to Germany, from Germany to China, from China to the United States and beyond, to save Hasankeyf

Save Hasankeyf for the wildlife and unique plant live that lives there

Save Hasankeyf for the Kurds and the many generations of Kurdish children yet to come

Save Hasankeyf for all humanity for Hasankeyf's history is the history of all humanity, the history of all the different cultures who have lived there over thousands of years

Hasankey's history, culture, unique flora fauna belongs to the

    ENTIRE WORLD
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:34 am

Water has begun to rise in Hasankeyf

The legendary Tigris River is replaced by the Ilısu Reservoir. History will not kindly on the destruction of Hasankeyf and the natural ecosystem of the Tigris Valley

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At the current pace, it appears that Hasankeyf will disappear within weeks

We urge the government authorities to act NOW to stop the destruction

Hasankeyf belongs to all of KURDISTAN

Hasankeyf belongs to the children of KURDISTAN
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:51 am

Lake Hasankeyf

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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:29 pm

SAVE HASANKEYF

Calls for international solidarity to stop impending Turkish destruction of ancient town

Turkey’s controversial Ilısu Dam project is nearing completion. And waters from the dam’s reservoir are threatening to displace at least 78,000 people.

The waters have now reached the ancient town of Hasankeyf in Turkey’s majority-Kurdish southeast. According to a statement from campaigners, quoted by independent Turkish press agency Bianet:

Engulfing 35 villages so far, Ilısu dam reservoir has reached Hasankeyf town, which is one of the most important cultural and natural heritage sites of the world.

12,000-year-old Hasankeyf has thousands of neolithic caves and hundreds of ancient monuments.

There has been a 20-year-long campaign to save the town of Hasankeyf and prevent the dam’s construction. The international movement even forced European banks to pull out of funding the project.

Pushing Kurdish-majority communities out of the countryside

The dam is part of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), which will produce hydroelectric power and generate water supplies. However, the GAP project has several underhand political aims too.

According to a report by Corporate Watch:

Officially, the Ilısu dam will provide hydro-electric power, but campaigners say there are more underhand reasons for the construction of the dam. One is to force Kurdish people out of rural areas and to assimilate them in cities. Kurdish people will be forced from the countryside to the cities in order to look for work. Turkey has attempted to assimilate Kurdish people for decades, trying to wipe out their cultures and their languages. According to Ercan [Ayboga] from the Initiative To Keep Hasankeyf Alive: “Assimilation is much easier to achieve within cities, where people speak less Kurdish and connections to traditional Kurdish culture are weaker.”

1) Erasing culture

In June 2019, Eliza Egret wrote for The Canary:

The Turkish state has long been unrelenting in its plans to wipe out Kurdish culture. And in its latest move, it has vowed to begin filling a controversial dam within its borders on 10 June. This will see hundreds of majority-Kurdish villages submerged under water, literally wiping them from the map. The dam will displace roughly 78,000 people, as well as thousands of nomadic people.

Activists have been protesting the Ilısu dam for 20 years, stating that Turkey will be flooding the ‘cradle of civilisation’.

2) Stifling resistance

According to Corporate Watch:

Another reason for the construction of the dam is to restrict the movement and effectiveness of Kurdish PKK guerillas. The building of new military forts on the mountaintops all around the dam also ensures that the Turkish military has more control over the area.

3) Water as a geopolitical weapon

Campaigners say that Turkey also intends to use the GAP project as a way to control water supplies to Iraq and Syria in order to increase its geopolitical influence. According to Joris Leverink in Roar Magazine:

The Euphrates and Tigris rivers both originate in Turkey, but whereas Ankara considers them to be a source of national wealth and an instrument for regional development, they are the very sources of life for its southern neighbors Syria and Iraq…

The finished GAP project will reduce water flows to Syria by 40 percent, and to Iraq by a shocking 80 percent. This, in combination with the severe droughts that have hit the region over the past few years… and the millions of (internally) displaced people in the region, has the potential to unleash an environmental and humanitarian catastrophe that could cause a serious food security problem, destabilizing the region for years to come.

Sara Green of the Kurdistan Solidarity Network’s Ecology Working Group told The Canary:

Turkish president Erdoğan, widely considered a fascistic dictator, has continued with the construction of the dam despite international denunciation, withdrawal of support from numerous companies around the world, and the refusal of the World Bank to fund the project due to its controversy.

Erdoğan openly wishes to increase his power and recognises that water in Turkey is a resource he can wield as a weapon. We cannot allow history and life in all its forms to be obliterated by power-hungry, short-term-profit-driven, oppressive dictators.

We have no time to lose

According to a statement from the international initiative against the dam:

We can stop the doom that has unfolded in Tigris Valley despite all the destruction that has been brought about.

We are not tired of reiterating that it is never too late for Hasankeyf and Tigris River. No matter where we abandon the Ilısu Project, it will be to the benefit of us and next generations!

In 2019, groups more diverse than ever before stood up against Ilısu project and indicated that Hasankeyf had to be saved.

This reaction should be prompted again and the government should be requested to stop filling the Ilısu Dam. It is urgent, we have no time to lose.

Featured image via Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive
Get involved

Tom Anderson is part of the Shoal Collective, a cooperative producing writing for social justice and a world beyond capitalism. Twitter: @shoalcollective

Watch this recent video from Hasankeyf
Read about how to take action against the companies involved in the Ilısu dam
Check out the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive’s website

https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-a ... ient-town/
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:32 pm

Hasankeyf: state-building
versus humanity’s heritage


Despite a protracted and fierce international struggle to save the valley of Tigris river where tools of farming were first used according to scientific sources, most significantly the 12000-year-old settlement of Hasankeyf on the riverbank (which fulfils nine of UNESCO’s ten World Cultural Heritage criteria), it has now started to be buried under the water of the Ilisu Dam

The project is being carried out as part of Turkey's Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP), one of the country's most ambitious water projects, on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Hasankeyf was awarded complete archaeological protection in 1978 by Turkey. But, the destruction has begun despite the article of the Turkish Constitution and international standards relating to human heritage and ecological and environmental protection.

It is crucial to ask why sites of such vital importance to humankind’s heritage have been, and continue to be, targeted by both legal actors and terrorist organisations. As well as the Turkish state’s destruction of Hasankeyf, we have recently seen actors ranging from the so-called Islamic State which destroyed the ancient Syrian site of Palmyra to legitimised actors such as the U.S. President Donald Trump who recently threatened treasured Iranian cultural sites, taking pleasure in the demolition of cultural heritage sites.

The answer is straightforward: radical terrorist organisations want to cement up memorials of civilisations which they see as impediments to their ideologies, and recognised actors such as the U.S. president want to undermine the dignity of opposing actors by demolishing their historical heritage.

However, the Turkish state’s flooding of Hasankeyf goes beyond sealing memories and assaulting the people’s dignity; it also involves multiple political and strategic dimensions. In a nutshell, while Turkey intends to instrumentalise the Ilisu Dam to produce 4 percent of the country’s total energy and to use it as a domestic security tool against the Kurdistan Workers' Party which has waged a decades-long insurgency in the country. The dam is also important for geopolitical reasons in relation to water flow to downstream riparian states such as Iraq and Syria.

In southeastern Turkey, where the PKK is active in the mountains, the dam project has served the Turkish state by creating a barrier to interaction and connection between the PKK and local Kurdish inhabitants in the region. More importantly, the Ilisu and Cizre dam which lays next to the Syrian border and Mount Cudi, are very close together, reflecting the state’s desire to create what would amount to a water border.

Thus, while they generate energy, the principal aim is to utilise the dams for security in the region. For example, 11 dams have been built on Tigris in Hakkari and Şırnak provinces, close to the Iraqi-Turkish border, with security in mind, both to block the PKK from having relations with the locals and to prevent a possible attack on Turkish military stations in the region.

Moreover, the Mosul Dam in Iraq is entirely dependent on water flow down Tigris from Turkey, a significant example of how the building of the 11 dams puts downstream states such as Syria and Iraq in a tactically and substantially disadvantageous position, and therefore threatens their national security and particularly their future water security. So the Ilisu Dam project has the extra benefit for Turkey of enhancing both internal and external security and contributing to the long-term military-political goal of macro-regional hegemony.

In terms of environmental security, the Ilisu Dam constitutes a major threat. In Iraq two million people face fresh drinking water shortages, hydro-electric power production has been significantly reduced due to low water levels, and crops of grain, barley, mint and dates have been reduced. It has also impacted on wildlife such as ducks and geese, and most importantly the fishing industry, vital for the income of local inhabitants, has drastically declined. The dam also led to the resettlement of some 34,000 locals and ultimately it will hurt the lives of up to 78,000 people, destroying about 52 villages and 15 towns.

To recap, Hasankeyf was a cradle of civilization, indeed hosting several civilizations, and was capital of many medieval cultures such as the Artukids, had links to the Romans, and contributed to the early development of irrigation practices dating back to the Sumerian and Akkadian periods around 4000-5000 BC. It is argued that dams usually have a life of only about 50 to 70 years. So, to reiterate the question, why has Turkey not been interested in saving all this from flooding by the Ilisu Dam?

One of the crucial reasons is that the relevant historical sites are not seen as part of Turkish history by the state, most of them being seen as part of ancient Greece or ancient Mesopotamia, because Turks did not migrate to Anatolia from Middle Asia until the eleventh century. The negligence of Turkey towards valuable historical sites is very obvious, the most noticeable sites including Allianoi, a Roman bath in Izmir area (flooded in 2011 by the Yortanlı Dam), and the 3,000-year-old Greco-Roman city of Zeugma, which disappeared with its valley under the Birecik Dam.

When building huge dams in the region, Turkey has never concerned by the destruction of cultural heritage, focusing only on energy supply, domestic politics and geostrategic advantage. This carelessness arises from the unspoken Turkish state mentality towards such historical sites as Hasankeyf, which represent a heritage belonging to ‘others’.

https://ahvalnews.com/hasankeyf/hasanke ... s-heritage
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Re: Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:29 pm

For Hasankeyf the Bell Tolls

Part I – Dispatch from the Field

I went to Hasankeyf to experience its cultural legacy with my own eyes and have a chance to mourn before it all disappeared under water. Instead I found myself sucked into the political fights and fears that mirrored what the rest of Turkey struggles with. As the waters of Tigris are slowly creeping into the old town, those must vulnerable are left behind on their own.

When I arrived in Hasankeyf on a mild winter day, I had endured more than two hours of commute in three different minibuses. As if that was not enough, the minibus driver dropped me and my guide Sadullah at the top of what is now the new Hasankeyf – miles away from where we intended to go.

When I was talking to Sadullah on the phone the night before, he reminded me multiple times: “Just so you know, there is nothing to do or see in Hasankeyf now.” “I know, I know.” I replied impatiently – every single person I talked to up until that moment had told me the same thing already – a book seller, a wine merchant, a café owner, my friend’s friend… But after telling him that I intended to write an article about what was happening there, his tone changed: “Ah okay, then. We should go.” Later on our way, Sadullah told me that he was actually scared to go to Hasankeyf, because he did not want to ruin his memories of what was a breathtaking sight for him as a kid. His hesitation was contagious. When we got dropped off so far from where we wanted to go, my hesitation also surfaced. But I took my camera out and we started walking towards the new Hasankeyf.

Indeed, there was not much to see in Hasankeyf – neither the new nor the old. But there was a story: a town divided, people uprooted, and history destroyed.

The first person we talked to, a middle-aged female shepherd, was without a home in the new Hasankeyf and would be displaced, along with her animals, once the water level begins to rise and subsumes the old Hasankeyf. She also complained that they receive water service for one hour each week, believing that it is a tactic to force the last remaining old Hasankeyf residents to leave – but to where?

The main problem with the new Hasankeyf settlement is that it was obviously constructed haphazardly. The roads and open spaces, as well as the backyards of new houses are still filled with piles of rubble. There is a housing shortage as well, and the government found the solution with a lottery system. The lottery excluded renters and single people however, and allegedly prioritized larger families, the police, the army members, and those with close ties to the government. But even those who got new houses are worried. The backyards are small and need to be cleaned up (paid by the homeowners) before anyone can attempt gardening, let alone small-scale farming. There is enough space for a coop but definitely not for a barn. With the nearest pasture miles away and open spaces filled with rubble, it marks the end of animal farming for Hasankeyf residents.

We met a man in the new Hasankeyf who was moving into his new house and let us see the inside. “It is very nice, very pretty.” he insisted, “Much better than all the houses I have ever lived in. I don’t complain about the house. I like it, it feels like a palace.” From my privileged Istanbulite perspective, the house was far from a palace but more like a cheap illusion designed to look appealing and capture the residents’ imagination. Its bathrooms and kitchen are very modern-looking and shiny, but the material is not good quality – the house that we saw some roof problems that the newly settled owner was trying to fix himself. I could not help but wonder how long before the “palace” illusion loses its grip on his imagination.

Gokce Senca

By the way, those houses are not for free. Although the residents were provided with low-interest, long-term payment plans, the house values far exceed the cash compensation that many property owners in Hasankeyf received from the government. And many complain that the compensation process was not fair. Those who could afford it took their cases to court and obtained as much as six times the initially assessed amount for their lost properties. And even the homeowners are worried, because there are no other houses for their children to move to when they grow up. Maybe the government got the news – there are new houses being constructed as of now. But no one knows if they will be ready before the Tigris River swallows the old town.

It is also unclear how the residents will be able to pay for the houses. After we completed the house tour and stepped outside, the man pointed to the house next door. “See that one? It’s sold.” “But to whom? Who would want to move back here after everything?” I asked. “Tourists, for summer vacation.” he replied. He then went on to explain that there was a good number of people who sold their houses right away. Some did not even attempt to enter the lottery – they just took their compensation and left for Batman, the nearest city.

He went on to tell his own story: Born and raised in a cave near the castle, he had always lived in Hasankeyf. His restaurant right by the Tigris was shut down. Now it is unclear what work he will do. He was also clearly upset about the whole ordeal: “Some people took it as an opportunity to leave the village life behind and seek a new life in the city. But we lost our history, even had to carry the graves of our deceased. They flattened historical sites and built roads over them. People will regret it. They will look back and say ‘What did we do?’, but it will be too late.

We used to make our local yogurt, produce local eggs, raise grapes, figs. How are we going to do that now? Who are we going to sell them to? The tourists don’t come here anymore. The tour buses pass by the town.” referring to the new road that circumvents Hasankeyf, which does not have any exits for anyone traveling from Midyat to Batman – the old road, which passed right through town and Hasankeyf an unmissable sight for the passers-by, has been shut down for quite some time.

Indeed, another massive problem unfolding in Hasankeyf is lack of jobs. The local economy collapsed soon after the famous Hasankeyf caves were filled with rocks and soil, and sealed with a stone wall. The “çarşı” area (the bazaar in the old town) was demolished in order to relocate the El-Rizk Mosque and its minaret to the archeological park that is under construction near the new settlement, along with many other historical artifacts of value.

Displaced store, café and restaurant owners were guaranteed a storefront in the new bazaar, but with a caveat: They had to cover the renovation expenses. Which may have not been much work, had the new bazaar not been a construction zone with no running water and no tourists. With no tourism revenue flowing into town, shop and restaurant owners face a gamble: hoping the tourism will rebound and renovating the new shop, or leaving it all behind seeking work in Batman – the closest city center.

When asked if any element of this colossal infrastructure project contributed to the local economy at all, many locals respond with a bitter expression. Many were promised, or at least expected, some contract and gig work in the construction sites or in the new museum, but to no avail. The construction companies sourced labor from the larger cities nearby. Security guard positions for the museum were filled with candidates from Batman, even though there are licensed security guards in Hasankeyf.

As for who is to blame for Hasankeyf’s doom, everyone points fingers at the others. All the intra-town tension preceding the dam construction seems to have seeped into the town’s divides woven in its fabric – just like water falling through the cracks of a rock, bursting it eventually. Some argue that the thousands of dollars spent on moving the historical artifacts to the higher ground was unnecessary, especially while the real, living humans were suffering. Some accuse the other locals of being sellouts. Some accuse HDP, the Kurdish opposition party, for not being a good enough opposition and bringing investment to the region. The HDP supporters blame the AKP supporters for being puppets. The Kurds accuse the Arabs, and the Arabs accuse the Kurds.

But it would be unfair to put all the burden of Hasankeyf’s destruction on the residents. I would be blind to my own privilege if I were to judge people for choosing to own flush toilets and a nice bath tub over their heritage – the latter does not put food on the table or fix your toilet. And to their credit, some still took the fight to court, risking intimidation and being profiled, showing faith in a highly dysfunctional judiciary system, and willing to spend their precious, and these days very scarce, financial resources.

While everyone is still pointing fingers at each other and even the artifacts, the fact remains: The local economy is essentially destroyed. The community is uprooted. Their way of life is forever lost. The waters of Tigris is rising day by day, swallowing the shoreline. And the rest of the civilization, present and future, will never have a chance to see the world’s oldest continuous settlement as it once was.

Part II – Who is to blame for Hasankeyf’s demise?

Frustration among Hasankeyf residents about the project management is obvious, but many interviewees elaborately avoided criticizing the government, or the state, often retracting their statements or adding “Don’t get me wrong, I love my country.” Or “Don’t get me wrong, I am not a terrorist.” In a region where people can be arrested on charges as vague as “displaying sympathy for terror”, people blame anyone but the government.

After years of intimidation and harassment by the state, the locals have mastered the art of picking your battles – which is to never pick a battle with the state in the first place. Many who were not willing to take risk, stuck between putting up a legal fight against the mighty “father state” (thus risking being labeled as terrorists or traitors) and defending their heritage, only had a non-choice.

So, who is responsible for Hasankeyf’s demise? From my observation, it is our broken political system – not just the current government. Listening to the locals and accounting for historical or environmental values of our heritages are simply not woven into Turkey’s fabric of public project governance. Input from the civil society is simply discouraged, if not outright suppressed. Participation is perceived as pestering. Activists are perceived as obstacles.

Gokce Sencan

Many in Turkey, especially the opposition, find comfort in thinking that the old times were better, different. Maybe in the old times, some may even find themselves thinking, the Ilısu Dam project would not have gone forward, but they would be wrong: This project has been in the planning since 1980s as part of the country’s Southeastern Anatolia Project, and the AKP government only propelled it. Hasankeyf – with its history and people – has been deemed as collateral damage from hydropower development long before I was even born. An understanding of its heritage value was missing from the beginning, back when the project was first designed. Why should the current government, latching onto every possibility to exploit natural resources for simplistic economic gains, take it into consideration?

It is correct that this project’s management is utterly flawed and the fault would be with no one else but the current government, who has seen the dam to completion. But until we take a long hard look at and reform how the state undertakes public infrastructure projects, Hasankeyf will not be the last casualty of our unresponsive governance system.

https://internationalrivers.org/blogs/3 ... kce-sencan

Personally, I am heartbroken. I worked with the London campaign to Save Hasankeyf about 20 years ago, when we received a great deal of publicity in the media and managed to prevent the UK government underwriting Belfour Beatty's involvement with the project.

I am SHOCKED at Kurds inability to unite and safe such an historic site.
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