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Kurds need to have PRIDE and STOP destruction of Hasankeyf

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

Re: Summer the perfect time to swim underwater in Hasankeyf

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:33 pm

The world media is still talking about ISIS destruction of World Heritage Sites in Iraq and Syria

BUT

Failing to mention Turkey's destruction of Hasankeyf, the World Heritage Site in Turkey
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Re: Summer the perfect time to swim underwater in Hasankeyf

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Re: Summer the perfect time to swim underwater in Hasankeyf

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:29 pm

Hasankeyf Matters

The Sâlihiyya Gardens of Hasankeyf

The Sâlihiyya Gardens are located to the east of the medieval ceramic kilns and the walls of Hasankeyf’s lower city. Here you will find fragments of villas, mosques and madrasahs among small garden plots where local Hasankeyf residents still cultivate fruits and vegetables.

In its location and distinctly “suburban” atmosphere, the Sâlihiyya district of Hasankeyf recalls the City of the Dead in Cairo (where the wealthy retreated to family mausoleums for holidays and in summer), the Salahiyya district of tombs and dervish lodges on the edge of Damascus, and the cemeteries and gardens on either side of the defense walls of Istanbul. Whereas modern urban sprawl has engulfed and dwarfed the old fields and gardens in most cities of the region, in Hasankeyf the proportions of the Sâlihiyya district, lower city and citadel are much closer to what they would have been 900 years ago, when the Sokmen branch of the Artukids made its capital here.

The gardens of Hasankeyf hold traces of residential architecture, including the eyvan and pool of the “Artukid villa.” The eyvan is a distinctive architectural form, typically described as vaulted porch or veranda with “walls on three sides and completely open on the fourth.”

Ibn al-Munshi’, who wrote a historical chronicle of Hasankeyf in the early 15th century, writes that Sultan al-Malik al-Adil spent the summer of 1348 at the “Sâlihiyya Pavilion,” where he “enjoyed the pleasures of youth,” sitting most mornings “at the eyvan with his deputies and commanders attending to the affairs of the people and the business of government” and “summoning court entertainers” and his princely guests in the afternoons.

The sultan’s guests would likely have gathered in various chambers of the pavilion or in the courtyard, those of the highest status taking in the scene from the shade of eyvan. Following Artukid tradition, the innermost wall of the eyvan would have been ornamented with a fountain from which water emptied into a shallow channel in the floor of the eyvan, cooling the air as it flowed to the pool in the courtyard.

Garden districts were an integral part of medieval cities in Seljuk lands and across the Islamic world. The gardens of Merum, which stood outside the city walls of Konya, were “famed in Seljuk and Ottoman times for their lushness and beauty.”* Unfortunately, most of these gardens have disappeared, and scholars must rely on textual sources – poetry, epic, travel narrative and scientific treatises – to understand garden complexes as an alternative space for conducting business and entertaining guests. Further archaeological excavation at the Sâlihiyya Gardens has the potential to strengthen significantly scholarship on the history of medieval landscape design and the social uses of gardens. #HasankeyftoUNESCO.

What will you do for Hasankeyf?

With a history reaching back 11,500 years, the cultural heritage of Hasankeyf is a vital resource for building peace. Unfortunately, the site is under threat of flooding by the controversial and massive Ilısu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEPP) project. Inscription of Hasankeyf and its environs as a UNESCO World Heritage site, along with other conservation measures, can ensure that Hasankeyf lives. We ask for your support in advocating for these protections.

Cultural heritage and dialogue

Little is known about the history of Hasankeyf between the time of its first settlement in 9,500 BCE and the Romans’ use of “Kifas” – or “Rock”, as it was known in Eastern Aramaic – as a defense outpost. In the 4th century CE, Constantinius II built a palace and chapel on the solid rock mount. The naturally fortified city grew and prospered, became the seat of a Syriac Christian (Nestorian) bishop in the 5th century and participated in the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451. Following the Islamic conquest in the 7th century, a succession of Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen dynasties ruled the city. Christians, however, remained a significant proportion of the population until recently. Today, most Hasankeyf residents speak three languages: Kurdish, Arabic and Turkish.

Europa Nostra has selected Hasankeyf as one of Europe’s 7 Most Endangered sites for 2016.

Hasankeyf displays an extraordinary collection of diverse architectural styles from the 12th to 15th centuries. Viewed from the far bank of the Tigris, the pylons of the 12th century Artukid Bridge and the minarets of two Ayyubid mosques (built between 1378 and 1409) still dominate the skyline, a reminder that Hasankeyf is the product of numerous cultures and civilizations, most recently the Turkmen Artukids and the Kurdish Ayyubids.

The Koç Mosque (date of construction uncertain) originally consisted of an eyvan (a grand arched entryway) combined with a domed space above the mihrab, with barrel-vaulted prayer halls on either side. While the Seljuks of Anatolia used the eyvan widely in madrasahs and villas, they generally did not use it in mosques, making the Koç Mosque a fascinating and unusual application of Great Seljuk design in Upper Mesopotamia.

The Zeynel Bey Tomb is the only example of Timurid architecture in Anatolia. Its huge calligrams, as seen in Iran and Central Asia, display the names Allah, Muhammad and Ali.

Cultural heritage and economic development

Hasankeyf is extremely important to the people of the region, not only because the site serves to strengthen their bonds with the past, but also because it helps to sustain their ways of living and their livelihoods. In times of peace, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to Hasankeyf each year.

Taking a broad view of the historic city and its hinterlands, it is possible to craft a locally grounded management strategy that balances conservation and tourism, with the potential to accommodate millions of tourists while also preserving the site for future generations. The tourism-related revenue of Hasankeyf and its hinterlands could gradually reach €500 million annually, a figure already surpassed by Göreme, in Cappadocia, and is slightly greater than the anticipated direct revenue from the Ilısu Dam.

The threat to Hasankeyf

The Ilısu Project is expected to flood 80 per cent of the town of Hasankeyf, irrevocably changing the natural ecosystem and destroying the historical landscape. While there are dams in the world that have lasted much longer, research shows that most dams built today have a life expectancy of less than 100 years.

Is flooding a 12,000-year-old city with a 100-year dam the optimal use of economic resources? Are there better alternatives for building peace and prosperity in the Tigris Valley? Your voice can help us build a robust dialogue around cultural heritage conservation and sustainable development.

Follow the Link bellow for more Info - Photos:

http://www.hasankeyfmatters.com/
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Re: Summer the perfect time to swim underwater in Hasankeyf

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:10 pm

Turkish Dam Project Threatens to Submerge
Thousands of Years of History :((

For five generations, Firat Argun’s family has lived in Hasankeyf, an ancient town on the Tigris River in southeast Turkey where he runs a small bed-and-breakfast with a well-appointed garden.

“I have everything in my garden,” he said recently. “I have already found my heaven.”

But his little heaven will soon be lost.

Mr. Argun’s garden, along with thousands of years of history, will be submerged when Turkey completes a hydroelectric dam on the Tigris River, a project that dates back to the 1950s. The dam is more than 80 percent complete, but the part that will force Mr. Argun, and thousands of his neighbors, from their homes awaits: the filling of a reservoir that will cover much of the city.

“It’s going to ruin a historic city,” said Zeynep Ahunbay, a professor of architectural history in Istanbul, who has opposed the project.

Hasankeyf (pronounced has-AN-kayf) has an abundance of history, more than 12,000 years of it, dating back to the Neolithic period, when it was the site of one of the world’s first organized human settlements. The empires that came later all left their imprints: Byzantines, Romans, Seljuks, Ottomans. The archaeological highlight is a citadel, on high ground overlooking the river, and while that will stay above the water, scientists worry that over time its limestone base, which is porous, will erode and ultimately collapse.

The dam project has its roots in the ambitions of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, who envisioned a constellation of dams on the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers to meet the country’s energy needs.

Turkey’s control of the headwaters of the Euphrates and Tigris, rivers that feed Syria and Iraq, has long been controversial in the Middle East, with critics saying decisions made by Turkey have led to water shortages in both other countries that have contributed to instability and wars.

The dam, in the village of Ilisu, has raised alarms in Iraq, where activists warn it will reduce the water flow to the marshlands in the Iraqi south. “If the marshes don’t receive an adequate share of water, they will vanish,” said Nadia al-Baghdady, an activist in Baghdad.

Engineering plans for the Ilisu Dam were first drawn up in the 1980s. There have been many delays — work stoppages, resistance from environmentalists and even sabotage. In 2009, European creditors pulled their funding over fears that the project would destroy the area’s cultural heritage.

For decades the residents of Hasankeyf, many of whom speak Kurdish, Arabic and Turkish and make a living herding sheep or weaving rugs, have lived with the knowledge that, at some point, they would be forced from their homes. To accommodate them, the Turkish government is building a new Hasankeyf and buying up homes in the old city, even though, given so many delays, no one can say for sure when the reservoir will be filled.

“It’s very sad,” said John Crofoot, an American who has lived for several years in Hasankeyf, and has been an outspoken activist opposing the dam, saying its costs to the local population, and to history, are too great. “They are dejected. They love their town and are proud of the history of Hasankeyf. It’s where their grandparents and great-grandparents are buried.”

Mr. Argun said he has no interest in moving to the new city. “I am going to throw myself to the mountains like Robinson Crusoe,” he said. “Just a makeshift cabin is enough.”

Link to Article - Photos:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/world ... p=cur&_r=0

The dam project has been delayed many times, and no one can say for sure when it will be finished

THERE IS STILL TIME TO STOP IT
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Re: Kurds should save Hasankeyf not swim in it's streets

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:43 pm

It is a great shame that Kurds are not like the Native Americans

Hundreds of Native Americans from over 60 different Tribes are protesting and temporarily halting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline :ymapplause:

phpBB [video]


Kurds prefer to sit at home and watch Turkish TV rather than protect 12 year old Hasankeyf and all the unique flora and fauna in the surrounding area

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Re: Kurds should save Hasankeyf not swim in it's streets

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:49 pm

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Re: Kurds should save Hasankeyf not swim in it's streets

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:52 pm

Open Letter: Stop the Relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb

Representatives of more than 20 Turkish and international organizations have signed an open letter to Bresser Eurasia (a subsidiary of the Dutch engineering firm Bresser) and Korres Engineering (in Greece) requesting that they withdraw from the project to relocate the Zeynel Bey Tomb in Hasankeyf, saying in part: "To remove this monument from the alluvial plain to a slope where it will stand close to modern structures and a selection of architectural reconstructions is to rob the region of one of its most distinctive and beloved historic buildings."

The full text of the letter follows below.

+++ Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive, Turkey +++ Mesopotamian Ecology Movement, Turkey +++ Hasankeyf Matters, Turkey +++ Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign, Iraq +++ Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative, Iraq +++ Movement for the Protection of Aracthos River, Greece +++ Ecological collective of Irakleio, Greece +++ Friends of the Earth, Greece +++ Cultural Center of Kurdistan, Athens/Greece +++ Network for Social Ecology, Greece +++ Both Ends, Netherlands +++ The Corner House, UK +++ Peace in Kurdistan Campaign, UK +++ Counter Current, Germany +++ Ekologistak Martxan, Basque Country +++ BBVAren aurkako Plataforma, Basque Country +++ Xarxa per una Nova Culutra del’Aigua, Catalonia +++ Ecologistas en Acción Spain +++ Un Ponte Per, Italy +++ Rivers Watch, Austria +++ International Rivers, USA +++


Open letter to:
1) Bresser Eurasia BV.
Viltweg 1p, P.O. Box 5231, 3295 ZJ’s-Gravendeel, The Netherlands

2) Korres Engineering
9 Varnali Str., Melissia 151 27, Athens, Greece

Request to withdraw from the relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb in Hasankeyf/Turkey

05.12.2016

Dear Mr. Taco Bresser, Bresser Eurasia,
Dear Mr. Dimitri Korres, Korres Engineering,

As representatives of civil society organisations working to save Hasankeyf, an ancient city in the predominantly Kurdish southeast of Turkey, we write to urge you to withdraw from the project to relocate the Tomb of Zeynel Bey.

From recent communication with Korres Engineering we understand that your companies are jointly providing the technical expertise and capability required to the Turkish company “Er-Bu” for the relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb, with Korres Engineering contributing to the planning and Bresser Eurasia in charge of the physical lifting and transporting of the monument. We invite you to meet with us to discuss further the concerns outlined below.

The Zeynel Bey Tomb, built nearly 600 years ago in the late-15th century, is a cultural heritage property of the utmost importance. Removal from its original location would be a tragic loss for all humanity. It would also be the first step in the destruction of Hasankeyf and of the ecosystem of the Tigris Valley, both threatened by the Ilısu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEPP) Project.

Your firms’ assistance in the relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb provides critical support to the Ilısu Project, one of the most controversial dam projects in the world and the subject of extensive domestic and international criticism. In June 2009 the Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) of Germany, Switzerland and Austria pulled out of the Ilısu Project – followed by European Banks and most of the companies – due to the extreme impact on cultural heritage, environment and local population. This decision of the ECAs was taken after 2 years of intensive research and discussions. The historical significance of Hasankeyf, especially the city’s extraordinary collection of medieval Islamic monuments, played a crucial role in this decision.

If implemented as planned, the Ilisu HEPP Project would flood a 136 km stretch of the Tigris Valley, severely affecting approximately 55,000 people and compromising the habitat of thousands of species, including numerous threatened endemic bird, fish and amphibian species. The area to be flooded includes at least 289 archaeological sites, 199 villages and the ancient city of Hasankeyf. In March 2016, Europa Nostra included Hasankeyf in its 7 Most Endangered programme, describing it as “one of the most important architectural and archaeological sites in Europe”.

The Zeynel Bey Tomb is particularly important, not least because it is the most widely recognized symbol for the entire region. Reflecting strong Persian and Central Asian influences, the tomb is a poignant memorial to the rivalry between the Ottomans and the Akkoyunlu, a Turkmen Tribal Confederation that preceded the Safavids in ruling Iran. As the only Timurid-style monument in Anatolia, it expresses the overlap between Anatolian and Iranian civilization in Upper Mesopotamia.

We recognize that your firms’ shared values in historical preservation and your expertise in structure relocation may bring you to this project in an attempt to salvage the monument for posterity. However, we are concerned that the project may very likely result in grave and irreparable damage. The beauty of the tomb depends largely on the visual interplay of its shape and colour with the cliffs and peaks of the surrounding landscape. To remove this monument from the alluvial plain to a slope where it will stand close to modern structures and a selection of architectural reconstructions is to rob the region of one of its most distinctive and beloved historic buildings. As the value of Hasankeyf’s immovable cultural heritage is inseparable from the well-preserved medieval urban landscape, a small collection of salvaged elements would have little significance outside their original context.


There are also legal questions about the bidding process by which the lead contractor, Er-Bu Insaat, was selected. In addition, the project has failed to obtain the approval of the regional chambers of architects and engineers (TMMOB), which is a legal precondition of the project. We also believe that this failure to consult the public on the decision to move the tomb, the selection of its new location and the vetting and validation of the technical plan for moving the structure contravenes Turkish and European laws and conventions.

We note as well that, in the event that Hasankeyf is spared flooding, this invaluable cultural landscape has the potential to become a regional centre of cultural and adventure tourism. This alternative would create thousands of jobs over the long-term, whereas the Ilısu Project promises only 150 jobs over the long-term. This is why there is such overwhelming opposition in the affected region to pursuing such a destructive project.

The case of the Zeynel Bey Tomb is different from that of Abu Simbel. Indeed, removal of the Zeynel Bey Tomb would be comparable to the destruction of the Bamiyan statues, Palmyra and the Mostar Bridge. To continue your involvement in this project, would, in our view, leave Bresser Eurasia and Korres Engineering open to the charge of being party to the destruction of a monument with outstanding cultural value, with consequent reputational risks. We therefore very much hope that you will withdraw.

As stated above, we would very much welcome a meeting to discuss our concerns further.

Sincerely,

Ercan Ayboğa, Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive and Mesopotamian Ecology Movement
John Crofoot, Hasankeyf Matters
Ali Al-Kharki, Iraqi Coordinator of the Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign
Toon Bijnens, Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative
Nicholas Hildyard, Co-Director, The Corner House
Estella Schmid, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Heike Drillisch, Counter Current
Peter Bosshard, International Rivers
Ulrich Eichelmann, Riverwatch
Annelies Broekman, Xarxa per una Nova Cultura de l’Aigua
Ismaeel Dawood, Un Ponte Per
Wiert Wiertsema, Senior Policy Adviser, Both ENDS

http://www.hasankeyfmatters.com/
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Re: Kurds should save Hasankeyf not swim in it's streets

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:15 pm

I apologize for not keeping up with information on Hasankeyf

I got carried away watching idiot Muslims kill each other - not really important - if Muslims want to behave as barbaric savages so be it, just as long as they leave the Yazidis alone :D

I, along with a shamefully small number of dedicated Kurdish friends, was involved in the original London protests against the Ilısu Dam Project

My praises must go to the lovely Estelle from the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign - she has dedicated a great many years working on behalf of Kurds and was the driving force behind the original campaign to save Hasankeyf

Sadly, the only thing most Kurds are interested in nowadays is killing X(

I remember my Kurdish friends - they want to stop Turkey's destruction of Kurdish land - they wanted an independent Kurdistan :ymparty:
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Re: Turkey destroys Hasankeyf - ISIS destroys Palmyra

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue May 02, 2017 1:11 am

Relocation of Zeynel Bey Tomb in Hasankeyf may start next week

The imminent relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb in Hasankeyf will lead to the start of the irreparable destruction of the cultural heritage of 12.000 years old town Hasankeyf and a large part of the Tigris valley in the mainly Kurdish Southeast of Turkey.

Image

In the following days the highly controversial relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb in Hasankeyf could be started. This would lead to the start of the irreparable destruction of the cultural heritage of 12.000 years old town Hasankeyf and a large part of the Tigris valley in the mainly Kurdish Southeast of Turkey.

Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive, Mesopotamian Ecology Movement and Hasankeyf Matters released the following appeal calling the Dutch company to stop the relocation project:

"Since the beginning 2016 the Turkish company ER-BU Insaat and the Dutch company Bresser Eurasia work on the relocation of Zeynel Bey Tomb, one of the most significant symbols of Hasankeyf with its globally unique cultural and natural heritage. This relocation is done in the framework of the construction of the Ilisu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant which is one of the most controversial dams in the world and in the last phase of its construction. In total, eight monuments are planned to be relocated before the completion of the Ilisu Project. The historical bridge pillars are in the process to be covered with stones and damaged for ever.

The whole process of the planned relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb was violating existing laws, particularly the tender and contracting process. There is globally no similar experience with the relocation of a monument of such an age and binding agent technology (550 years old). Considering that the monument is very fragile and in poor condition (there are splits in the cupola), it is expected that the lifting of 90 cm and the continuous vibrancy will lead very likely to serious damages or even to the destruction of the tomb. But even if it would be successfull, the relocation of the monuments in Hasankeyf would lead to the loss of their cultural significance through the disconnection to their natural environment. Among others, the outstanding value of Hasankeyf is the connection of cultural heritage and nature.

All our calls for the stop of the process and to discuss openly and according to international standards the whole relocation project have not been replied by Er-Bu and Bresser. The local society has never been consulted about neither the relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb nor the Ilisu Project. We got all our information about the relocation project from the press and through observations.

Hasankeyf has been selected in March 2016 as one of the 7 most endangered cultural immovable European sites by Europa Nostra. All proposals by Europa Nostra and us for a new discussion about rethinking Hasankeyf have been not been taken into consideration.

While in the beginning it was said to relocate the tomb via rails, now we found out that it will be done via an asphalt road. The companies did not inform the public about that. The asphalt machine has arrived in Hasankeyf. At the site there is nobody who gives any information when and how the relocation will be done. The relocation could be done with one day according to the project owners.

The role of the Dutch company Bresser is very crucial as it is the partner which claims to be able to relocate the tomb – Er-Bu has not this capacity. Thus it is abused by the Turkish government in the sense that there are "the best international experts" doing the relocation. Bresser is going to be part of a crime against cultural heritage!"

Putting emphasis on the importance of solidarity to stop the relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb, Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive, Mesopotamian Ecology Movement and Hasankeyf Matters urged all people and organizations to call Bresser to stop the relocation project immediately and start a new process of discussing with civil local society the whole project, and write to:

Bresser Eurasia

Viltweg 1p, P.O. Box 5231

3295 ZJ ’s-Gravendeel / Netherlands

email: info@bresser.nu
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Re: STOP watching TURKISH TV and SAVE Hasankeyf

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri May 12, 2017 3:53 am

Hasankeyf's Zeynel Bey Tomb to be relocated tomorrow

The Zeynel Bey Tomb in Hasankeyf, which has been encased in a concrete foundation, has now been lifted from its original foundation. According to local reports, the tomb will be moved TODAY :((

Image

The ancient town of Hasankeyf stands on the banks of the Tigris river in Northern Kurdistan. Hasankeyf is 12,000 years old but it is set to vanish forever under a 121 square mile artificial lake when the Ilısu dam is completed. The dam will displace up to 78,000 people, the majority of whom are of Kurdish origin. Another 30,000 nomadic people will also be directly affected. 199 villages will be completely or partially flooded.

Tragically, the same region already has a devastating recent history. In the 1990s, whole villages were either burnt down by Turkish security forces or forcibly expelled. Thousands of people were killed or disappeared. By the mid-1990s, more than 3,000 villages had been wiped from the map. The pretext for these actions was to clear the PKK guerrillas out of the villages but many say the main aim was to expel Kurdish people from their homeland and destroy Kurdish culture and traditions.

There are now roughly 3,000 residents living in Hasankeyf. Many people have already left because of the uncertain future of the area and because there are now barely any employment opportunities. Once a thriving tourist destination, visitors flocked to the town to visit the ancient ruins and to marvel at Hasankeyf's 5,000 caves, which, until recently, were inhabited for thousands of years.

The historic town was selected as one of Europe’s “7 Most Endangered” heritage sites for 2016. The nomination was submitted by the Cultural Awareness Foundation and supported by Hasankeyf Matters and the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive as a step toward preserving the town and supporting an ongoing dialogue about heritage conservation and sustainability. Hasankeyf is under direct threat by the Ilısu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant Project. If implemented as planned, this project will flood the town and destroy most of its archaeological treasures.

Yesterday local sources reported that the Zeynel Bey Tomb in Hasankeyf, which has been encased in a concrete foundation, has now been lifted from its original foundation. According to local reports, the tomb will be moved tomorrow (Friday) without advance notification to the press. At the time of writing, the DSI (the State Hydraulic Works), which is responsible for the Ilisu Dam Project, has not announced the move on its web site.

This relocation is done in the framework of the construction of the Ilisu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant which is one of the most controversial dams in the world and in the last phase of its construction. In total, eight monuments are planned to be relocated before the completion of the Ilisu Project. The historical bridge pillars are in the process to be covered with stones and damaged for ever.

The whole process of the planned relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb was violating existing laws, particularly the tender and contracting process. There is globally no similar experience with the relocation of a monument of such an age and binding agent technology (550 years old). Considering that the monument is very fragile and in poor condition (there are splits in the cupola), it is expected that the lifting of 90 cm and the continuous vibrancy will lead very likely to serious damages or even to the destruction of the tomb. But even if it would be successfull, the relocation of the monuments in Hasankeyf would lead to the loss of their cultural significance through the disconnection to their natural environment. Among others, the outstanding value of Hasankeyf is the connection of cultural heritage and nature.

Hasankeyf Matters, Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive and Mesopotamian Ecology Movement released the following statement calling for the cancellation of the project to relocate the Zeynel Bey Tomb, and the immediate stop of the Ilisu Project:

“While the government claims that it is transmitting Hasankeyf’s cultural heritage to the future and transforming the town into an important tourism center for the region, they have shrouded their work in secrecy. During the decades of planning and preparation for the Ilisu project, the government has denied the local people a say in shaping the future of their town. Now the government is raising new barriers to the journalistic documentation of the changes underway in Hasankeyf.

The DSI has touted the relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb as the first time a whole building has been moved to a new location in Turkey and they predict that this will attract worldwide attention. Considering the claim to transform Hasankeyf into an important tourism center for the region, the interference with the work of professional journalists to document this work and the failure to publicize the date for the actual relocation of the tomb show that Turkish authorities know that the these projects cannot withstand careful scrutiny.

Indeed, the limited press coverage over the past four years shows that the project is fraught with problems. Experts considered different locations for the tomb – 1 km, 1.5 km and now 2 km from the original location – all without seeking the views of the town’s residents. For at least four years authorities have said the tomb would be moved along rails, but within recent months the plan suddenly changed and it was disclosed that the move tomb would be moved on a trailer of some 150 wheels along a specially built road. Finally, authorities failed to disclose to the public the problems encountered when a test run using the new system was conducted two weeks ago.

The public deserves to know and we demand that the DSI disclose why the method of relocation was changed at such a late date. We also seek full disclosure of the details of the revised plan and evidence that the revised plan has been approved in the proper way.

The fact is that this project is fraught with problems – not just within the context of the controversial Ilisu Dam, which threatens the entire natural ecosystem of the Upper Tigris Basin with destruction, but also the project to relocate the Zeynel Bey Tomb. The sketchy and unstable plan threatens to destroy this invaluable manifestation of cultural heritage. The relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb to the new settlement area is an unforgivable and wanton act of cultural heritage destruction. This project and the whole Ilisu Project must be halted immediately. We need a new approach to building broad consensus around the socio-cultural development Hasankeyf and the Tigris Valley.”

The statement by John Crofoot on behalf of Hasankeyf Matters and Ercan Ayboga on behalf of Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive and Mesopotamian Ecology Movement also called for the immediate release of National Geographic photographer Mathias Depardon who was detained while taking pictures in the new settlement area of Hasankeyf on May 8, and liberty for each journalist and human to move in and around Hasankeyf.

It is shocking and disgusting that Kurds would allow such destruction

They should be ASHAMED to call themselves Kurds X(
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Re: Hassankeyf is destroyed by Turks as Kurds do NOTHING

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:50 am

Europa Nostra statement on endangered heritage site of Hasankeyf

The Board of Europa Nostra deeply deplores the decision of the Turkish government to build a dam that would lead to the flooding of a site of world significance, without proper and transparent justification and without adequate compensation measures.

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The Board of Europa Nostra, the leading heritage organisation in Europe, made a statement about the Ancient city of Hasankeyf and its surroundings in Turkey, listed among the 7 Most Endangered heritage sites in Europe in 2016, following a nomination by the Cultural Awareness Foundation.

In their statement, the Board of Europa Nostra deeply deplores the decision of the Turkish government to build a dam that would lead to the flooding of a site of world significance, without proper and transparent justification and without adequate compensation measures.

In particular, the Board said they regretted that the removal of the Zeynel Bay Tomb has been carried out with insufficient consultation with the local and scholarly communities and that other Islamic monuments of great significance remain highly endangered. The Board of Europa Nostra urged the Turkish authorities to adhere to the standards of heritage protection that are included in the European Conventions and to set up a proper consultation process with local communities and civil society organisations concerned in an open and transparent manner.

Regarding the relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb, a monument featuring Timurid tradition, in Hasankeyf last month as part of the ongoing government project to build a dam that will lead to the flooding of the archaeologically and architecturally important site of Hasankeyf on the river Tigris, the Board of Europa Nostra said: “It is to be regretted that this removal has been carried out without sufficient documentation having been provided and certainly with insufficient consultation either with the local or with the scholarly community, both of which believe that the value of the site of Hasankeyf is far greater than the benefits to be obtained by its flooding.

It is to be even more regretted that other Islamic monuments of great significance including the medieval bridge of the 12th century of the Artukid dynasty, the 15th century mosque complex and tomb of the Ayyubid Sultan Süleyman and the Imam Abdullah tomb, remain at risk. For all these reasons, Hasankeyf was included on its 2016 List of 7 Most Endangered sites in Europe, as part of the programme run by Europa Nostra in partnership with the EIB Institute and the Council of Europe Development Bank.”

The Europa Nostra Board also deplored the fact that the law recently passed by the Turkish Grand National Assembly overrules the decision taken by the Turkish courts in 2013 that the relevant Environmental Impact Assessment Report was inadequate.

In the light of the above worrying developments, Europa Nostra Board stated the following:

    1) The foreseen flooding of Hasankeyf would destroy evidence for one of the oldest organised human settlements ever discovered. Such a site is not just of national and European but of world significance. Therefore, we believe that it is incumbent not only on Turkey but on the entire international community to ensure its safeguard.

    2) Hasankeyf possesses one of the richest treasures of Islamic monuments in any country member of the Council of Europe. Acknowledging and affirming the value of this heritage for Europe’s shared cultural heritage, we deeply deplore the decision of the government of Turkey, a Member State of the Council of Europe, to build a dam which would lead to the flooding of such a site and, as a consequence, to the loss of one of the most valuable witnesses of Islamic heritage in a European country, without proper and transparent justification and without adequate compensation measures.

    3) We urge the Turkish authorities to adhere to the principles and standards of heritage protection which are included in the European Conventions adopted under the auspices of the Council of Europe and of which Turkey is a signatory (namely the Granada Convention and the Valletta Convention). We also make a strong appeal to the Turkish authorities to set up a proper consultation process with local communities and civil society organisations concerned in an open and transparent manner. It is by now very late but applying best international practice to this case of outstanding but endangered heritage could still be beneficial.

About Europa Nostra

Europa Nostra is the pan-European federation of heritage NGOs which is also supported by a wide network of public bodies, private companies and individuals. Covering more than 40 countries in Europe, Europa Nostra is the voice of civil society committed to safeguarding and promoting Europe’s cultural and natural heritage. The most representative heritage network in Europe campaigns to save Europe's endangered monuments, sites and landscapes, in particular through the 7 Most Endangered programme.

About Hasankeyf

Hasankeyf, sitting on the banks of the River Tigris, is one of the most important architectural and archaeological sites in Europe, boasting a rich biodiversity and 12,000 years of human history. Masterpieces of Islamic architecture, dating from the 12th to 15th centuries C.E., make the town one of the best preserved witnesses to Seljuk urban culture, particularly from the Artukid and Ayyubid dynasties.

A small town with a great heritage, Hasankeyf already attracts about 500.000 visitors each year, a number expected to rise. Given its historical, architectural and economic significance for the region, public opinion supports its preservation. The area was declared a First Degree Archaeological Site by Turkey’s Supreme Board of Monuments in 1978 and has been under the protection of the Culture Ministry’s General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums since 1981.

The urgent threat to Hasankeyf is posed by the Ilisu dam hydroelectric power project which, if implemented as planned, would submerge the site under 65 metres of water by 2018. The Government of Turkey has a vision for salvaging selected monuments and developing the site as a prestigious destination. However, Hasankeyf’s preservation in its original location might prove more economically advantageous than the dam, and its cultural significance for Turkey is incomparable.
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Re: As Turkey destroys Hassankeyf nobody prevents it

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:08 pm

When ISIS destroys ancient sites

Everyone complains - what terrible people they are

Turkey has been working towards destroying Hasankeyf for several years

Plenty of time for international Heritage Organisations and world governments to intercede and prevent this desecration from taking place

Almost nobody cares what Turkey does X(
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Re: As Turkey destroys Hassankeyf nobody prevents it

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:35 pm

AKP no different than ISIS, destroying ancient sites in Hasankeyf

The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive condemned the AKP’s policies against Hasankeyf, stating that attacks damage the 12,000 years old history of the ancient town.

The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive stated that cave-filling and bringing down of rocks ‘constituting danger’ is underway in the valleys on two sides of the castle at the moment. As Turkish officials stated that as many as 210 caves will be filled, several other caves in canyons and valleys- apart from those to be filled- will also get flooded.

The demolition efforts in Hasankeyf began following the visit of Turkish Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs Veysel Eroğlu’s visit to the town on 21 June, as part of “geological-geotechnical research and reinforcing of the antique harbor in Hasankeyf”.

AKP DAİŞ'i aratmıyor: Hasankeyf'te kayaları yıkıyorhttps://t.co/eQjJKHrl7G#ANFHaber pic.twitter.com/QEjL0OFLjn
— ANF_TURKCE (@ANF_TURKCE_) August 14, 2017


The nearly 6 thousand caves around the antique town are one of the first sites of human settlement. Civilized life in the antique town of Hasankeyf dates back to 8th century B.C. and the drawings inside the caves scattered around the town shed light on different periods, cultures and architectures of humanity.

The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive pointed out that the antique harbor to be built with concrete through an isolation of the natural history will not enliven tourism, but will only obliterate a history of thousands of years of human life with a project that is neither scientific nor abiding any laws for the protection of historical sights.

Hasankeyf is one of the unique towns where history is preserved, and has been home to civilizations such as Hurrians, Mitannis, Assyrians, Urartians, Medes, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Seljuks, Artuqids and Ayyubids. With its history and nature, Hasankeyf fulfills 9 of the 10 UNESCO criteria but is being destroyed due to the anti-Kurdish policies governments in Turkey have been implementing in Kurdistan. The state purposefully does not apply to UNESCO for Hasankeyf’s addition to the World Heritage List, and is now destroying the town by flooding it. Hasankeyf, the town where stones smell like history, is now being sacrificed for Ilısu Dam as a result of Turkey’s anti-Kurdish policies.
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Re: As Turkey destroys Hassankeyf nobody prevents it

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:42 am

Bar associations call for support for Hasankeyf :ymapplause:

Bar associations of Amed and Batman issued a statement at the by dynamite detonated site of Hasankeyf, and called on everyone to support the preservation of the ancient city.

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After video footage got viral in the media, showing the detonation of Hasankeyf's historical caves, an envoy of lawyers from bar associations in Amed and Batman headed to Hasankeyf and investigated the scene.

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Besides the desecration of an ancient history by the dam project that the AKP government continues to build on Hasankeyf’s river for some time now, also historical caves got demolished with dynamites by the dam construction company on 14 August.

Following the observations, Head of Amed Bar Association Ahmet Özmen issued a statement on behalf of the envoy, and said:

"Do not sacrifice history of 12000 years for a dam that will sustain for 50 years alone. What we came to see here is a saddening picture. They have demolished huge boulder and rock formations with dynamite. We have spoken with the local merchants, citizens and people of the region. They do not want to leave their land and home. They do not want their home and land be flooded. But they cannot do anything because their homes and land have been usurped."

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Özmen stated that the citizens are forced to resettle in New Hasankeyf area built across the Tigris River, and said: "The place the people lived in before, and the one constructed now are two different worlds. Hasankeyf is the humanity’s greatest witness of the past. It is the heritage of all humankind, leaving 12000 years of history behind.

This area housed dozens of civilizations. There is none that equals it in the whole world. You don't have the right to sacrifice the 12000 years old history for a dam that will last 50 years. Along with the historical site, 400 mounds also get destroyed. Each of those mounds have their own special history. Instead of digging up the history of those mounds and sharing it with the world, the state floods the history to never let it come to light. Everyone should support us and rise up against the destruction and desecration of history."

An envoy formed thereafter out of Amed and Batman Bar Associations gathered information from Hasankeyf's citizens and merchants, before their investigation continued on the site of the detonated ancient caves.


Over 15 years ago, I was part of the original Ilisu Dam Campaign to save Hasankeyf :ymparty:

In 2002, our campaign won an important victory when it forced UK based company Balfour Beatty and other European companies, like Swedish based Skanska, to withdraw from the project. The companies involved in the project had applied for Export Credit Guarantees from their home governments, which meant that taxpayers money would be used to finance the project.

in 2005 the project resurfaced. This time one of the main contractors of the dam is Austrian based VA TECH.

Sadly, this group of people - like most of the all too few supporters - are more interested in getting their faces in the media than actually saving Hasankeyf

Where have they been for the past 10 years

Where were they when we held the original campaign

Probably sitting at home watching TURKISH TV

I would like to remind everyone that it is not just the ancient city of Hasankeyf that is under threat, but all the totally unique flora and fauna that is to be found nowhere else in the world

How can the world think it wrong for ISIS to destroy ancient cities, yet allow Turkey to destroy Hasankeyf X(
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Re: As Turkey destroys Hassankeyf nobody prevents it

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:06 am

Hydrologic and Geomorphic Impacts

    The construction and operation of the Ilisu Dam by itself will significantly affect the hydrology of the Tigris River. It will alter the seasonal flow pattern by capturing all except large flood flows in the spring and releasing them in the autumn and it will create large daily flow fluctuations whose influence would be felt more than 65 km downstream at the Syrian border;

    The operation of the Ilisu Dam in combination with diversions from the future downstream Cizre project would probably significantly reduce summer flows in Syria and Iraq below historic levels. It is likely that a significant portion of the recommended minimum flow release from Ilisu of 60 m3/s during dry years would be diverted. It is even possible that with full implementation of the Ilisu/Cizre projects, during drought periods, all the summer flow could be diverted before it crossed the border;

    Future depletions of the Tigris river flows for planned irrigated agriculture within Turkey would further reduce these flows;

    Filling of the Ilisu reservoir could create low flow conditions downstream in Syria and Iraq more severe than those experienced in an extreme drought for two successive years;

    The Ilisu reservoir would eliminate small to moderate flood peaks downstream but would not significantly reduce extreme large flood peaks;

    There are large uncertainties in estimates of reservoir sedimentation rates. It is possible that with future deteriorating watershed conditions active reservoir storage losses would be in the range of 0.1 to 1 percent per year. This could adversely affect power generation within a few decades;

    Deposition of coarse sediments in the mouths of rivers discharging to the reservoir will cause increased flood levels, waterlogging, and increased channel migration along tributary rivers upstream;

    Large seasonal reservoir level fluctuations would typically expose approximately 100 km2 of reservoir bed, as summer diversions increase upstream this drawdown area could increase to about 190 km2.

    Capturing of coarse sediment in the reservoir will tend to induce scouring of the river channel downstream, lowering the river level and possibly lowering the adjacent water table as well;

    High levels of nutrients from sewage and agricultural runoff will cause eutrophication and anoxic conditions in the reservoir.

    Planned sewage treatment plants will not significantly reduce these levels;

    Anoxic conditions will probably mobilize heavy metals from reservoir sediments;

    Discharges from the reservoir will be anoxic and likely to contain high levels of nutrients, organic matter and hydrogen sulphide (H2S);

    Downstream water supply in Syria and Iraq could be significantly affected by both reduction in summer flows and deterioration in water quality;

    There could be a significant increase in flood hazards downstream. The elimination of smaller floods will encourage the development of floodplain and river channel land; however these areas will still be subject to extreme flood events;

    The consequences of failure of the dam due to accident or act of war would be catastrophic, affecting millions of people living downstream;

    Summer exposure of large areas of reservoir bed, as well as aggrading river channels upstream, will provide a major habitat for disease vectors such as malaria etc;

    Pollution and eutrophication of the reservoir could create public health hazards for people drinking water or eating fish caught in the reservoir;

    Anoxic conditions in the reservoir will likely generate significantly higher levels of greenhouse gas methane emissions than occur from the existing landscape;

    Key EIAR conclusions are, variously, unsubstantiated, the information on which they are based is contradictory, incomplete, of unknown accuracy, or based on an inappropriate level of analysis;

    The methodology or logic is seriously flawed because the Project definition is unclear, cumulative impacts were not addressed, trans-border impacts were ignored, and impacts were not analysed over the lifecycle of the project;

    Key decisions on the dam and operational design seem to have been made over 20 years ago without integrating environmental planning, as is now the established practice. Instead the EIAR attempts to analyse the consequences of decisions already taken and suggest mitigation actions that are not part of the project, which might be taken to reduce adverse impacts;

    There is no substantiation provided in the EIAR for the selection of the minimum monthly flow release of 60 m3/s. Nor is evidence presented that downstream riparian countries were consulted to establish such a minimum release rule;

    It does not appear that the proponents of the Ilisu dam have carried out the kind of technical studies reasonably expected to evaluate environmental impacts for a major project of this type. For example: reservoir water quality modeling, operational scenarios for future watershed conditions, river and reservoir sedimentation modeling, dam break analysis, and flow fluctuation attenuation modeling.
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Re: As Turkey destroys Hassankeyf nobody prevents it

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:06 am

Demolition with construction equipment starts in Hasankeyf

In the antique town Hasankeyf, where human formed rocks were destroyed through explosives recently, demolition continues now with construction equipment.

As the demolition in the antique town Hasankeyf continues due to the genocidal and rent-seeking policies of the AKP government, construction equipment have started to destroy rocks in the area that was demolished through explosives recently.

With the demolition of human formed rocks through explosives in Hasankeyf, the destruction of this 12.000 years old town at the Tigris River in the Kurdish Southeast of Turkey has entered a new phase. Hasankeyf, more than 300 archaeological sites, 136 km Tigris River stretch and 199 other settlements would be flooded if the construction of the Ilisu Dam – one of the most controversial dams worldwide – would be completed.

The “bringing down of rocks” at the castle rock and its surrounding valleys started some two weeks ago with the official aim to consolidate them for the time after the planned impounding of the dam reservoir and subsequent development of tourism.

After the broad public critic in the last week the governor of Batman province and the State Hydraulic Works (DSİ), responsible for the Ilisu Project, said that no explosives have been used and the objective is to protect civilians from falling rocks.

The fact is that for only some rocks no explosives have been used, but locals confirmed that for the most ones it was the case, and that 7 years ago was one rock fall in Hasankeyf, but due to recent human impacts and non taken measures by the ministry for culture.

However, the alleged ‘constituting danger by rocks’ has the real aim to drive out people and artisans from Hasankeyf nowadays and particularly to have enough debris for the planned antique harbour which would be central for the planned tourism of the rock castle. It is cheaper to bring down material than to transport it from areas far away.
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