Navigator
Facebook
Search
Ads & Recent Photos
Recent Images
Random images
Welcome To Roj Bash Kurdistan 

SHAME on Kurds who allowed Hasankeyf to 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: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:46 pm

Turkey's ancient valley lost

There was something exceptional about Hasankeyf that made visitors fall in love with the town on first sight

Graced with mosques and shrines, it lay nestled beneath great sandstone cliffs on the banks of the Tigris River. Gardens were filled with figs and pomegranates, and vine-covered teahouses hung over the water.

The golden cliffs, honeycombed with caves, are thought to have been used in Neolithic times. An ancient fortress marked what was once the edge of the Roman Empire. The ruins of a mediaeval bridge recalled when the town was a wealthy trading centre on the Silk Road.
Download the new Independent Premium app

Now it is all lost forever, submerged beneath the rising waters of the Ilisu Dam, the latest of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s megaprojects, which flooded 100 miles of the upper Tigris River and its tributaries, including the once-stunning valley

I visited the area repeatedly with photographer Mauricio Lima for half a year to witness the disappearance of the valley unfold in slow motion. The steadily expanding reservoir displaced more than 70,000 anguished inhabitants. Unexplored archaeological riches were swallowed up along with farms and homes.

The waters have rendered Hasankeyf an irretrievable relic of the bygone civilizations that had been similarly drawn to the beauty of the valley, carved over millenniums by one of the Middle East’s greatest rivers.

When Erdogan turned on the first turbine of the hydroelectric dam, celebrating the project’s completion in May, the president had his eye on more immediate concerns but also on future glories, promising that it would bring peace and prosperity to southeastern Turkey.

“The wind of peace, brotherhood and prosperity that will blow from the Ilisu Dam will be felt in these lands for centuries,” he told the ceremony via video link.

The dam would contribute billions to the economy and irrigate thousands of hectares of farmland, he said.

Government officials have emphasised that hydropower offers their greenest option when they decided to push ahead with the dam a dozen years ago, allowing Turkey to reduce its dependence on imported coal and gas.

But many who lost their homes and livelihoods say they were never really consulted. They are bitter and traumatised. Environmentalists and archaeologists, in Turkey and abroad, are angry and frustrated, too, at the loss of the valley and its treasures.

Their efforts to save Hasankeyf collapsed in the face of Erdogan’s increasing authoritarianism. International law, lagging behind the shifting attitudes around climate change and the value of protecting the environment, was inadequate for safeguarding the cultural heritage, they say.

Zeynep Ahunbay, a conservation architect, campaigned for more than a decade to save Hasankeyf, not only for its archaeological gems but also for the value of its ancient natural setting.

“You see this valley, it is so impressive,” Ahunbay says, describing what it was like to round the hillside and see Hasankeyf come into view. “You see this river cutting the rock and it goes down and down, and in the end you have the citadel of Hasankeyf. It is really marvellous, and nature and man have formed this place.”

“To disturb or change the natural process of the river is also criminal,” she says. “You lose the beauty, you lose history, you lose nature. You are a loser all the time.”

When Erdogan first announced his determination to build the dam, he championed it not only for the energy it would provide Turkey’s expanding economy but also for the development it would bring to the impoverished and insurgency-riven southeast.

The dam is part of the massive Southeastern Anatolia Project irrigation plan that was begun in the 1980s.

When the plan was first conceived in the 1950s, there was little thought of its impact on the environment or on those who would be forced to leave. But as Turkey developed democratically, opponents of the dam began organising.

International activist organisations became involved, too, challenging international investors over concerns about the environmental impact, the loss of cultural heritage and the damage to communities downstream in Iraq and Syria.

Ahunbay did not oppose the dam itself but campaigned to preserve Hasankeyf and resisted a plan to move the ancient monuments to higher ground and to entomb one in concrete.

As president of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, an international professional association that works to protect cultural heritage sites, she and a group of colleagues took the case to the European Court of Human Rights. They lost in the end because none of the plaintiffs were residents of Hasankeyf.

The protest campaigns had early success in 2009, pushing several European partners to withdraw financing mainly because Turkey did not meet the requirements of social impact assessments.

But Erdogan was undeterred. He ordered Turkish banks to step in and finance the project instead.

Money seemed no object. The government built two new towns to relocate those displaced, and new highways and bridges to skirt the reservoir. Turkish companies, closely allied to Erdogan’s government, won the building contracts.

The project had become a moneymaking exercise, a local bureaucrat said, asking that he not be identified by name for fear of reprisals from the government.

“They spent a horrendous amount of money,” says Emin Bulut, a local journalist and activist, who says the bill ran to trillions of lira. “They could have fixed all the problems of the south with that.”

In 2012, government officials arrived to begin evaluating property that would be submerged to compensate those who would be displaced. But the money became a source of resentment, dividing the community, and even families, and raising accusations of corruption. The arguments broke apart any unified opposition to the dam.

“We surrendered when they came to measure the houses,” says Birsen Argun, 44, who together with her husband ran the Hasbahce Hotel, the only hotel in Hasankeyf, set in a garden of pomegranate and walnut trees along the river. “We brought it upon ourselves.”

Her husband tried to persuade his brothers to refuse the money and fight for a bigger payment in the courts, but they accepted the payout. People withdrew the money from accounts without telling others, she added.

Many of those who did try to organise a protest movement grew up in Hasankeyf and were even born in the cave homes of the citadel, like Arif Ayhan, 44, who started out selling old coins to tourists and then became a rug dealer.

Politics split the campaign, he says, especially when supporters of the outlawed Kurdish movement, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, joined the rallies against the dam, chanting slogans and enraging police.

“This is why we failed,” he says. “We live in the most beautiful place in the world, but we could not appreciate the value of this place.”

After years of warnings, the end came suddenly. In August, the government closed the dam gates and released waters from a reservoir upriver. Families scrambled to move out of villages, abandoning homesteads, selling off livestock and even hastily building new houses and access roads on higher ground.

“We hoped the water would not come,” says Remziye Nas, mother of four, in the village of Bzere, where the water was lapping below her house. “We did not believe it would be flooded.”

In the small town of Temelli, perched above the dam, Hezni Aksu, 60, looked down from his terrace to where his family’s farmhouse and lands were among the first to go under water.

“This land was from our ancestors,” he says bitterly. His son is now an unemployed construction worker. “They made migrants of us.”

In Hasankeyf, under a heavy police presence, bulldozers demolished the old bazaar one weekend in November. As the ceiling caved in and dust fell inside his shop, something snapped inside Mehmet Ali Aslankilic. With a shout he set fire to his belongings in a lone, anguished protest.

“It was my uncle’s shop. I had been working there since I was a child,” he says. “Burning my shop was the only way I could deal with this.”

A few doors down, Mehmet Nuri Aydin, 42, packs his woven rugs of long sheep’s wool into sacks.

“We don’t want to go but we have to,” he says, adding that few shopkeepers could afford the rents in the new town.

There was no wider demonstration. Since a failed coup in 2016, Turkey has banned all protests, so the campaign to save Hasankeyf had long since petered out. Activists were even careful about what they posted on social media. Government officials kept photographers away.

With the bazaar demolished, families started to load furniture onto trucks and move to specially built homes in the new town. They gathered up the last pomegranates from the trees and piles of firewood, some even wrenching off doors and window frames from their old homes.

“Our hearts are burning,” Celal Ozbey, a retired civil servant, says as his wife and sons carry out tables and bundles from the house.

They had been assigned a house in the new town, but he was not sure they would stay, or if economic life would revive.

“Time will tell,” he says.

Fatime Salkan had refused to leave the low-pitched stone house that belonged to her parents, overlooking the 15th-Century El-Rizk mosque. Officials warned her to move, but she was among several dozen single people who, under a quirk of Turkish law, were not considered eligible for a new home.

“They told me to leave many times,” she told me in November. “If an engineer comes, I will say I am going to swim.”

She watched from her terrace in December when Dutch engineers lifted the last of the mediaeval monuments, the 1,700-ton El-Rizk mosque with its intricately carved portal, onto wheels and transported it across the river.

They deposited it on a man-made hill beside the new town, where the government has assembled various salvaged monuments and built a modern replica of the mediaeval bridge. They look out of place on the bare hillside, which will be made into a new archaeological park.

Archaeologists insist that monuments ideally should be preserved in their place but concede that if there is no other option, it is better to save them somehow. For the purists, though, the new Hasankeyf is artificial and charmless.

“The real history is down there, and we are drowning it,” says Zulku Emer, 41, a master craftsman who was laying a cobbled street beside the new park. “That’s the Turkish way. We ruin something and then try and live in it.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 16561.html
Last edited by Anthea on Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

Sponsor

Sponsor
 

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:53 pm

Hasankeyf History and Story

Hasankeyf is a historical district that is connected to Batman, separated by both sides of the Tigris. The history of the district goes back to 12.000 years ago. Natural protection area was declared in 1981

Image

Effects of its development

Hasankeyf developed commercially and economically, as it was located on the Tigris River, which curved from north to south and a significant part of the trade was carried out by the river in those days.

Etymology

Due to the houses carved into the rocks, the city mentioned with the names Kifos and Cepha / Ciphas derived from the word Suryânice Kifo (rock) is called Arabic and “Hısnı Keyfa”, which means “City of Caves” or “City of Rocks”. The name “Hısn-ı keyfa” became Hısnıkeyf in the time of the Ottomans and Hasankeyf among the people.

History

Although it is not known exactly when Hasankeyf was founded, its history goes back to ancient times. In the studies carried out in Hasankeyf mound, archaeological finds from 3.500 to 12.000 years ago have been found.

The settlement was strategically important because it was established on the road from Upper Mesopotamia to Anatolia and on the banks of the Tigris river.

It changed hands between the Byzantines and the Sassanids as a border settlement in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. Roman Emperor II, who conquered Diyarbakır and its surroundings. Constantius built two border castles to protect the area from Sassanids.

Built in 363 AD, the castle remained under Roman and Byzantine rule for a long time. After Christianity began to spread in the region from the 4th century, the settlement became the center of the Syriac diocese. Kadıköy

The Council was given the title of Cardinal to the bishopric in Hasankeyf in 451 AD. Hasankeyf was captured by the Islamic army in 640, during the Caliph Omar. The settlement, which was ruled by the Umayyads, Abbasids, Hamdanis and Marwanians, was captured by the Artukids in 1102.

Hasankeyf, the capital of the Artuklu Principality between 1102-1232, experienced its brightest period during these dates. It was reconstructed from the castle town and became a city after it was reconstructed during the Artukids period.

The settlement, which was seized by the Ayyubis in 1232, was captured and destroyed by 1260 Mongols. The Ayyubid judge of Hasankeyf was able to continue his sovereignty in the city by reporting his allegiance to Hülagü. Although Hasankeyf remained an important city in the 14th century, it did not have its former bright days.

The city, which was seized by Uzun Hasan in 1462, joined the territory of Akkoyunlu. With the weakening of Akkoyunlular, the management of Eyyubi orders started again in Hasankeyf in 1482. After a while, the settlement, which was under the control of Safavids, joined the Ottoman lands in 1515.

Hasankeyf, which was managed by Ayyubi rulers under the Ottoman rule until 1524, started to be managed by Ottoman administrators from this date. The city lost its importance as a result of the pause in trade as a result of the change in the main trade routes and the Ottoman-Iran wars since the 17th century. The settlement, which was connected to Mardin Midyat after 1867, was connected to the district of Gerçüş in 1926.

When Batman became a province in 1990, the district was connected to this city. When the Ilısu Dam was decided to be built, a new settlement was established at a distance of 3 km because the historical settlement would be under water.

Meanwhile, in the historical settlement, Artuklu Bath, Sultan Süleyman Koç Mosque, Imam Abdullah Zaviye, Er-Rızık Mosque and minaret, Zeynel Abidin Mausoleum, Eyyubi (Girls) Mosque and the middle entrance to the castle, and the Tigris River in historical buildings such as tombs and lodges. Moved to the Cultural Park on the coast. With the impoundment of Ilısu Dam in November 2019, it started to be submerged since February 2020.

Population

In 1526, there were 1301 households in Hasankeyf, of which 787 were Christians, 494 were Muslims, and 20 were Jews. In the second half of the 16th century, the settlement grew even more and the number of households increased to 1006, of which 694 belonged to Christians and 1700 belonged to Muslims.

The population of 1935 in 1425 increased to 1990 according to the 4399 census. According to the census of 1975, the population of Hasankeyf, which has a population of 13.823, has decreased to 2000 in 7493 due to the continuous immigration.

Tourism

Hasankeyf, one of the important tourism centers with its historical and natural beauties, is visited by local and foreign tourists. Imam Abdullah Mausoleum, built in the rocky hills and deep canyons, due to its calcareous structure, has thousands of nature and people, and is located on the hill on the left at the entrance to the Hasankeyf fortress Bridge from the Roman era, and lost its life during the siege of the Hasankeyf of the Islamic armies.

Hasankeyf Dicle Bridge, which is thought to have been built by the Artukids and whose important part has been destroyed until today, Zeynel Bey Tomb built by Akkoyunlu ruler Uzun Hasan for his son who died in Otlukbeli War, Ulu Mosque, which was built by Akkoyunlular and took its final form during the Ayyubid period,

The Small Palace built, the Great Palace, which has survived to the present day and is dated to the Akkoyunlu period, the Masjid-i Ali Mosque built in the 1328th century, the Rızık Mosque built during the Ayyubid period, the Süleyman Mosque, Koç Mosque, Kız Mosque and Küçük Mosque, the Castle Gate from the Ayyubids, Named as Yolgeçen Han ” its natural cave forms important historical monuments of the settlement.

Ilısu Dam

Hasankeyf faces the danger of being flooded and losing all its cultural treasure due to the Ilısu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant dam lake, which is planned to be built on the Tigris. For this reason, in Hasankeyf, which will be under the waters of the Ilisu dam, works are carried out on the transportation of rescue excavations and historical artifacts.

Climate

Hasankeyf's climate is influenced by the Tigris River flowing through the city.

https://www.raillynews.com/2020/08/hasa ... and-story/
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:34 am

Turkeyʹs controversial Ilisu dam project:

Death by drowning for ancient settlement of Hasankeyf

Image

Merut Tekin comes from a long line of merchants in southeast Turkey. From as far back as anyone can remember, his family has run shops in Hasankeyf, an ancient Silk Road trading post on the banks of the Tigris River.

Neolithic caves line the surrounding cliffs, atop which a Roman citadel rises over early Ottoman minarets. From his shop, Tekin can observe a fair chunk of human history with a quick glance, but he is likely to be the last of his relatives to enjoy such a view.

A few kilometres downstream, construction on the Ilisu Dam is nearing completion and this part of the Tigris River valley will soon become a reservoir, inundating Hasankeyf in the process.

A drawn-out process

The project has been decades in the making, and despite local and international protests – in which European banks withdrew funding – recent developments suggest water levels will start rising this summer, though a firm date has yet to be announced.

"Since I was born, I've been under stress because of the dam," says Tekin, 38. "There's always been the rumour that the project would be finished this year, the project will be finished next year."

"The analogy I use is that it's like having a death sentence. You are standing on a chair with a rope around your neck, but the chair is neither kicked, nor is the rope taken off," he continued. "You just stand there waiting; it's terrible."

Now it seems the wait is coming to end, as the final turbine will be installed in the 1,200-megawatt dam this spring. To prepare, Turkey's General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI) issued eviction notices in February to Hasankeyf merchants, ordering them to close up shop and move to the new Hasankeyf being built across the river on higher ground.

The notice was met with protests. Merchants complained the new town was not yet complete and they would be unable to conduct business away from the historical sites where they have long made a livelihood from selling souvenirs to passing tourists.

Yet while Tekin reflects on the heritage and businesses being lost, his mind is preoccupied with the coming reality that he, along with other locals, will not be allowed to move to the new Hasankeyf due to restrictions in Turkish relocation and compensation laws.

No room for bachelors

The state has built 710 housing units in the new Hasankeyf and is allocating them only to families registered as residents of Hasankeyf. Though Tekin was born and raised in Hasankeyf, he is single, so he is not eligible to purchase neither housing nor a commercial property in the new town.

Merchants who rent shops in Hasankeyf but live in adjacent towns will also be denied property and state assistance.

Tekin makes light of his situation, blaming the Ilisu Dam for his bachelor status by pointing out that the looming project prompted Hasankeyf residents to move out over the decades, driving the town's population down from 10,000 to about 2,000 year-round residents.

"When we want to marry, we can't because the population is decreasing … and then they say, 'You're not married so we won't give you another house,'" Tekin said.

Ongoing demolition and construction

The first proposals for the Ilisu Dam were introduced in the 1950s. Since then, the prospect of a reservoir flooding the area has diverted investments away from Hasankeyf, said John Crofoot, an American who has lived on and off in Hasankeyf for six years and the co-founder of Hasankeyf Matters, which tries to raise awareness of the hamlet.

"The people of Hasankeyf, they've done a huge service to the world, in my opinion, by keeping this as a living site of cultural heritage and they've done it at great expense," Crofoot said. "They've lost out on a lot of economic opportunity by staying in Hasankeyf."

Over the years, Crofoot has documented developments in Hasankeyf. He said the last few months have been the most difficult for local residents. Work crews have been blasting limestone cliffs dotted with 10,000-year-old caves to fill in valleys that once operated as tourist attractions in order to rid the area of loose, potentially hazardous rocks that could collapse when water levels rise.

The state claims dynamite is not being used in the process, but residents were adament that they often heard explosions coming from work areas. Large earthwork projects are also underway in Hasankeyf, one of which is meant to reinforce a cliff topped with a Roman citadel, as it will remain above the reservoir's projected water line. Hasankeyf residents interviewed said demolition plans were never publicly shared and independent environmental impact studies had not been conducted.

An "act of idiocy"

Such claims were refuted by Alexander Schwab, senior vice president of Andritz Hydro, the Vienna-based company overseeing the construction of Ilisu Dam. Schwab said every house in the area was tracked via aerial surveillance and later visited by consultants who informed inhabitants about construction plans.

"We have put a lot of effort in discussion and in contribution from our side in order to have all the positive and negative effects under control," says Schwab. "If we hadn't believed that the project is a good project, we wouldn't have done it."

Ulrich Eichelmann, CEO of Riverwatch in Vienna, disagrees. "If you destroy all this, you are in no way better than the Taliban in Bamiyan, where they destroyed the Buddha statues a few years ago," Eichelmann said. "It's a similar act of idiocy. It's crazy."

https://en.qantara.de/content/turkeys-c ... tlement-of
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:47 am

Goodbye to Hasankeyf

The ancient town of Hasankeyf has been wiped off the map

Nestled on the bank of the Tigris, it was one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world, its artefacts dating back 12,000 years. You can still find it online and admire photographs of its spectacular ruins, or of the thousands of human-made caves that studded its limestone cliffs, but in real life it’s gone.

As Turkey’s new Ilısu hydroelectric dam has been brought to full capacity over the last year, the level of the reservoir has inched upwards. In April, Hasankeyf was quietly swallowed.

The people of Hasankeyf, who until recently lived alongside the archaeological site, are mostly Kurds, Turkey’s largest persecuted minority. Many have had to move their homes further up the hill; others have left the area. Flooding has also affected dozens of other villages and towns, whose inhabitants are likely to be pushed towards nearby cities, further depopulating the Kurdish region.

It’s estimated that around 80,000 people will be displaced. It has been speculated that this was the plan all along, part of Turkey’s long-term strategy to undermine and disempower Kurdish people, culture and heritage.

The Ilısu dam will also effect another marginalised group hundreds of miles south: the Marsh Arabs who live in the alluvial plain of the Tigris-Euphrates river system, downstream of Turkey’s Taurus mountains, and rely on the wetland ecosystem for agriculture and fishing.

The dam will soon provide colossal amounts of clean energy – as much as a nuclear reactor – but its effect on the biodiversity of the wider river basin will be catastrophic, leading to the extinction of many native species.

Turkey has lately found other ways to weaponise water. Last month, the Turkish government cut off the supply to Hasakah, a city in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), leaving a million people without drinking water. It has also reduced the flow to areas around Kobane by two-thirds, reducing the water available for irrigation and electricity and in turn threatening the local food supply.

This is the latest in a series of attacks on Kurdish regions that resumed in earnest last October, when Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from Rojava, home to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units once lionised for driving Daesh out of Kobane.

Since mid-June, Turkey has intensified attacks on Kurds in Syria and Iraq. Airstrikes have killed dozens of civilians, and crops have been burned. Last month, three women’s rights activists associated with the Kongreya Star network of feminist organisations, Zehra Berkel, Hebûn Mele Xelîl and Amina Waysi, were killed by a Turkish missile as they sat outside a house in Kobane together.

Alongside racism and state violence, Kurds in Turkey have long fought attempts to suppress and annihilate their language and culture. In the face of relentless humiliation, the magnificence of Hasankeyf, and its reminder of the ancient heritage of the Kurdish people, was a source of dignity and pride.

About seven hours’ drive north-east of Hasankeyf rises Mount Ararat, the supposed landing place of Noah’s Ark. It lies just a few miles off the geodesic joining London and Tehran, and is almost a quadripoint between Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey.

I spent my childhood summers in Iran, and spotting the snowy peak of Ararat poking above the clouds was the high point of the plane journey. Ararat is just inside Turkey’s eastern border, but is also visible from Yerevan, where it is sacrosanct, and a symbol of the Armenian genocide of 1915 (which Turkey still refuses to recognise). The border is not officially contested, but many Armenians claim the mountain as theirs.

It is perhaps a strange thing, to claim a mountain, especially one on the territory of another state, but Kurds understand. One of their sayings is ‘no friends but the mountains’. The recent US about-turn was no surprise: Kurdish history is a long list of betrayals by former allies. That leaves little to depend on beyond the vast mountain ranges of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, which have assisted the guerrilla tactics of freedom fighters and remain home to around 30 million Kurds, whose future is as uncertain as ever.

Mountains can’t be taken away; they’re the natural monuments of those whose history and culture is always under threat.

So goodbye, Hasankeyf. One of the oldest towns in the world may have been drowned after 12,000 years, but the jagged peaks above it will still be here 12,000 years from now, when the dam is rubble and all our monuments have sunk back into the lone and level sands.

https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2020/august/ ... -hasankeyf

Goodbye to Hasankeyf

I will always remember the UK campaign to to save Hasankeyf. We stopped the UK banks from supporting the building work and got Balfour Beatty to pull out.

I remember the friends, an assortment of Kurds from ALL parts of Kurdistan, along with many non-Kurdish friends, who put so much hard work into saving Hasankeyf. So many people supported the campaign. Media (newspapers) wrote endless articles; TV programs; famous people came out in support.

But in recent years, Kurds have FAILED to unite and save the most important part of Kurdistan :((
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:08 pm

Turkey's ancient valley
lost to infrastructure


There was something exceptional about Hasankeyf that made visitors fall in love with the town on first sight

Image

Unexplored archaeological riches were swallowed up’: Turkey’s ancient valley lost to infrastructure

Graced with mosques and shrines, it lay nestled beneath great sandstone cliffs on the banks of the Tigris River. Gardens were filled with figs and pomegranates, and vine-covered teahouses hung over the water.

The golden cliffs, honeycombed with caves, are thought to have been used in Neolithic times. An ancient fortress marked what was once the edge of the Roman Empire. The ruins of a mediaeval bridge recalled when the town was a wealthy trading centre on the Silk Road.

Now it is all lost forever, submerged beneath the rising waters of the Ilisu Dam, the latest of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s megaprojects, which flooded 100 miles of the upper Tigris River and its tributaries, including the once-stunning valley.

I visited the area repeatedly with photographer Mauricio Lima for half a year to witness the disappearance of the valley unfold in slow motion. The steadily expanding reservoir displaced more than 70,000 anguished inhabitants. Unexplored archaeological riches were swallowed up along with farms and homes.

The waters have rendered Hasankeyf an irretrievable relic of the bygone civilizations that had been similarly drawn to the beauty of the valley, carved over millenniums by one of the Middle East’s greatest rivers.

When Erdogan turned on the first turbine of the hydroelectric dam, celebrating the project’s completion in May, the president had his eye on more immediate concerns but also on future glories, promising that it would bring peace and prosperity to southeastern Turkey.

“The wind of peace, brotherhood and prosperity that will blow from the Ilisu Dam will be felt in these lands for centuries,” he told the ceremony via video link.

The dam would contribute billions to the economy and irrigate thousands of hectares of farmland, he said.

Government officials have emphasised that hydropower offers their greenest option when they decided to push ahead with the dam a dozen years ago, allowing Turkey to reduce its dependence on imported coal and gas.

No hype, just the advice and analysis you need

But many who lost their homes and livelihoods say they were never really consulted. They are bitter and traumatised. Environmentalists and archaeologists, in Turkey and abroad, are angry and frustrated, too, at the loss of the valley and its treasures.

Their efforts to save Hasankeyf collapsed in the face of Erdogan’s increasing authoritarianism. International law, lagging behind the shifting attitudes around climate change and the value of protecting the environment, was inadequate for safeguarding the cultural heritage, they say.

Zeynep Ahunbay, a conservation architect, campaigned for more than a decade to save Hasankeyf, not only for its archaeological gems but also for the value of its ancient natural setting.

“You see this valley, it is so impressive,” Ahunbay says, describing what it was like to round the hillside and see Hasankeyf come into view. “You see this river cutting the rock and it goes down and down, and in the end you have the citadel of Hasankeyf. It is really marvellous, and nature and man have formed this place.”

“To disturb or change the natural process of the river is also criminal,” she says. “You lose the beauty, you lose history, you lose nature. You are a loser all the time.”

When Erdogan first announced his determination to build the dam, he championed it not only for the energy it would provide Turkey’s expanding economy but also for the development it would bring to the impoverished and insurgency-riven southeast.

The dam is part of the massive Southeastern Anatolia Project irrigation plan that was begun in the 1980s.

When the plan was first conceived in the 1950s, there was little thought of its impact on the environment or on those who would be forced to leave. But as Turkey developed democratically, opponents of the dam began organising.

International activist organisations became involved, too, challenging international investors over concerns about the environmental impact, the loss of cultural heritage and the damage to communities downstream in Iraq and Syria.

Ahunbay did not oppose the dam itself but campaigned to preserve Hasankeyf and resisted a plan to move the ancient monuments to higher ground and to entomb one in concrete.

As president of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, an international professional association that works to protect cultural heritage sites, she and a group of colleagues took the case to the European Court of Human Rights. They lost in the end because none of the plaintiffs were residents of Hasankeyf.

The protest campaigns had early success in 2009, pushing several European partners to withdraw financing mainly because Turkey did not meet the requirements of social impact assessments.

But Erdogan was undeterred. He ordered Turkish banks to step in and finance the project instead.

Money seemed no object. The government built two new towns to relocate those displaced, and new highways and bridges to skirt the reservoir. Turkish companies, closely allied to Erdogan’s government, won the building contracts.

The project had become a moneymaking exercise, a local bureaucrat said, asking that he not be identified by name for fear of reprisals from the government.

“They spent a horrendous amount of money,” says Emin Bulut, a local journalist and activist, who says the bill ran to trillions of lira. “They could have fixed all the problems of the south with that.”

In 2012, government officials arrived to begin evaluating property that would be submerged to compensate those who would be displaced. But the money became a source of resentment, dividing the community, and even families, and raising accusations of corruption. The arguments broke apart any unified opposition to the dam.

“We surrendered when they came to measure the houses,” says Birsen Argun, 44, who together with her husband ran the Hasbahce Hotel, the only hotel in Hasankeyf, set in a garden of pomegranate and walnut trees along the river. “We brought it upon ourselves.”

Her husband tried to persuade his brothers to refuse the money and fight for a bigger payment in the courts, but they accepted the payout. People withdrew the money from accounts without telling others, she added.

Many of those who did try to organise a protest movement grew up in Hasankeyf and were even born in the cave homes of the citadel, like Arif Ayhan, 44, who started out selling old coins to tourists and then became a rug dealer.

Politics split the campaign, he says, especially when supporters of the outlawed Kurdish movement, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, joined the rallies against the dam, chanting slogans and enraging police.

“This is why we failed,” he says. “We live in the most beautiful place in the world, but we could not appreciate the value of this place.”

After years of warnings, the end came suddenly. In August, the government closed the dam gates and released waters from a reservoir upriver. Families scrambled to move out of villages, abandoning homesteads, selling off livestock and even hastily building new houses and access roads on higher ground.

“We hoped the water would not come,” says Remziye Nas, mother of four, in the village of Bzere, where the water was lapping below her house. “We did not believe it would be flooded.”

In the small town of Temelli, perched above the dam, Hezni Aksu, 60, looked down from his terrace to where his family’s farmhouse and lands were among the first to go under water.

“This land was from our ancestors,” he says bitterly. His son is now an unemployed construction worker. “They made migrants of us.”

In Hasankeyf, under a heavy police presence, bulldozers demolished the old bazaar one weekend in November. As the ceiling caved in and dust fell inside his shop, something snapped inside Mehmet Ali Aslankilic. With a shout he set fire to his belongings in a lone, anguished protest.

“It was my uncle’s shop. I had been working there since I was a child,” he says. “Burning my shop was the only way I could deal with this.”

A few doors down, Mehmet Nuri Aydin, 42, packs his woven rugs of long sheep’s wool into sacks.

“We don’t want to go but we have to,” he says, adding that few shopkeepers could afford the rents in the new town.

There was no wider demonstration. Since a failed coup in 2016, Turkey has banned all protests, so the campaign to save Hasankeyf had long since petered out. Activists were even careful about what they posted on social media. Government officials kept photographers away.

With the bazaar demolished, families started to load furniture onto trucks and move to specially built homes in the new town. They gathered up the last pomegranates from the trees and piles of firewood, some even wrenching off doors and window frames from their old homes.

“Our hearts are burning,” Celal Ozbey, a retired civil servant, says as his wife and sons carry out tables and bundles from the house.

They had been assigned a house in the new town, but he was not sure they would stay, or if economic life would revive.

“Time will tell,” he says.

Fatime Salkan had refused to leave the low-pitched stone house that belonged to her parents, overlooking the 15th-Century El-Rizk mosque. Officials warned her to move, but she was among several dozen single people who, under a quirk of Turkish law, were not considered eligible for a new home.

“They told me to leave many times,” she told me in November. “If an engineer comes, I will say I am going to swim.”

Taken earlier this year, this picture shows Hasankeyf before it is completely submerged under water (AFP/Getty)

She watched from her terrace in December when Dutch engineers lifted the last of the mediaeval monuments, the 1,700-ton El-Rizk mosque with its intricately carved portal, onto wheels and transported it across the river.

They deposited it on a man-made hill beside the new town, where the government has assembled various salvaged monuments and built a modern replica of the mediaeval bridge. They look out of place on the bare hillside, which will be made into a new archaeological park.

Archaeologists insist that monuments ideally should be preserved in their place but concede that if there is no other option, it is better to save them somehow. For the purists, though, the new Hasankeyf is artificial and charmless.

“The real history is down there, and we are drowning it,” says Zulku Emer, 41, a master craftsman who was laying a cobbled street beside the new park. “That’s the Turkish way. We ruin something and then try and live in it.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 16561.html
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:15 am

Sadly, it seems that people are much more interested in Hasankeyf now it is too late to say it, than they ever were before

Many media outlets are publishing similar articles - where were they when we needed support !?!

Where were the Kurds when their support to save a valuable national heritage was urgently required

There are vast numbers of Kurds and painfully few came forward to protect Hasankeyf

Kurdish lands keep being destroyed by various invasion forces and in a couple of generations from now, their will be NO Kurdistan, NOWHERE for Kurds to call home
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:45 pm

Ilısu Dam generates $51M in 3 months

Ilısu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEPP) located along the Tigris in Turkey's southeastern Mardin province contributed approximately TL 375 million ($51 million) to the country's economy by producing 750 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy in three months, a statement by the State Hydraulic Works (DSI) said Thursday

The first tribune on the dam was commissioned on May 19, the statement said, noting that it has a 1,200-megawatt (MW) installed power capacity and is set to generate 4.1 billion kWh of electricity per year.

Ilısu is the second largest dam in the country after Atatürk Dam and is in the first place in the world in terms of filling volume among the "concrete faced rockfill dam" types.

DSI General Manager Kaya Yıldız, whose views were included in the statement, said that three units have been commissioned in Ilısu Dam so far and those were temporarily accepted and transferred to the country’s electricity-producing body.

"The remaining three units are undergoing a testing phase,” Yıldız said, noting that all units of the dam are expected to start operating this year, allowing “Ilısu Dam and HEPP to contribute TL 2.8 billion annually to the national economy.”

The dam will also contribute to a cleaner and more livable future by generating green energy. By discharging the water collected in Ilısu to the soon-to-be-built Cizre Dam, an area of 765,000 decares in Nusaybin district of southern Mardin province, along with Cizre, Idil and Silopi districts of Şırnak province will be irrigated with modern techniques and 1.1 billion kWh of energy will be produced annually. With the completion of Cizre Dam, an additional income of TL 1 billion is set to be provided annually.

Turkey has built 585 dams since 2002, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during a ceremony held for the commissioning of the first turbine for Ilısu Dam, emphasizing the nation's revolution in renewable energy.

Ilısu Dam stands 135 meters (442 feet) high and its total water storage volume is 10.6 billion cubic meters (374.3 cubic feet), making it the country's second-biggest dam.

“Ilısu Dam cost a total of TL 18 billion, including the resettlement, protection of historical and cultural assets, construction and other expenditures. All historical and cultural assets, especially Hasankeyf, which are were the most misrepresented issues during the construction of the dam, have been carefully preserved," Erdoğan said.

Turkey relocated many historic cultural assets in the ancient Hasankeyf district of southern Batman province. People in the region were also resettled.

The area was declared a conservation site in 1981, and it is also home to a Byzantine fortress as well as nearly 6,000 caves that surround the town and contain the remnants of Christian and Muslim worshipers.

https://www.dailysabah.com/business/ene ... n-3-months
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:53 pm

Aether (film)

Rûken Tekeş' documentary is an emotional, instinctive examination of nature and of the 12,000 years of civilization that are being flooded due to a big state construction project

Rûken Tekeş might not be a filmmaker by education, but her work qualifies her to be one by trade. After the award-winning and EFA-nominated short documentary The Circle (2016), she is back with her feature debut Aether

After its world premiere at Visions du Réel and screenings at the Istanbul Film Festival, Documentarist Istanbul Documentary Days and Taormina Film Festival, it is running for awards in the Balkan Dox section of DokuFest in Prizren, Kosovo, while further festival exposure is in sight.

Ilisu Hydroelectric Dam is a Turkish state project that is supposed to provide electricity and economic stability to the country, as well as greater influence in the neighbouring Middle Eastern area.

However, its construction will result in the creation of an artificial lake that will flood the region, which is under UNESCO protection due to its ecological, historical and cultural significance as the home of numerous species, of around 80,000 people, and of the ancient Mesopotamian cave city of Hasankeyf.

Located in the eastern part of the country, in the valley of the Tigris river, it is largely populated by a Kurdish minority, which might explain why the state is ignoring the orders of UNESCO.

Tekeş and her crew took a 21-day trip around the area, visiting the settlements, the historical and natural sites that will soon be gone under water. The result of it is this film, devoid of any comprehensible dialogue, additional context or explanation.

Divided in 21 chapters representing 21 days, all of its footage, which focuses more on the landscape than on the people living there, is edited in strictly chronological order.

The only additional frame that could be used for interpretation is the ancient Greek philosophical theory of the four elements that the world is made of (earth, fire, air and water), with aether (which gives the film its title) being the invisible matter that imbues it all — the essence of things. Tekeş' mission is, obviously, to capture it.

Aether is a visually stunning film due to its landscapes caught through the lenses of four cinematographers (Ute Freund, Deniz Eyuboglu, Merle Yothe and Andres Lizana Prado), each representing one of the ancient elements.

Meanwhile, its emotional dimension is usually dictated by its audio component — either by the sound design, handled by Paolo Segat and Roberta D'Angelo, or by Diler Ozer and Metehan Dada's original score, consisting of different kinds of droning sounds recorded on a variety of classical and electrical instruments.

Because it was apparently filmed without any kind of shooting plan and edited instinctively by Marco Spoletini and Tekeş herself, the downside of the project is that it is not always clear how, why and on what merit some of the footage ended up in the final version of the film, while some of it did not.

Nevertheless, as a personal farewell letter to the essence of the world that is about to be lost, and as a reminder that nature will survive all countries, states, people and even mankind, the film serves it purpose completely.

Aether is a Turkish-Italian co-production by Sarya Film Collective, while Rûken Tekeş, Billur Arikan and Gabriele Oricchio served as producers. It has not yet been picked up for world sales.

https://cineuropa.org/en/newsdetail/376261/
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:33 pm

Turkey seeks new life for submerged town

JUST two roofs poke through the vast expanse of an artificial lake that has swallowed a Turkish town whose caves and pre-Ottoman ruins once drew in global tourists :((

The dust settling from the hammering of construction sites around the Tigris River lake outlines the makings of a brand new city, with an unfinished bazaar and roads that are all works in progress.

But trader Abdurrahman Gundogdu worries whether the new version of Hasankeyf in Turkey’s mostly Kurdish southeast will ever recapture the magic it had before the Ilisu Dam erased the original town that stood here for 12,000 years.

“I’m making one percent of what I used to earn before in the old town,“ the 48-year-old complained, outside his empty shop filled with jewellery but no people.

“There are local tourists but they have no money to spend.”

Magnificent project

The dam, completed and filling with water since last year, is meant to bring electricity to an underdeveloped region that officials hope to revive with jobs and long-needed investment.

“This is such a magnificent project,“ President Recep Tayyip Erdogan enthused, when he was still prime minister in 2009, promising to build “a very modern” town in place of the old one.

Yet his dream has already created tensions with neighbouring Iraq by limiting its access to water.

And some of the town’s 3,000 residents lament the 500 or so graves that had to be exhumed and urgently moved to higher ground last September.

Some families were left devastated after failing to finish all the paperwork in time and seeing their dead submerged.

The much-photographed pillars of the town’s old bridge have also vanished, as have most of the myriad caves that humans carved out of the river’s limestone cliffs through the millennia.

“It’s a very tragic event,“ said Ridvan Ayhan, an activist in a group which opposes the dam project.

“It isn’t something people can stomach. All of a sudden, all your ancestors, your whole past, the history are under water.”

No reason to come

Turkish officials want to turn the artificial lake into a tourist attraction featuring boat rides, jet skiing and paragliding.

The area is rich with natural wonders such as a “weeping” cave that exudes moisture, waterfalls and valleys.

Some of the town’s original monuments, including the 1,600-tonne Artuklu Hamam bathhouse and remnants of a 14th-century Ayyubid mosque, were moved before the water rushed in. There is also a new museum.

Yet the region struggled even before the coronavirus grounded world travel and crimped Turkey’s ability to follow through on big projects.

And some of the new construction work is off to a creaky start.

Residents said three new floating docks around the lake broke soon after completion, and mentioned problems with the town’s water and electricity.

Authorities hope the tourism season will get off to a better start next year, when the pandemic might possibly ease.

“Officials tell us, ‘this will be the east’s Bodrum, Marmaris’,“ trader Bulent Basaran, 50, said, referring to popular tourism resorts on Turkey’s west coast.

“At present, I cannot see the light because there are serious problems.”

Ayhan, the anti-dam activist, said grimly it was “foolishness” to expect tourists to return.

“If there is no history left, it makes no sense to come here,“ he told AFP.

“The only people who come, mainly come out of curiosity, to see how it disappeared. They come once, with that purpose.”

Something different

Yet trader Basaran was less pessimistic about Hasankeyf’s long-term prospects, expecting things to turn around within five years.

For many local tourists, the new lake offers a chance to do something different.

Asiye Sahin, who was visiting with her husband and four children from the town of Midyat, south of Hasankeyf, sounded elated before setting off on a boat tour.

“We’re really excited. I’ve seen the sea before, but never got on a boat,“ she said.

There are also offshoots of optimism among some locals.

Cetin Yildirimer, a 29-year-old former tour guide, celebrated on a boat with his new wife before the couple move into one of the homes built for the original town’s residents.

He questioned whether visitors would “find what they are looking for” now that the old town is submerged, but insisted tourists would “absolutely come if there was no pandemic”.

https://www.thesundaily.my/style-life/g ... -BB4300614
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:18 pm

Trump on 'blowing up' Nile Dam

Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam under construction on the river Nileimage will be the biggest hydro-electric project in Africa

Image

Ethiopia's prime minister has said his country "will not cave in to aggressions of any kind" after President Donald Trump suggested Egypt could destroy a controversial Nile dam.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is at the centre of a long-running dispute involving Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.

Mr Trump said Egypt would not be able to live with the dam and might "blow up" the construction :ymdevil:

Ethiopia sees the US as siding with Egypt in the dispute.

The US announced in September that it would cut some aid to Ethiopia after it began filling the reservoir behind the dam in July.

On Saturday, Ethiopia's foreign minister summoned the US ambassador to clarify President Trump's comments.

Why is the dam disputed?

Egypt relies for the bulk of its water needs on the Nile and is concerned supplies could be cut off and its economy undermined as Ethiopia takes control of the flow of Africa's longest river.

Once complete, the $4bn (£3bn) structure on the Blue Nile in western Ethiopia will be Africa's largest hydro-electric project.

The speed with which Ethiopia fills up the dam will govern how severely Egypt is affected - the slower the better as far as Cairo is concerned. That process is expected to take several years.

Sudan, farther upstream than Egypt, is also concerned about water shortages.

Ethiopia, which announced the start of construction in 2011, says it needs the dam for its economic development.

Negotiations between the three countries were being chaired by the US, but are now overseen by the African Union.

What did the Ethiopian PM say?

PM Abiy Ahmed did not address Mr Trump's remarks directly, but there appears to be little doubt what prompted his robust comments.

Ethiopians would finish the dam, he vowed.

"Ethiopia will not cave in to aggression of any kind," he said in a statement. "Ethiopians have never kneeled to obey their enemies, but to respect their friends. We won't do it today and in the future."

Threats of any kind over the issue were "misguided, unproductive and clear violations of international law".

In a separate statement, the foreign ministry said: "The incitement of war between Ethiopia and Egypt from a sitting US president neither reflects the longstanding partnership and strategic alliance between Ethiopia and the United States nor is acceptable in international law governing interstate relations."

The Blue Nile and the White Nile converge in Khartoumimage copyrightReuters
image captionSudan is worried too - the Blue and White Niles meet in Khartoum

Why did Trump get involved?

The president was on the phone to Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu in front of reporters at the White House on Friday.

The occasion was Israel and Sudan's decision to agree diplomatic relations in a move choreographed by the US.

The subject of the dam came up and Mr Trump and Mr Hamdok expressed hopes for a peaceful resolution to the dispute.

But Mr Trump also said "it's a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way".

He continued: "And I said it and I say it loud and clear - they'll blow up that dam. And they have to do something."

President Trump was on the phone to the Israeli and Sudanese leaders and the dam came up in a phone call with Sudan's prime minister

What is the state of the negotiations?

Mr Abiy maintains that the negotiations have made more progress since the African Union began mediation.

But there are fears that Ethiopia's decision to start filling the reservoir could overshadow hopes of resolving key areas, such what happens during a drought and how to resolve future disputes.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-54674313

Sadly Trump was not involved in talks on Hasankeyf, if he were I am certain Hasankeyf would be safe :((
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:15 pm

Kurdistan’s stolen rivers

Don’t go down to the river.”

The warning came from a young man who chased us halfway through a village built into the steep hillside where the Lesser Zab River forms the border with Iran, about 50 kilometres north of Sulaimani city.

On a late summer morning, the river was little more than a small stream under the close gaze of Iranian border posts. The night before, border guards opened fire on a group by the river, including the man who came to warn us.

For the people living on the shores of the Lesser Zab and those of its sister to the south, the Sirwan, these waters are no longer their own. They have been stolen by dams built by Iran and poisoned by a lethal combination of pollution and mismanagement.

Along the lengths of these rivers, men and women told me about days gone past when the water flowed clean and strong, and was a source of life. They reminisced about the rivers that sustained them, giving them fish and irrigating their crops. Now, their water and way of life are disappearing.

A little downstream from where the man had warned us to stay clear, there is a rocky stretch of river that is out of sight of the Iranians. A group of men are here, fishing for sport.

The fish here “used to number more than the stones,” said one, with a small net tied to a green plastic bottle. He has been fishing in rivers all across the Kurdistan Region for more than 35 years. Every year, the river is lower and the fish fewer in number, he said.

As the men fish, the river begins to rise, fast and with no warning. Iran has released the water at its dam upstream. Within minutes, water that was knee-high has risen by half a metre. The fishermen on an outcropping of land will have to swim to get back to their cars. The river ebbs and flows at Iran’s command.

The next world war will be fought over water” is an oft-repeated phrase that reverberates with urgency in the Middle East and North Africa, the most water-insecure region of the world.

Twelve of the 17 most water-stressed countries are located here, according to the World Resources Institute.

A controversial Nile River dam project has been the source of tensions between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia for a decade, one that outgoing US President Donald Trump recently waded into in typically brash fashion, saying, “They [Egypt] will end up blowing up the dam.”

Iraq is the world’s fifth most vulnerable nation to the effects of climate change, including water and food insecurity, according to the United Nations. After years of conflict and mired in political and economic crises, it is also one of the least prepared to deal with the emergency.

Water resources and the climate crisis are not bound by international borders, but neighbouring Iran and Turkey are focused on national and nationalist solutions to secure water.

    Tehran is building a network of dams and canals and Ankara has constructed a mega-dam on the Tigris River, pushing forward on the project, even at the cost of the ancient city of Hasankeyf that is now under water
The governments in Erbil and Baghdad are not addressing the issue with the seriousness that the threat demands, much to the despair of the people who are watching their rivers disappear.

THE Lesser Zab and Sirwan Rivers wind through the rugged landscape of the Zagros Mountains, where layers of sediment that accumulated on an ancient sea floor are thrust into the sky in folds, opening hillsides up into caves that have sheltered generations of Kurdish freedom fighters.

The Lesser Zab, Zei Bchuk in Kurdish, originates in northwestern Iran’s Zagros Mountain range and follows a roughly 400-kilometre long course, marking a stretch of the international frontier before turning into the Kurdistan Region where it fills the Dukan reservoir, and eventually flows into the Tigris River.

The Sirwan River also has its source in northwestern Iran and follows a similar though slightly longer 450-kilometre long course to the south. It crosses the border into the Kurdistan Region near Halabja, feeds the Darbandikhan Lake, then turns southwest to meet with the Tigris. In Arabic it is called the Diyala.

“Both rivers have contributed in shaping the nowadays landscape through the past 2.5 million years, they carved very hard rocks forming deep gorges and having canyon-shaped river valleys,” explained Varoujan K. Sissakian, a geologist who worked with the Iraq Geological Survey for decades and is now at the University of Kurdistan-Hawler.

The rivers have also worn down rocks and collected sediment, “depositing them downstream as very fertile soil,” forming and irrigating plains that have fed the people, Sissakian wrote in a report detailing the devastating effect the loss of these rivers will have on the agriculture, industry, and people who depend on these waters.

References to the Lesser Zab are found in cuneiform inscriptions dating from more than 4,000 years ago, according to archaeologist Dlshad Zamua. The river was a transportation route, bringing products from the Zagros Mountains to Mesopotamia and the Assyrian capital of Ashur. Texts discovered in the ancient city of Idu reveal evidence of gazelles, barley, wheat, and fruit being loaded into boats to be sold downstream.

When the Sumerians and Babylonians needed logs to build their empires, they got them from the Zagros Mountains and transported them on the river. “They cut many trees, bound them together to make a kalak,” said Zamua. A kalak is a raft of sorts made by lashing logs together and floating them with the aid of inflated animal skins, usually goat, tied underneath.

Residents of Albani, a small village of just three houses on the Lesser Zab River where wild horses outnumber people, still use a kalak-like raft to ferry across the river. September 17, 2020. Photo: Hannah Lynch/ Rudaw

Today, the landscape the Lesser Zab runs through is scarred by decades of conflict. Landmines left from the 1980s Iran-Iraq war are marked by weather-beaten small triangular signs standing to crooked attention at the side of the road.

A Turkish bombardment, aimed at armed Kurdish groups based in the mountains, set fire to a hillside a week earlier, leaving it charred black and dotted with withered trees, a wound on a vista that glows gold with late summer’s dry grasses.

The Lesser Zab’s volume has been declining for years. A 2019 study published in the scientific journal Hydrology analyzed data from 1964 to 2013 and found that annually the flow of water has decreased by an average of 1.912 cubic metres. Less rainfall and the construction of dams are to blame, the study concluded.

Iran began construction on the Sardasht Dam in 2011. It sits on the Lesser Zab in Iran’s Western Azerbaijan province, roughly 20 kilometres upstream of the border. The dam will not only generate electricity, but river water will be redirected to save a shrunken Lake Urmia.

The largest saltwater lake in the world, Urmia almost completely disappeared because of overuse and global warming. Reviving the lake was a campaign promise of President Hassan Rouhani. In 2013, Tehran partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in an ambitious plan to rescue the lake and, after heavy rainfall last year broke a drought, officials announced the lake was on the way to recovery.

But saving Lake Urmia spells death downstream in the Kurdistan Region.

On the banks of the Lesser Zab near Qaladze, farms are squeezed in between gravel mines. Bright red and yellow clothing of workers dot a green field. A forgotten pair of orange gloves wave from the top of an okra plant. A group of teenage girls run giggling to hide among fig trees as we approach, chased by waddling ducks.

In the cool shade of a mulberry tree, we snack on crunchy raw okra and sweet figs warmed by the sun. One of the girls, Surusht Khalid, comes out from her hiding place behind the trees with a guard dog – a waist-high black Kurdish mastiff called a pshdar.

“I love the work,” said the 16-year-old high school student, a blue headscarf wrapped around her tanned face. “Everyday is a picnic,” she said, grinning at her father who chuckles. He’s a Peshmerga and spends most of his days soldiering. On his days off, his daughter drags him into the fields to work with her.

It’s mid-morning and Surusht has been working for six hours. She’s full of energy, teasing her younger brother who cradles a chicken in his arms. It was given to him as a gift and he was reluctant to put it down.

Surusht has worked on the farm for two years. During a government-imposed lockdown to limit spread of the COVID-19 virus earlier this year, Surusht said she suffered, cooped up at home for weeks. “Being outdoors is healthier.”

Her family is one of two jointly farming this plot of land. They have fig trees, 1,000 chickens, ducks, a fish farm, and fields where they plant okra one year and wheat the next. This year, they lost half their okra crop. It dried up.

“Iran has built a dam and we are paying the consequence for that,” said Surusht, her smile fading.

“This is going to kill us as farmers,” said her father, Khalid Qadir Hussein, as his daughter kicks at the dust at her feet, seeing her dreams of a life working the land wither away.

This region was the birthplace of the Kurdish revolution and political parties that have risen to the halls of power and an international stage. Now, when the farmers go to those parties to ask for help, they only get empty words, said Hussein. “They lie.” The farmers have been waiting years for the authorities to follow through on a promise to develop water infrastructure in the area.

The effect of Iran’s Sardasht Dam on the flow of the Lesser Zab River is evident in this satellite image taken on September 25, 2020. Image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2020, processed by Sentinel Hub

    There is an old Kurdish saying about unlucky people. If he goes to the banks of the Sirwan, he has to bring a jug of water with him. For an unfortunate person, even the mighty Sirwan River runs dry. Today, all of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq are unlucky
The Sirwan River played a major role in human evolution. The biodiversity found along its waterways, mountains, and plains allowed humans to make major steps in cultivating plants and domesticating animals. In Iran, stone tools made by Neanderthals were found in a cave. “So 60,000 years ago, people lived on the banks of the Sirwan River,” said archaeologist Dlshad Zamua.

In the Kurdistan Region, the river irrigates the Shahrizur plain, making it a fertile area that has been inhabited since the neolithic period. It is home to more than 500 possible archaeological sites recently revealed through satellite imagery. The oldest known inhabited site, Bestansur, dates back to 9,500 BC. Its discovery just over a decade ago altered our understanding of the neolithic period and the transition humans made from hunter-gatherer to sedentary agriculture.

There is evidence of humans moving out of living in caves to form communities around agriculture at the foot of the Zagros Mountains and the Shahrizur plain, explained Zamua. The first people to cultivate plants were women who noticed seeds growing from fruit tossed on the ground near their caves. They began to grow crops in the valleys and on the plains, in fields watered by rain and groundwater. The people then moved to be close to their farms, building villages.

The agricultural knowledge gained on the banks of the Sirwan was brought south as people migrated. And in Mesopotamia, modern day southern Iraq, where the soil is dryer and the terrain flatter, people developed irrigation to water their crops and large-scale agriculture was born.

On August 13, 2020, Iran took full control of the Sirwan River. President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated a major water project that will eventually irrigate 35,000 hectares of farmland in the border areas of Kermanshah and Ilam provinces by the end of this year. Developing agriculture in this region has been a dream of Tehran for decades, said Rouhani.

The Iranian government for years sought to be self-sufficient in its food production, an ambitious goal for a nation that is largely arid or semi-arid. The agriculture sector uses an astounding 90 percent of Iran’s freshwater resources.

Despite decreasing water supplies from overuse and climate change, Iran has expanded its agriculture sector, concluded a recent study published in the journal Earth’s Future. “This expansion was facilitated by the excessive use of nonrenewable water resources which has significant environmental and socioeconomic implications,” the authors stated.

Solving its own water crisis and securing its agriculture sector holds urgency for Iran under crippling American sanctions that have devastated the economy and shackled Tehran’s ability to trade. Its plans do not include giving its neighbour a heads up when it decides to turn off the tap on the Lesser Zab and Sirwan Rivers.

The project Rouhani opened in August includes controlling the Sirwan River using Daryan Dam. “Dams are a great barrier against floods and provide security for people’s lives,” he said. In his time in office alone, 24 dams have been built in this area. Construction of Daryan Dam began in 2009. It will provide 210 megawatts of electricity and water fields 400 kilometres away.

The river’s flow is cut with no warning to the Iraqis. Border guards and fishermen in the Kurdistan Region say that over the course of a whole week in late September, the water flowed only for an hour.

“Iran is cutting the water because they are implementing many projects, dams, irrigation, additionally they are making canals diverting water to inside Iran… so of course they don’t inform the Iraqi side,” said member of the Iraqi parliament Mohammed Amin Faris, who sits on the parliament’s water committee.

Three fishing lines drift in the calm water of the Sirwan, closely watched by Hunar Mohamed Abdullah, crouched on the river bank. He pulls a line in to check the bait, deciding to replace it with a new piece of bread dough that he molds around the hook. He stands up, whips the hook round and round in the air, and tosses it with a lunge. It whistles before landing in the river with a small splash. Hunar secures the line on a stick jammed into the river bank and turns his attention to a second line. Pulls it in, adjusts the bait, and throws it back into the water. He sits back and watches. The hot sun beats down and a fly buzzes.

“Fishing is the most beautiful thing. You come down to the stream and watch the river,” Hunar said. He calls it therapy.

A butterfly flits by as one line catches his attention. It’s jerking in the water. He picks it up and teases it – pull and release, pull and release – until he gives a tug and a flash of silver flies through the air. A fish. Hunar smiles. He takes it off the line, puts it into a bag he has submerged in the water, rebaits the hook, and tosses it back into the river. He lights a cigarette and sits back.

“Of course, it’s the end of our life if we lose this water,” he said.

Hunar and his brother Satar have been fishing at this spot for years, but they don’t come here often anymore. The water in the Sirwan River is stagnant. “It doesn’t flow at all,” said Hunar. “Even in the dry season, it’s never been this low… this year is not normal.”

How do the fish taste? “Like shit,” said Satar, gesturing to the stream. “You can see that this water is not healthy,” Hunar points out. It’s green with algae.

The brothers also see another problem. Dark, murky water carrying garbage is floating upstream. With little current in the Sirwan, the heavily polluted waters of another river, the Tanjero, are taking over.

Three rivers feed the reservoir at Darbandikhan dam, which provides drinking and irrigation water for the area – the Sirwan, Tanjero, and Sarchinar. With water levels at seasonal lows, coupled with Iran cutting the Sirwan,

“Now only the Tanjero makes it to the dam, but it is not water, it is sewage and waste,” said Nabil Musa, environmental activist and member of the global Waterkeepers Alliance. “This is a disaster.”

    Like rivers across the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, the Tanjero is abused, pumped full of sewage, industrial waste and trash
South of the town of Said Sadiq, the Tanjero broadens where it flows across a plain. The water is a putrid brown. A Euphrates Softshell Turtle, an endangered species that lives in these waterways, quickly disappears from sight, diving into the cloudy depths. A dozen dead fish are floating nearby. Mass fish die-offs happen most years because of the severe pollution.

Cleaning up the Tanjero is not a priority for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). “We don’t have to worry about it,” said Hussen H.K. Rahim, general director of horticulture, forests, and rangeland for the KRG’s Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources. He acknowledged that polluted waters are flowing into Darbandikhan, but says the water is filtered and treated before it’s sent into our kitchens.

“There is a plan” to build water treatment plants in cities across the country, said the MP Faris, who was previously general director of water resources for the KRG, but it is on hold because of a financial crisis that has left Baghdad with empty pockets and a growing deficit.

Management problems and political instability don’t help. “The people who are responsible for the water sector, they’re changing… that’s the problem,” said Faris. Technicians and negotiating teams have changed with each new government (there have been three in as many years), dashing any hopes of a consistent policy with follow-through.

At an Iraqi border post on the Lesser Zab, across the valley from their Iranian counterparts, the guards watch the river. For the past two weeks, Iran has cut the water flow, only releasing some in the mornings. The guards send daily reports to their superiors, but they don’t know what happens to the information they pass along.

“As much as we need the water as Kurds, the Iraqis need it two times more,” said one guard, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Iraqi government should be the one to solve the problem because it faces a more severe water crisis than the Kurdistan Region, he argued, but does not hold out hope.

“I don’t foresee any negotiations, because Iran has a long-term plan.”

All of Iraq will feel the effect of water shortages caused by Iran’s dams. In the south, water shortages and poor water quality are already creating climate refugees. Rural families are relocating to urban centres as their fields dry out or salt over, found a February 2020 report by three organizations: the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), Social Inquiry, and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

Baghdad is in talks with Tehran over their shared water resources, but is not making progress. “We tried to negotiate with the Iranian side, and we are still trying. But there’s no response from the other side,” said MP Faris. “Negotiations are not so easy.”

An international agreement over shared water resources is the responsibility of the federal government, though delegates from the KRG take part in the talks and Erbil has raised the issue with the Iranian consulate, who promises to “take it into consideration and convey concerns to the relevant authorities,” said Rahim. “They keep emphasizing that there is a joint committee between Iraq and Iran. They say they have the right to do it especially in the months of July and August because they need water in these months.”

Doing what it can to hold onto the water within the borders, the KRG’s solution is to build more dams of its own -- small and medium sized levees on rivers across the Region, including the Lesser Zab and Sirwan. But funding for these projects was cut off during the financial crisis that began in 2014, and work has stopped on some 19 dams, as well as more that were in the research and design phases, explained Rahim.

Some of those dams would, however, be rendered useless if an agreement cannot be reached with Tehran. “If Iran continues to build dams, they will significantly impact dams on our side,” said Rahim, pointing out that the fate of the rivers is out of Erbil’s control. “You know that the dams and water, according to the constitution, is related to the Iraqi government."

Baghdad and Erbil are essentially paralyzed and powerless to act in the face of Tehran’s determination, while the people who depend on the waters of the Lesser Zab and Sirwan watch their lives drain away.

The village of Mashan sits on the Lesser Zab just across the border from Iran. Arakan Sidiq, 26, is a shepherd and teacher here. When he was a child, the river was high and the villagers would fish using a masha, a wooden cage with an open top that they would place under the whitewater to trap fish. Some nights they would catch 200 kilograms of fish. Villagers can still fish the river during the day – Iran doesn’t mind that, he says. But the fish are too few in number and the water too low to use the masha anymore, and if they approach the river at night, the border guards might open fire.

Tall, wearing traditional Kurdish clothing with bare feet shoved into leather shoes, Sidiq looks sadly at the river. As we talk, the noise of the water starts to grow. What had been a mere trickle speeds up and deepens. Whitewater foams as it crashes over rocks. Iran has released the water. Sidiq said they never know when this will happen or for how long. They live at the whim of their neighbour. The KRG, said Sidiq, has “no diplomatic power, so Iran is free to do what it wants.”

We have become sheep without a shepherd

Link to Article - Photos:

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/11112020
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:40 pm

Hasankeyf movie wins award

The winners of the 10th annual European Union Human Rights Film Competition have been announced and top prize has been awarded to a Turkish film telling the story of Hasankeyf, a 12,000 year old town, which was flooded by the building of the nearby Ilisu Dam

Şîn [Mourning] by the young director, Mehmet Ismail Cecen, was in a competition comprising 85 films, and took home the ‘Best Film Award’.

The eight-minute long film tells the story of a young man who, with the help of his 10-year-old son, moves his father’s bones from the cemetery of a partly submerged Hasankeyf.

On a cold and snowy day, the young man and his son travel by boat to the cemetery with an empty coffin. After collecting his father’s bones, the young man and his son gaze at the places they had known all their lives but would never see again.

The film ends with a mourning song performed by a dengbej [a traditional Kurdish singing storyteller]. The song is a lament for Hasankeyf.

The move was controversial. Critics claimed the huge project was not worth the cost and destroyed part of Kurdistan’s cultural heritage. Hasankeyf was one of the oldest known, continuously inhabited settlements in the world.

The Independent would like to keep you informed about offers, events and updates by email, please tick the box if you would like to be contacted

However the Turkish government argued that the project was vital, part of a larger network of dams aimed at reducing the country's dependency on energy imports and it also provided jobs.

Speaking to Independent Turkish, Mehmet İsmail Çeçen, director of the film, explained that they wanted to recount this event through fiction and wanted to tell the story of a grandfather, father and grandchild, with one of the three generations disappearing.

“The film tells the story of the migration of 199 villages as a result of flooding from the Ilisu Dam. The dam not only flooded their history, it also left the dead under water. The elderly had known for years that a dam was to be built here and they would tell their relatives to not let their graves get flooded. This film tells the story of some of the families who were migrating and wanted to move their relatives from the graves”, said Çeçen.

The director said he wanted to bring “international attention” to Hasankeyf.

The film was produced by Mehmet Akyil and Melih Nazlican.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 74463.html
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jan 16, 2021 4:37 am

Click to enlarge:
1294
A lovely screen saver/wallpaper

The people had left homes
but the birds had not left


Steve Sweeney talks to Kurdish journalist SEDA TASKIN about taking inspiration from strong women, her time in prison, and her award-winning photo of the ancient town of Hasankeyf, taken shortly before it was submerged as part of a controversial dam project

Click to enlarge:
1293

KURDISH journalist Seda Taskin, a contributor to the Morning Star, was awarded last year’s prestigious Musa Anter award for her photographs of Hasankeyf, an ancient city that has been submerged in what has been described as an act of “cultural genocide.”

She was jailed for more than a year for her work with the Mesopotamia Agency, a pro-Kurdish media organisation frequently targeted by the Turkish state.

Taskin gave just one sentence in her defence when her case was heard on appeal in May 2019: “Journalism cannot be judged.”

Since her release she has continued the work she loves so much; taking photographs and writing news, travelling across Turkey to tell the stories of those living under the country’s oppressive regime.

She said she was was honoured to receive the award, which came after her first ever entry in a photography competition, expressing her pride at being linked to the name Musa Anter, a Kurdish journalist with legendary status in the country who was brutally executed by state paramilitary forces in 1992.

“Musa Anter was a truth-seeker and fought for this until he was killed. We carry the pen he handed to us as his successors,” Taskin explains.

She first became interested in photography when she was a child and during secondary school took an old camera to the offices of Dicle Media News Agency (DIHA) telling them she would work there.

“The journalists working there laughed and told me to come back when I grew up,” she said.

But she did return and the now-banned Kurdish news agency was to be her first workplace as she started out in journalism some six years ago.

Taskin explains a deep connection between her and the camera, something that developed as she used photography to expose the truth about life as a Kurd in Turkey.

“Photography has a very important role in creating memory,” she tells me. “Sometimes you can describe everything with a square photograph instead of a page of text.”

She says how pictures can be used as evidence, not just in legal cases, but in documenting the crimes committed by the state and presenting them to the wider world.

Taskin highlights the case of Kemal Kokurt, an unarmed Kurdish student shot dead when a police officer pumped bullets into his back at a Kurdish new year celebration in Diyarbakir.

The incident was caught on camera by her friend Abdurrahman Gok. But in a reminder of how the legal system is routinely stacked against Kurds, the officer who fired the shots was cleared, with the judge citing “lack of evidence,” while the photographer faces charges and a prison sentence.

“Maybe this event would have been covered up if that photo hadn’t happened,” Taskin says, reminding me of how the picture helped to expose the fragility of Turkey’s justice system.

Taskin aims to expand her repertoire in documentary work, stressing the importance of shaping public awareness about what is happening in different places in difficult political conditions.

“Documentary photography is an area not only where reality is interpreted, but also where the world is interpreted,” she says, adding that it brings with it “an ideological message and a way of finding solutions to existing problems.”

Photography gives Taskin a sense of meaningfulness and without producing photographs or writing she feels incomplete.

She tells me that she takes inspiration from strong women — of which she is one herself, but of course doesn’t say this.

“Journalism and photography is seen as a male profession in Turkey. There are many good female photographers but unfortunately they are not as visible as men,” Taskin says.

But she is determined to change this and says her main goal in capturing images is to leave a memory for the future.

“There are great struggles to destroy this perception,” she adds.

Taskin continued to write while she was in prison, a place she described as somewhere opposition journalists almost inevitably end up.

“You can make news wherever there are people and stories,” she said.

“I continued to work as a journalist in prison. However, unfortunately, this is not the case in terms of photography.

“One of the things I missed the most when I was in prison was freely travelling and taking photos.”

Cameras were banned inside the jail, but the prisoners would write petitions demanding to have photographs taken to document their time behind bars.

Taskin explains that often the prison officials would come and take their pictures.

“One day, the guard who came to take a photo gave me his camera, saying: ‘You are a journalist, you can take it better than me.’

“I looked at the machine in my hand for seconds and was very impressed. I hadn’t touched the camera for months.

“Then the first photo I took was of a flower coming out of a crack in the wall of the courtyard.
“That photograph remains with friends who are still in prison. Later, the guards plucked that flower during the search… This is exactly the mission of the photograph. The flower that bloomed there and the feelings we had in us were frozen,” Taskin says.

Her award-winning photograph of Hasankeyf in the largely Kurdish south-east of Turkey was taken about a month before it was flooded as part of the controversial Illisu dam project.

“The importance of the photograph for me was that I saw Hasankeyf for the last time,” Taskin explains.

“A friend of mine told me the area was to be flooded and I had to come and see it.”

On the morning she took the photograph, a journalist friend told her that the authorities had imposed a ban on people crossing the city’s historical bridge which was not yet submerged.

Taskin was undeterred. She made her way across the bridge after arriving at sunrise, ignoring calls from security forces shouting at her to stop.

Taskin doesn’t say this, but it was a brave move considering the conditions imposed on her when she was released from prison.

But she said defiantly: “This photo would not have happened if I had listened.

“I went down to the area where I took the photo, among the flooded houses. In front of me was the historic building and dozens of ravens on it.

“I immediately set up my machine and waited for the birds to fly. I made that moment immortal by pressing the shutter button with the birds taking off.

“That moment was very sad for me,” Taskin explains. “The people had left their homes, but the birds had not left.

“Seconds after I took the photo, the security forces found me and told me that I had to leave, it was forbidden. This is the short story of the photo.”

Hasankeyf became a focus for protesters in Turkey, uniting environmental activists, the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and others in a bid to save 12,000 years of history from being lost to make way for the ambitious and politically charged dam project.

Taskin said words are not enough anymore to describe what happened as that history was destroyed before our eyes when all we could do was watch.

“In this sense, I cannot forgive myself either. Because we could have struggled more,” she says, insisting that Hasankeyf was not just about Turkey.

“I think the whole world is responsible for this. Maybe if there had been enough of a reaction, Hasankeyf would not have been inundated today. It would not be replaced by a pile of concrete.”

Some 100,000 mainly Kurdish people have been displaced from the city and its surrounding villages and many species and wildlife were destroyed as a result of the flooding.

“The waters continued to rise before the eyes of the whole world, and a history was flooded. The history there is in the history of all humanity, and we are all too late to stop it,” she says.

The case of Hasankeyf underlines the important role played by journalists both in terms of historical memory and raising awareness of such incidents to the world.

In Turkey, journalism is under constant attack, with more media workers behind bars than any other country.

Reliable figures are hard to ascertain. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists nobody is in prison because of journalism and that they are terrorists.

The country’s Journalists Union of Turkey is criticised for being too conservative and downplaying the numbers in prison, but Kurdish press organisations put the figure at somewhere around the 200 mark.

“In the 122-year history of the Kurdish press there has been the bombing of newspaper buildings, murder, arrest and threats of newspaper employees, and their publications have been banned,” Taskin explains.

“Since the 1990s, the Kurdish press has paid a heavy price regarding issues such as democracy, human rights, freedoms, the Kurdish issue, women and environment.

“But it has always defended peace. And it still continues to defend peace,” she continues.

Many progressive journalists remain in prison and the pressures continue.

More journalists from the Mesopotamia Agency have been jailed for exposing government and military crimes committed against the Kurdish people.

Four reporters were jailed last year after their investigations uncovered a potential crime against humanity after two Kurdish farmers — one of whom later died from his injuries — were thrown from a helicopter by Turkish soldiers who threatened to burn down their village if they told anyone what had happened.

Despite this, Taskin explains, journalists in Turkey continue to write the truth.

But she says Kurdish journalists need more solidarity and protection.

“If this solidarity could be built stronger, maybe the situation would be different,” she says, calling for journalists in Britain to do more to ensure Kurdish journalists know they are not alone.

She called for Morning Star readers to raise their voices about the many crimes being committed by the Turkish state against women, against Kurds and against democracy.

“Do not remain silent. Our struggle is a universal struggle. Do not leave us alone,” she said.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article ... d-not-left
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:16 pm

Submerged ruins of Hasankeyf
reappear in the drought


Since February 2020, the old town of Hasankeyf has been submerged under the waters of the Tigris River, held downstream by the Ilisu dam — the flagship project of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government

Several major monuments of this 12,000-year-old historic site have been moved for preservation. But in recent weeks, a period of winter drought has lowered the water level, revealing the damage already caused by less than a year of submersion.For the already traumatized inhabitants, this was a new blow.

Link to Article - Video:

https://observers.france24.com/en/tv-sh ... eservation
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: There was only one Hasankeyf and Kurds let it be destroy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:13 am

The destruction of Hasankeyf is heartbreaking

For the so-called Kurdish leaders, especially those in Northern Kurdistan, I hold nothing but contempt

That these leaders would allow Turkey to destroy such a wonderful ancient city with it's 12,000 years of history is nothing short of criminal

Those Kurdish leaders are far more interested in their self aggrandizement than achieving anything of any real importance X(
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 24502
Images: 645
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

PreviousNext

Return to Kurdistan Debates, Articles and Analysis

Who is online

Registered users: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot]

cron
x

#{title}

#{text}