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Save HASANKEYF occupy CAVES protect countries downriver

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

Re: WE MUST SAVE HASANKEYF FOR KURDISH CHILDREN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:35 pm

I am appalled by the lack of support from the Kurdish people to protect such a unique and ancient site

Actually I am absolutely furious X(
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Re: WE MUST SAVE HASANKEYF FOR KURDISH CHILDREN

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Re: WE MUST SAVE HASANKEYF FOR KURDISH CHILDREN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:23 pm

Julie Ward MEP sends letter to
UK Foreign Secretary on Hasankeyf


Member of the European Parliament, Julie Ward, sent a letter to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, urging him to make representations to the Turkish government regarding the threat to Hasankeyf and the negative impacts of the Ilisu Dam

The letter was also signed by Prof Felix Padel and Henry Brooks, Kurdish Solidarity Cymru.

Julie Ward MEP wrote: "In mid-July our small delegation from Wales and England traveled to the city of Hasankeyf in south- east Turkey. Some of us had undertaken this long journey previously at the invitation of local MPs and other dignitaries who are reaching out to the international community for civic solidarity."

The letter continued as follows: "Our journey to Hasankeyf 2 weeks ago was principally to witness and take part in a protest against the construction and filling of the hydroelectric Ilisu Dam which is now mostly complete. The dam has not yet been filled with water despite a test flooding of some local roads.

However, if the dam is filled Hasankeyf and the surrounding villages will be 80% submerged under 60 metres of water.

Hasankeyf is around 12,000 years old. Sitting on the Tigris river it has been home to many of the world’s earliest and most impressive civilisations, from the Hurrians and Assyrians to the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Hundreds of identified archeological sites are still unexcavated. The completion of the Ilisu Dam will destroy this rich cultural heritage.

The Turkish state has made some effort to relocate a number of monuments from the city but in the process of relocation itself the cultural heritage is being destroyed. Countless more artefacts - discovered and undiscovered - remain at risk from the dam.

Today Hasankeyf’s population includes a mix of Kurds, Arabs and Turks. Many families have lived in and around Hasankeyf for generations. These communities will be displaced and destroyed with the completion of Ilisu Dam. “New Hasankeyf” is being built nearby but its housing is inadequate and expensive to the point of being inaccessible to many previous residents.

Because of debts taken on to purchase new homes thousands face impoverishment. Kurdish communities are particularly at risk, and this displacement amounts to yet another attack by the Turkish state upon vulnerable cultural and linguistic traditions.

Further up- and downstream, many fragile ecosystems on the banks of the Tigris are at risk. The dam is designed to last no more than 100 years, but the environmental damage could be irreversible. The

Mesopotamian marshes in southern Iraq, home to the Marsh Arabs and declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2016, are at risk of being drained with the completion of the dam.

Geopolitically, the building of the dam amounts to a power grab by Turkey. The dam would give Turkey a great deal of power over the supply of water continuing downstream through Iraq, including to the cities of Mosul and Baghdad.

Campaigners in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and all over the world have raised geopolitical, cultural and environmental concerns about the Ilisu Dam during the last three decades, and this is now at a crucial juncture. The dam is well developed but, as goes an often-repeated slogan by campaigners:

    “It is not too late to save Hasankeyf”
The signatories urged the Foreign Secretary "to make representations to the Turkish government regarding the threat to Hasankeyf and the negative impacts of the Ilisu Dam."

The signatories also urged the Foreign Secretary "to visit the city of Hasankeyf yourself as we did, to meet its residents and learn of their struggles. We could help facilitate such a trip. Most of all, we urge you to speak up in defence of this unique and internationally important city, to defend it lest it is lost not only to those who live in Hasankeyf but lost to the whole world."
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Re: Where is Kurdish Pride It is Not Too Late to Save Hasank

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:02 pm

Turkey starts filling huge Tigris river dam

Turkey has started filling a huge hydroelectric dam on the Tigris river, a lawmaker and activists said, despite protests that it will displace thousands of people and risks creating water shortages downstream in Iraq

Citing satellite images, they said that water was starting to build up behind the Ilisu dam, a project that has been decades in the making and which aims to generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity for southeast Turkey.

Turkish officials have not commented on work at the dam. Turkey's State Hydraulic Works (DSI), which oversees dam projects, referred questions to the Presidency, and the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry was not available to comment.

However, President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier this year that Turkey would start filling the Ilisu dam in June, a year after it briefly held back water before backing down following complaints from Iraq about reduced water flows in mid-summer.

The dam, which first gained Turkish government approval in 1997, is a key part of Turkey's Southeastern Anatolia Project, designed to improve its poorest and least developed region.

Iraq says the dam will create water shortages by reducing flows in one of two rivers which the country depends on for much of its supplies. Around 70% of Iraq's water supplies flow from neighbouring countries, especially via the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which run through Turkey.

Satellite images from the past two weeks show the dam has started holding water, said Necdet Ipekyuz, a lawmaker from Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). He said a road in the area has already been submerged.

"They are taking steps slowly to decrease the reactions to water being held. That is why they are not informing the public," he said, adding that several HDP lawmakers tried to visit the dam in July but were prevented by police.

Environmental campaigners have unsuccessfully challenged the dam project at the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds it would damage the country's cultural heritage.

SUBMERGED TOWN

The rising waters of the dam are also expected to eventually submerge the 12,000-year-old town of Hasankeyf. Residents are being moved from the ancient town to a "New Hasankeyf" nearby, while historic artefacts have also been transported out of the area.

A group of NGOs, lawmakers and labour unions shared satellite images of the dam showing the increase in water levels between July 19-29.

"The current situation is strengthening the idea that the valves have been closed permanently," the group, known as Hasankeyf Coordination, said in a statement.

"Because the dam lake is growing every day, the people who live in these areas are worried. They cannot know when the water will reach their residential or agricultural areas."

The Iraqi government said in a statement that Turkish and Iraqi officials had discussed the water resources of the two rivers in Baghdad on Wednesday to see how they could "serve the interests of both countries".

Turkey proposed setting up a joint research centre in Baghdad for water management and to work together on some agriculture plantations in Iraq, as well as projects for development of drinking water infrastructure.

The European Court of Human Rights in February dismissed the case brought by environmental campaigners to block the dam project, saying heritage protection is the responsibility of Turkish authorities and it had no jurisdiction.

The government needs to make an announcement, even if the dam were being filled for a trial run, said HDP's Ipekyuz. "They are trying to tie a belt around the Tigris river's neck and suffocate it," he said. (Additional reporting by John Davison and Ahmed Aboulenein in Baghdad Editing by Dominic Evans and Susan Fenton)

https://news.yahoo.com/turkey-starts-fi ... NlYwNzcg--
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Re: Where is Kurdish Pride It is Not Too Late to Save Hasank

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:32 am

Many detained as Turkish forces
attack HDP people in Hasankeyf


The ancient town of Hasankeyf will be flooded by the Ilısu Dam as the AKP regime seeks to destroy the history of 12 thousand years despite strong reactions

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Youth Council and Young Women’s Council started a vigil to save Hasankeyf.

Batman Co-mayors Mehmet Demir and Songül Korkmaz, HDP MP Ayşe Acar Başaran and HDP Youth Council members went to Hasankeyf today to manifest their objection to the AKP regime’s plans to destroy the ancient town.

The group, denied permission to demonstrate in Hasankeyf, was attacked by Turkish gendarmerie forces when they started a march from the town to Batman city center.

Many people were taken into custody in the crackdown.

https://anfenglishmobile.com/kurdistan/ ... keyf-36782

It is a disgrace that so few Kurds have tried to save Hasankeyf
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Re: Hasankeyf is being destroyed MILLIONS Kurds do NOTHING

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:23 am

In Turkey a power play will
leave ancient towns underwater


The nation’s plan to control its most precious resource includes a controversial dam that will drown some of its history

The ancient town of Hasankeyf sits on the bank of the Tigris River. The Ilısu Dam will cause the river to rise some 200 feet, submerging this modern café, the ruins of the 900-year-old bridge behind it, and Neolithic caves.

The nation’s plan to control its most precious resource includes a controversial dam that will drown some of its 12,000 year old history.

Hasankeyf is a 12,000-year-old village carved into a plateau flanking the Tigris River. It looks like something out of a surreal fairy tale. Overlooking the town are caves crafted by Neolithic pioneers and the ruins of a citadel as old as the Byzantines. The settlement bears traces of the Romans. It’s the site of significant medieval Islamic architecture, including a bridge across the Tigris that established it as an important outpost along the Silk Road. Marco Polo may have crossed there on his way to China.

Hasankeyf is also an active town in southeastern Turkey, with markets and gardens and mosques and cafés—a place with a palpable feeling of historical continuity and survival.

Yet in 2006 the Turkish government officially began work on a giant dam across the Tigris River that will lead to the drowning of an estimated 80 percent of Hasankeyf and the displacement of its 3,000 residents, as well as many other people. The dam—the Ilısu—is now almost complete, and the flooding could start anytime in the next year.

Why would a country demolish one of its most mythic places? To improve the lives of the local people through modernization, the government says. But the massive project benefits the Turkish state too. Turkey has no native oil or natural gas sources. What it does have is water.

In the early decades of the 20th century, the Turkish Republic engaged in a series of state-driven modernization projects intended to develop its economy. The southeastern region—its inhabitants relatively poor, undereducated, and minority Kurds, Arabs, and Assyrians—was largely left out.

In the 1970s the government proposed a remedy: a colossal dam project that would bring reliable electricity to the southeast and irrigate the farmlands. The Turkish government would build 22 dams and 19 hydroelectric power plants across the Tigris and Euphrates river network, as well as roads, bridges, and other forms of infrastructure. The plan was dubbed the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP, as the acronym goes in Turkish).

In Halfeti, located on the reservoir created by the Birecik Dam, tourists dine at Fırat Yüzer floating restaurant. People come to the lake to visit the town’s submerged remains and other flooded villages nearby, but water also covers the region’s fertile fields.

The GAP soon became controversial. Syria and Iraq, downstream from Turkey, protested that Turkey could deprive them of much needed water

Meanwhile, due to massive protests, European banks withdrew funding and the World Bank denied loans because of ongoing multinational disagreements, inadequate environmental assessments, and concerns about the scope of resettlement and cultural heritage protection.

Even within the Turkish government, enthusiasm for the GAP as a national pride project began to fade, according to Hilal Elver, who advised the Ministry of Environment in the 1990s and is now the UN Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur on the right to food.

Indeed, by the 2000s it had become clear that the dam projects weren’t succeeding in their ostensible purpose. “They mismanaged the water, and it didn’t bring development and it didn’t bring peace,” said Elver, noting that the PKK and the government are still fighting. Today electricity generated by 13 of 19 completed dams is mostly used elsewhere.

Salination, a direct result of introducing water to poorly drained salty lands, has ruined precious farms. Income from the dams hasn’t trickled down to local municipalities or people. Thousands have been displaced. Most received monetary compensation and housing but not enough to replace long-held livelihoods.

The Ilısu Dam may be one of the GAP’s most destructive projects yet. It’s set to flood not only Hasankeyf but also 250 miles of river ecosystem, 300 archaeological sites, and dozens of towns and villages. Some of the artifacts will be moved to safer ground, but the dam will displace about 15,000 people and affect tens of thousands more.

Ercan Ayboğa, an environmental engineer and spokesperson for the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive, says the number might be close to 100,000. “It’s a huge project imposed on the people of the region by the Turkish government,” Ayboğa said. It “has no benefits for the local population except profits for some companies and big landowners.”

So why does the Turkish government press on? After all, other countries, including the U.S., are reconsidering the benefits and risks of dam projects and even removing some dams to restore natural water flow and river habitats. And there are less destructive ways to generate electricity, such as solar power.

Many believe that the government’s goal is simply to control this natural resource, for Turkey’s domestic needs and for its security. Case in point: When the PKK’s leader, Abdullah Öcalan, found shelter in Syria, one of Turkey’s bargaining chips to get him back was that it could shut off the country’s water supply. Water “can be used as a weapon against Iraq and Syria,” said John Crofoot, an American part-time resident and founder of Hasankeyf Matters. “It’s leverage.”

This past spring Iraq’s drought worsened, and the Tigris trickled to dangerous lows. The Iraqi government lobbied against the Turkish plan to start filling the reservoir created by the Ilısu Dam in June. The Turks acquiesced. Fatih Yıldız, the Turkish ambassador to Iraq, told critics, “We have shown once again that we can put our neighbor’s needs ahead of our own.” But for decades the government’s attitude has basically remained the same: Iraq has oil, but Turkey has water—and it can do with that what it pleases.

Savaşan village in the district of Halfeti offers a glimpse of Hasankeyf’s future. In 2000 the village was submerged, along with eight others, by the Birecik Dam. Despite the project’s promise of helping agriculture, the farmland belonging to the people of Halfeti now lies largely beneath the water. Tour boats pass by a drowned mosque, but tourism hasn’t yet made up for the community’s economic loss.

People in Hasankeyf protested in March, after government officials served the merchants who worked in the historic bazaar with eviction papers and told them to start moving to new commercial properties in New Hasankeyf, a series of bland, mostly uninhabited buildings on a nearby plain. The merchants argued that their businesses couldn’t be supported by a ghost town. The eviction, they said, violated their human right to work. They prevailed, if only temporarily.

In the years since the dam construction began, the people have been living in a vague, agonizing limbo, not knowing when they will have to leave their homes. The last anyone heard, the government was going to start filling the reservoir in July. That didn’t happen. So the people wait, and live. It’s as if the longer Hasankeyf is not flooded, the easier it is to believe that it never will be.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/maga ... _38mGmucvw
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Re: Hasankeyf is being destroyed MILLIONS Kurds do NOTHING

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:54 am

This 12,000-year-old town
could soon be under water


Abdurrahman Gundogdu looks out from his gift shop across the street and towards the slow-moving river Tigris, which has flowed through Hasankeyf throughout its 12,000 years of human habitation

But not for much longer

If the flooding of this ancient town goes ahead as planned, as the controversial Ilisu dam is filled, lifelong resident Gundogdu will be gone, along with 3,000 other inhabitants.

Nearly 200 villages will be completely or partially flooded, impacting around 100,000 people, according to local campaign group Initiative To Keep Hasankeyf Alive.

They will be the last generation of the hundreds who have lived and died here in the world’s oldest continuously inhabited town, known to have been settled for 12 millennia.

“Allah gave this space to us like this; the Tigris is mentioned in the Quran,” Gundogdu said, his hand sweeping out to indicate the place he loves.

Even though he dreads the day he will have to move to the new town built for residents by the government, he says he has given up the fight to save Hasankeyf, or the river. “I have no more hope, unfortunately. I tried but couldn’t make it happen.”

The floodgates were shut in late July so that the waters behind the dam began to rise, giving residents and campaigners a few more precious weeks and months to try to halt the inevitable.

Despite numerous public demonstrations and a number of police arrests of protesters, activists continue to try to convince Ankara to suspend the project.

The Ilisu project aims to produce 3,800 gigawatt hours of electricity annually to the Batman region in southeast Turkey, and is expected to generate 1.3 billion Turkish liras ($227m) annually.

Sitting 140 kilometres away from Iraq, Ilisu is a key dam among 22 built as part of the Southeastern Anatolian Project, or GAP - a national development policy that includes regional irrigation, employment and energy needs.

It’s the country’s second largest in volume and fourth in energy generation according to the Turkish government.

It will also significantly impact Turkey’s neighbours since the Tigris flows into Syria, enters Iraq, and reaches the Gulf after merging with the Euphrates.

But since construction began in late 2000s, Ilisu has been dogged by controversy.

Over the years international NGOs, environmental groups, and European politicians warned that it would submerge a unique site of human heritage, destroying hundreds of archaeological treasures, including more than 5,000 archaic caves built along the river, and submerging the birthplace of several major civilisations.

For hundreds of years people in Hasankeyf lived in caves on the banks of the Tigris.

Despite vocal opposition and major protests, the project eventually went ahead with strong support from Turkey’s AKP government.

Back in 2003, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then a newly elected prime minister, vowed to embark on a number of mega projects to solve an economic crisis and bring prosperity to Turkey’s poorer regions.

In 2006, he held a ceremonial groundbreaking in Hasankeyf and said there was no time to lose on the construction of the dam. “With Ilisu, a cornerstone will be placed among the civilisation stones of the southeast," he said, addressing crowds.

In 2008, the first spade was dug. Finally, it was this very site that was blown up using dynamite in August 2017, to help erect Ilisu’s 64-metre-high concrete walls over the fertile river basin.

Unique structures

In Hasankeyf, local tour guide Ali, known as Shepherd Ali, has noticed how the turmoil of the construction and removal of so many historic edifices has not just had an impact on local people.

For centuries, the town’s tallest structure, standing at 30 metres, was the iconic minaret that topped the early 15th-century El-Rizk Mosque overlooking the Tigris.

Often the background image for tourist pictures, it was dismantled over the winter.

“The regular stork was offended,” said Ali. The stork would go to find its old perch on the minaret, he explained, as he walked through New Hasankeyf amid dust from ongoing construction. But the minaret was gone - taken to be relocated in the new town.

“It came a few times after it was taken down, then it gave up.”

Hasankeyf is home to some 500 structures of historical significance, built by the various empires and civilisations that ruled this part of Mesopotamia, including Hittites, Romans, Persians and Ottomans.

To preserve some of the most significant, the authorities have dismantled, transported and rebuilt them in New Hasankeyf, around three kilometres from the old town.

The minaret is one of seven big artefacts that were removed from the old town, alongside 785 out of 1150 graves from the old cemetery.

The 1,100-tonne Zeynel Bey Shrine, the only remaining structure from the 15th century Akkoyun state, was also relocated, carried on wheels for three hours to the newly built archeopark, placed right in front of the new housing complex.

Shepherd Ali points to a leaf-like Christian cross carved on the wall inside one of the caves that would sink under the artificial lake. (Nimet KIRAC/ MEE)
Shepherd Ali points to a leaf-like Christian cross carved on the wall inside one of the caves that will be submerged under the artificial lake. (MEE/Nimet Kirac)

Ali said he defines the uprooting of these iconic structures as “plucking the flower”, adding that he thinks “a rose is best on its branch”.

He also does not want to move to the bland, concrete town built for Hasankeyf residents, despite Ankara’s offers to include a museum, a mosque and parked boats on the water.

“But I have to leave when the time comes,” he said.

Poor construction

The government has promoted the dam and the new town as critical for a region that has been long neglected and hit by the conflict with the Kurdish separatist PKK, which raged here for decades.

The Batman region where it sits has the highest unemployment rate in the country, according to official figures. At least a quarter of its locals are jobless.

Hasankeyf resident Ahmet Akdeniz was once a big supporter of the project - but not anymore. “I really supported this project to help our people get better living conditions. Some of us were living in caves,” he explained.

He used to be one of its best known advocates from Hasankeyf, travelling to Europe to defend it from its many critics. He once asked German MP Claudia Roth “why she was so worried about dislocating history here and not when it comes to pieces in [Berlin’s] Pergamon Museum.”

“If the project was installed properly, it could have been really beneficial,” he said.

But Akdeniz became disillusioned with the new housing project for relocated residents. “The walls leak water.”

Middle East Eye saw the leaks from the walls in the new homes, 850 of which were built by Gunestekin Construction in partnership with Sertka, another builder.

A project manager from one of the companies told MEE that the leaks are the result of the dynamite explosions nearby.

“We told authorities repeatedly, but they say that there’s not much they can do. The explosions every other day are causing us big losses because we keep repairing,” Yuksel Durak from Gunestekin said.

Yet at this point, residents don’t have other options. They have to leave their homes and buy one of the new ones if they wish to stay in the area, across the Tigris. The new houses cost 170,000 Turkish liras, around $30,000.

Locals can start paying the government in five years - but some say they can’t afford that amount.

“We are poor people. We’ve always been poor,” Mehmet Basak, a Hasankeyf native, said.

New homes for some

Others say they have not been offered homes in New Hasankeyf because they do not qualify under the government scheme.

Basak said neither he nor any of his four siblings were given houses as they are registered as living in central Batman, even though he has a house in old Hasankeyf and was born there.

This is because of the Settlement Law, according to Abdulvahap Kusen, mayor of Hasankeyf for 20 years.

According to the mayor, under law 5543, only families who were registered as living in Hasankeyf on 1 April 2013 are eligible for housing. Basak's family and others like him will instead have to move to new homes in central Batman.

“They left Hasankeyf natives homeless by giving the deeds to foreigners, people in their close circles,” Basak claimed. He said he has 12 children and 10 grandchildren who do not know why they were not included in the new settlement.

Sait Kalaygil and Mehmet Basak get into a heated argument over who should be given house ownership in New Hasankeyf. May 16, 2019. (Nimet KIRAC/ MEE)
Sait Kalaygil and Mehmet Basak get into a heated argument over who should be given house ownership in New Hasankeyf, 16 May 2019. (MEE/Nimet Kirac)

Basak said he did not blame President Erdogan “because he doesn’t know what’s happening here”. Still, he noted that Erdogan’s party, the AKP, lost his vote.

Kusen, from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), told MEE by phone that the displacement is not forced, but “they will have to leave when the flooding begins anyway”. He then hung up.

The psychological toll of abandoning Hasankeyf comes up again and again in conversations along the Tigris.

Shepherd Ali said he has lost significant weight over the years campaigning against the dam project, while shopkeeper Gundogdu says he has been using antidepressants for years to help with moodiness, crushed by the idea that he is losing his hometown.

They both said they wish they were asked about the fate of their towns, and not forced to leave.

The culture minister

One person who should know whether all the environmental and heritage costs of the project were properly assessed in the planning of Ilisu is Ertugrul Gunay.

Turkey’s culture minister between 2007 and late 2012, he told MEE his ministry held many meetings with the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry, offering to save Hasankeyf during that period, but to no avail.

“[The ministry] told us that these demands are impossible to meet, that things had gone too far out by now,” Gunay told MEE, adding his teams carried out scientific excavations in a bid to preserve ancient Hasankeyf.

The right to grant Environmental Impact Assessments (CED) was taken from his ministry in 2011, he said, and was given to the Environment, Forestry and Urbanisation Ministry, which at that time oversaw state hydraulic works.

CEDs are mandatory state-approved permits for major projects like dams, now granted by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation after the restructuring of the ministries since 2011.

Ilisu was greenlighted by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation in 2011, and granted an exemption. Linked construction involving roads and bridges were exempted from CED in 2012.

In 2013, the Council of State overturned the exemption decision on Ilisu, but the construction continued, NGOs said and local media reported.

“Dams, water and energy have been seen as the country’s top priorities by almost all its governments,” said Gunay. “That’s why, as investment projects were developed, settlements, natural and historic assets always came second.”

He said he doesn’t have regrets because things were out of his hands. But he said pointedly that former prime ministers should be regretful about the haste with which the project was realised.

Gunay also conveyed his observations that Erdogan was hasty to realise the project.

‘We saved Hasankeyf’

Yunus Bayraktar has no doubts about Ilisu - he has been here from the start of the development, and said the dam project and transformation of Hasankeyf was his master plan.

As a key Ilisu project coordinator for Nurol Construction, the Ilisu development consortium, he vows Ilisu is here to improve life for local people.

    'We came to offer employment to the region and improve the lives of Hasankeyf’s locals, some of who were living in caves, but it was the world’s NGOs against us'

    - Yunus Bayraktar, Nurol Construction
He said he went there and stayed in a tent for a week in 2003 with a comprehensive team and mapped it out. The locals were living in extreme poverty, he said.

Now, “they will get to live where hotels will cost $500-$700 nightly”.

According to Bayraktar, the consortium wanted to bring development and prosperity to Hasankeyf but faced a battle with the international NGO community that opposed the project.

“We came to offer employment to the region and improve the lives of Hasankeyf’s locals, some of who were living in caves, but it was the world’s NGOs against us,” he told MEE.

Many protests were organised around the world and in Turkey to save Hasankeyf by groups opposed to the development, including one that saw him and other members of the construction team surrounded in 2005.

“Guards set up a human wall and that’s how we escaped (demonstrators),” Bayraktar said, referring to the incident in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir province. “We fought against the world for this project for years.”

He noted he spent half of his four years in his post between 2003-07 in Europe, trying to make his case globally.

“We saved Hasankeyf,” he added.

Habitats at risk

But that is not the view of environmentalists. They see the dam and construction project as threatening an entire ecosystem in Hasankeyf.

Advocate group Hasankeyf Matters said that endemic species, as well as much of the town’s undiscovered biodiversity, faces urgent threat with the planned flooding.

According to John Crofoot, the NGO’s co-founder from the US and a part-time Hasankeyf resident since 2006, there’s much to lose. “The ecosystem is so extraordinary, it prompts newcomers to feel the magic instantly,” he said.

There are rare medieval gardens in Hasankeyf that have been critical to Islamic architecture and are now endangered, he added. “Even Konya doesn’t have such gardens. I can’t believe they want to lose that,” Crofoot told MEE.

But it’s more than the gardens that are at stake with the dam.

“Of the approximately 470 bird species known in Turkey, more than 130 have been observed in Hasankeyf. Twenty-five of these are threatened,” according to a statement by cultural and natural heritage conservation group Europa Nostra.

It continued: “The Ilisu reservoir would eliminate the steep soil slopes next to the river, which are used for nesting by the pied kingfisher (Ceryle rudis), one of the most endangered riparian bird species in Turkey.”

Previous mega constructions have caused major loss of habitats for rare species.

Environmental groups point to the activation of the Birecik Dam in Sanliurfa and the resultant problems the Euphrates River suffers from today as a clear warning of what is likely to happen to the Tigris once Ilisu is fully operational.

The endangered Bonelli’s eagle lost its breeding ground in Halfeti after the Birecik dam was built.

Now the Euphrates softshell turtle, the Mesopotamian barbel and the Diyarbakir spined loach face similar danger because of Ilisu.

The ecological warnings also come at an alarming period, as the Tigris-Euphrates Basin registers the second fastest rate of lost regional groundwater storage, according to Chatham House.

“We come down by the water to drink from it,” a Turkish song played on the bus to the town goes, one of many dedicated this region’s fresh water.

The rivers matter greatly for the local culture, which is mainly Kurdish, and was once widely shared by Syriacs, Armenians and Chaldeans in earlier times. Dicle, meaning Tigris, is a common name across Turkey.

Lack of Unesco protection

Despite its unique cultural and ecological heritage, Hasankeyf does not enjoy Unesco protection, points out environmental engineer Ercan Ayboga.

This is all the more remarkable given that it qualifies for nine out of 10 of the international heritage body’s criteria, explains Ayboga, the spokesperson for the Initiative to Initiative To Keep Hasankeyf Alive.

“There are sites that meet only one and get admitted,” he adds.

Unesco has stated it needs the Turkish government to apply to get Hasankeyf admitted to the heritage list, and said Turkey has not made an application in this regard.

Meanwhile, the European Court of Human Rights dismissed the appeal defending the town in February - an objection brought by five advocates; three professors, one lawyer and a journalist. After 12 years of evaluation, the ECHR said the matter exceeds its jurisdiction.

Ayboga said ECHR was “hiding out” with that decision while Unesco had failed to act.

“Turkey’s presence on the heritage committee seems to pressure Unesco, but that doesn’t mean Unesco can’t do more than just watch,” he said. “They can campaign.”

However there is only so much the world heritage body can do without official support from Turkey. “Unesco doesn't have a legal basis to take sides in this debate,” a Unesco official told MEE.

For a site to be considered for the World Heritage List, the member state would have to submit a nomination application, its website says.
Corporate power

While many locals are now resigned to moving out of Hasankeyf before it is submerged, in Istanbul campaigners against the dam have not given up. They still believe the town and the Tigris that flows through it can be saved, even at this late stage.

In Istanbul’s Taksim district on 25 June, more than 20 artists got on stage to amplify this message.

Neslihan Aksunger, a Hasankeyf advocate originally from the eastern Erzincan province, doesn’t believe the project aims to bring sustainable wealth to the people of the region as the official texts state, promising jobs, prosperity, gondola rides for tourists and pond fishing.

“Of course energy is important, but the government should seek and find other ways to provide that service to the public,” she said. “We know who wins here.”

“Was that the case in eastern Black Sea?” Aksunger said, criticising the hydroelectric power plants that have damaged natural habitats in the evergreen mountainous north.

Neslihan Aksunger says she does not believe a main reason to install the dam project is to empower locals through tourism, jobs as the Turkish government declares.

Since 2010, at least 203 hydroelectric power plants similar to Ilisu were built in Turkey’s Black Sea region. Many sparked a backlash from locals and environmentalists, who defied the projects endangering the country’s rare green zones. Some of those fights were won.

Dogu Eroglu, an investigative journalist who closely follows the environment beat in Turkey, said Ankara supports mega projects in energy and urbanisation that irreversibly change the local lifestyle and culture – and the reason is, he said, to cultivate state-corporate links.

“Mega projects enable the state’s capital transfers to take government-company relationships beyond the projects at hand. And in the future, the companies who hold the bids may be asked to take on certain roles in the government's favour,” Eroglu said.

“Which means that the central government is not buying electricity, but hopes to find itself new partners.” That is why, he said, finding alternatives to these mega projects does not fit the government’s goals. “They’re not really interested.”

The Ilisu consortium, which previously included German and Swiss companies, fell apart in 2009 after worldwide protests over environmental and cultural concerns and worries over the locals’ human rights. Then, private Turkish banks Garanti and Akbank, and state-owned Halkbank took over the financial burden.

Cengiz Holding - one of the three major Turkish groups involved in Ilisu alongside Nurol and Temelsu - was handed 7.9 billion Turkish liras ($1.38bn) worth of tenders in 2017.

Known to be close to the government, Mehmet Cengiz’s conglomerate saw the sum of tenders it won between 2011 and 2017 increase ten fold.

According to data provided by the World Bank Group, five out of ten companies that got the highest infrastructure bids from governments between 1990 and 2018 come from Turkey. Cengiz is one of them.

What’s the alternative?

But apart from stopping the dam through protests or legal action, could something else be built in its place that would benefit local people?

At the concert for Hasankeyf in Taksim, as eclectic music is played with songs sung in several of Turkey’s minority languages, videographer Omer Kara said a different kind of energy project could save the site.

“Hasankeyf is a great place to lay solar panels thanks to the sun there. They don’t have to destroy the environment or an ancient site to generate electricity.”

And it’s not just activists who are saying this.

The Energy and Natural Resources Ministry’s Solar Energy Potential Map (GEPA) shows Turkey’s solar energy generating potential across all 81 regions, with hotspots near the dam zone.

Could a comprehensive solar energy project provide energy on the scale that the dam aims to in Hasankeyf? The Turkish Mechanical Engineers Chamber’s Energy Study Group examined the question and came up with a startling answer.

Their results show that with solar panels in Hasankeyf, it is possible to generate the same amount of energy as Ilisu, using one-ninth of the dam’s area, and with minor if any historic or ecological destruction. Plus, solar is cheaper than the dam, which has cost 12 billion Turkish liras, according to officials.

    'Hasankeyf is a great place to lay solar panels thanks to the sun there. They don’t have to destroy the environment or an ancient site to generate electricity'

    - Omer Kara, videographer
The chamber released an analysis with the calculation exclusively for MEE and explained such infrastructure projects are basically pointless – that Turkey already has more than enough energy.

“While power consumption was 303 GWh in 2018, the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry states that 450 GWh of power can be produced using current systems,” the statement said.

Adding that there are plants still in the early phases of construction, by 2024, Turkey is set to massively exceed its needs in power production, the chamber added, and said the supply is 45 percent overcapacity.

“All these numbers show us is that neither the Ilisu plant that is destroying Hasankeyf nor the nuclear plant projects are out of necessity. The ruling government transferred 32.4 billion Turkish liras to the private sector by using energy policies in 2018.”

In Hasankeyf, Mehmet Basak lamented the fact that he is losing his ancient home and is not getting a new home to replace it. “We spent our entire lives here. This is basically torturing people. Isn’t it a shame?”

Only the next few critical months will tell if Hasankeyf, its residents, hundreds of ancient sites, and the river Tigris, will get a last-minute reprieve.

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Re: Hasankeyf is being destroyed MILLIONS Kurds do NOTHING

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:44 am

This is part of how we, in the UK, stopped Bealfour Beaty building the dam almost 20 years ago:

Heard the one about the Turkish dam?

Roll up, roll up, for the Ilisu Dam roadshow! It doesn't sound quite right, does it? Entertainment, economic development and irrigation aren't supposed to mix. But Mark Thomas is attempting to prove that they can, as the comic-turned-activist hits the road for the first time in five years.

Over the next three months, as the British government decides whether to give financial backing to the controversial development in Kurdish south-east Turkey, Thomas will tour the country with the story of his involvement in the campaign against the dam.

On the evidence of the show's rousing premiere in London three months ago, it will be like no other gig you've seen. "I want people to be affected by it," says Thomas. "I also want people to think that they can do something. Things are not written in stone."

He now writes a fortnightly column for the New Statesman, where his journalistic hero John Pilger is a colleague. Earlier this year, a leaked email revealed that Richard Caborn MP, then trade minister, had instructed civil servants to "gather background dirt on [Thomas] in order to rubbish him".

Thomas can't trace his conversion from straight comedy to a single Damascene moment. But he was always aware that comedy had the potential to have a huge impact. "So much of what we see and do in terms of cultural experience is just wallpaper. If you think of all the films you had to see because they were listed as unmissable, and you try and remember them now, you can't. What I always wanted to do was not be wallpaper."

With his current show, Thomas has realised that ambition. It's not comedy per se; it's an account, with laughs, of one campaign group's attempts to prevent the destruction of the ancient Kurdish town of Hasankeyf and the consequent displacement of 25,000 people. While it's one thing to read in the newspapers about Britain's complicity in the scheme, it's quite another to hear how Thomas and friends gatecrashed Ilisu contractor Balfour Beatty's AGM; or to supply background cheers while he phones trade minister Patricia Hewitt from the stage.

It has been said that Thomas is less amusing now he's more political. He concedes this point, citing the pressures of editing agitprop for TV ("You lose a lot of the gags, and it's heartbreaking"), but claims to be happy to make that trade-off. One critic called him a "dinosaur". "I just thought, political comedy doesn't die, you know? If it's about anything, it's about a sense of justice and of highlighting something that is wrong. It's always going to be around until we get to the glorious anarcho-Zen Shangri-la."

The immediate Shangri-la in his sights is an intact Hasankeyf. This cause isn't just his job, it's his obsession. Of his Kurdish colleagues on the campaign, he says, "I have these incredible friendships with all the people I work with. I have to earn the right to tell their story. If I'd screwed up in the eyes of any of those people, I'd be mortified."

Thomas's current concern is that his live show might become mechanical when performed nightly over several months. "To find myself going through the motions would be a disgrace." But it's unlikely. A government decision on the dam is expected in October, and Thomas's show will change daily to take developments on board.

"Any decision that the government makes, it's like, 'Great, that's more material.' If they turn down the application, we've got a practical example of a campaign actually working. But there's also a whole load of other stuff waiting in the wings, so we can use the story of Ilisu to illustrate what's happening elsewhere."

It must be a surprise for Thomas to find himself in a position of such political prominence; to have a say in the lives and livelihoods of 25,000 people. "The difference between where I started and where I ended up is really bizarre. But it's always been like that. There's a lifelong sense of, 'How the hell did I get here?' "

But he isn't the type to dwell on it. "I remember meeting this bloke in a little tea shop in Hasankeyf. I asked him a simple question: "How old are you?" And his eyes filled up and he said, "I'm 28." He knew that he looked 50. When he said 28, he was acknowledging how shit his life had been. My job is to go back and tell people that that's what happened.

"I suppose those moments kind of answer the 'Why am I here?' thing."

Link to Full Guardian Article

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/200 ... sfeatures1

Mark Thomas Comedy Product Series 4 Episode 9 ECGD and ILLISU Dam

https://youtu.be/OXBFpuUOD9Y

A group of people, including English people, Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan and at least one from Germany, among others, worked extremely hard to prevent the UK government from supporting Balfour Beatty's work on the dam

It is shameful that, in all the years since we stopped the dam being built, Kurds have done NOTHING to protect Hasankeyf
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Re: Hasankeyf is being destroyed MILLIONS Kurds do NOTHING

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:12 am

Hasankeyf to be Cordoned Off
and Closed to Traffic:


It is a Cordon of Destruction

Batman Governor has announced that the ancient city of Hasankeyf, which is soon to be engulfed by Ilısu Dam, will be cordoned off and closed to traffic as of October 8

“It is a cordon of destruction,” Hasankeyf Coordination has responded.


The Ilısu Dam is about to engulf the 12,000-year-old ancient city of Hasankeyf and its surrounding Tigris Valley.

The gates of Ilısu Dam were closed by the General Directorate for State Hydraulic Works (DSİ) authorities on July 18. Since then, the dam reservoir has been filled with water, albeit at a low level.

As reported by Mehmet Kızmaz from the daily Cumhuriyet, the Governorship of Batman, 16th Regional Director of the DSİ Ali Naci Köseli and 9th Regional Director of Highways Ökkeş Ceylan held a Coordination Meeting for New Hasankeyf Residential Area and made statements about Hasankeyf.

The meeting was also attended by representatives from the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (RTÜK).

Entries and exits won't be allowed

Speaking at the meeting, Governor of Batman Hulusi Şahin has stated that the road of the new Hasankeyf residential area will be opened to traffic as of October 8, 2019, announcing that once this road is opened, the old Hasankeyf road will be closed to traffic:

"When this road is opened, the old road of Hasankeyf will be closed to traffic. From this date on, there will be no traffic in the old residential area.

With the opening of the new road, we will place the old residential area completely in a security cordon. Entries and exits will not be allowed.

"For that reason, our citizens have to make their plans according to the calendar of [general directorate for] highways. Their time is running out."

'We don't accept it, don't keep silent'

Hasankeyf Coordination has made the following statement about the issue:

"The Governor of Batman has stated that Hasankeyf will be closed to traffic as of October 8, exits and entries will not be allowed and Hasankeyf will be completely placed in a security cordon.

"This cordon is a cordon for destructing 12,000-year history and Tigris Valley.

"DON'T ACCEPT IT, DON'T KEEP SILENT!"

https://bianet.org/english/environment/ ... estruction
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Re: DON'T ACCEPT IT - DON'T KEEP SILENT - SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:26 am

An ancient Turkish town could
disappear underwater in weeks


A historic Turkish town with thousands of residents is just weeks from destruction, after officials defied a decades-long campaign of opposition and pressed forward with plans to flood the region.

Hasankeyf will be cordoned off on October 8, the regional governor confirmed at a meeting on Saturday, leaving furious residents just over a month to vacate their homes


The town, which sits on the banks of the Tigris River in southeast Turkey, will be inundated as part of the construction of the Ilisu Dam, which will produce power for the region.
It is a project that has been mired in controversy for years and has lost the support of foreign governments and backers due to its impact on the ancient city.

Hasankeyf is estimated to be around 12,000 years old, potentially making it one of the oldest settlements in Mesopotamia

Among its historically significant features are the remnants of a 12th-century bridge, a 15th-century cylindrical tomb, the ruins of two mosques and hundreds of natural caves.
But the town's streets, homes and historical sites will be engulfed once a relocation process has been completed, with only its citadel remaining above water, according to Turkey's Foreign Ministry -- which says the dam will have several economic and environmental benefits.

Hulusi Sahin, the governor of the Batman province in which Hasankeyf sits, said at Friday's meeting that when a new road in the area is opened, the ancient town will be closed off.
"After this date, the old settlement will no longer have any traffic. With the opening of the new road, we will take the old settlement completely into the security circle," he said.

"Entry and exit will not be allowed... for this reason, our citizens have to make all their plans in accordance with the calendar of highways. Time is running out, we all have our duties."
The move was met with outrage from the numerous groups campaigning to save the town, with Hasankeyf Coordination calling it a "cordon of destruction."

But the decision appears set to move a lengthy saga towards a predictably bitter conclusion.
Countries including the UK removed their support for the Ilisu Dam as far back as 2001, and the project has attracted international attention on numerous occasions over recent decades.

In 2008, the dam lost funding from several European firms.

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/ ... index.html

What have Kurds done to protect this historic site:

    NOTHING

Kurds are too busy arguing amongst themselves, they have forgotten who their enemies are

Shamefully, Kurds inside Turkish borders have forgotten all the evils Turkey has done, and continues to do to them

Kurds even watch Turkish TV X(

Worse still, Kurds having migrated from Turkey still

Teach children TURKISH not KURDISH

Kurds have NO pride X(
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Re: DON'T ACCEPT IT - DON'T KEEP SILENT - SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:03 am

Despair as Turkey prepares to flood
one of the world's oldest cities


    TURKEY-POLITICS-CONSTRUCTION-DAM
The clock is ticking for an ancient city in southern Turkey that is about to be left underwater. Despite an outcry from locals and activists, the 12,000 years of human history in Hasankeyf will be completely submerged when a reservoir behind the new Ilusu dam is filled over the next few months.
But residents say it all comes at a very high price.

Hasankeyf, built on the banks of the river Tigris, is one of the oldest sites of human settlement in the world. The caves in the city date back to the Neolithic era, and some of the cave dwellings have continued to provide homes for locals until today. Civilizations that ruled over ancient Mesopotamia, the Byzantines, Arabs and Ottomans, all took turns leaving their mark on Hasankeyf over the millennia. The resulting landscape is nothing short of an open air museum.

The Ilusi dam and the Hydra Electric Power Plant to be powered by it were first devised in the 1950s, but legal battles meant ground wasn't actually broken until 2006. The fourth biggest dam in Turkey, it will help fulfil the country's energy needs and provide irrigation to the agricultural lands surrounding it. Once completed, the power plant will generate 4,200 gigawatts of electricity annually, similar in capacity to a small nuclear plant.

But residents say it all comes aBut residents say it all comes at a very high price.t a very high price.

The project will affect 199 settlements in the area and push thousands of people out of their homes and away from their livelihoods. The government has built a new town with 710 houses for the soon-to-be displaced, but some aren't happy about the forced relocation.

Firat Argun's family has lived in Hasankeyf for 300 years. His six children were born there, as was he. Within a few months, Argun will have to uproot his family and leave his small home to set up a new life. But residents say it all comes at a very high price.

"We were living with hope but we lost that now. They gave us three to five months," he told CBS News. "I need to start all over again. I feel like I have just arrived in this world. I don't know if it is going to be good or bad."

TURKEY-KURDS-WATER-HISTORY-TOURISM

One of last residents of historical caves overlooking the Hasankeyf valley sits in his home in Hasankeyf, in Turkey's Kurdish-majority southeast, Dec. 13, 2018. Getty

Akif Ayhan, who has a small rug shop in the old city market, says there are infrastructure problems in the new settlement, and he expects an exodus from the area.

"If they force people out of the old market many people will declare bankruptcy," he said. "It will cause major financial loss for the shopkeepers. We need an employment program but no such promise is made."

History uprooted

Hasankeyf is also a popular destination for history and archeology enthusiasts. News of the imminent flooding drove half of a million people visit the city last year. Local authorities have said all roads leading to the old settlement will be blocked from October 8, and entry by any means will be banned.

The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive has brought together activists and 86 local and national organizations, fighting against the dam project. They argue that while the dam and power plant are expected to last 50 years, the cultural and environmental damage caused will be irreversible.

John Crofoot, an American who lived in Hasankeyf for several years, has been an outspoken critic of the dam project.

"What has always set Hasankeyf apart is its living heritage; the ways of life of the local people offer a window into how earlier residents of this fabled city have interacted with the surrounding environment," he told CBS News.

    Authorities use police force to block free assembly and free speech as local residents incl elected representatives try to speak out to #SaveHasankeyf #HasankeyfİçinGeçDeğil https://t.co/SQ8Da6cPUH
    — John Crofoot (@jmcrofoot) August 7, 2019
Crofoot compares the "intentional destruction" of the city to the destruction of ancient monuments in the Syrian city of Palmyra by Islamic State militants in 2017.

Activists garnered thousands of signatures in an effort to pressure the government to seek UNESCO protected status for Hasankeyf, as a site of significant historical importance, but to no avail. They have exhausted all legal avenues in Turkey, and a final bid at the European Court of Human Rights was dismissed this year as "inadmissible."

"Like we are on death row"

The government has built a museum to house the ancient monuments in the new town, and is aiming to divert visitors there.

The artifacts, including the 1,100-ton, 15th century Zeynel Bey Tomb, have already been painstakingly loaded onto flatbed trucks and transported to the new display a mile from the old city.

TURKEY-HISTORY-ENVIRONMENT-KURDS

Like many others, Argun is now worn out by the long fight.

"We have been waiting like we are on death row," he said. "In few months, we will meet our end. I wish God would protect anyone from such a destiny."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/turkey-flo ... 019-08-27/
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Re: DON'T ACCEPT IT - DON'T KEEP SILENT - SAVE HASANKEYF

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:07 am

It cannot be right to destroy 12,000 years of history and miles of beautiful valley with it's unique flora and fauna, just to replace it with a dam expected to last a mere 50 years

Hasankeyf Coordination Calls for
Global Action on September 14


The Ilısu Dam is about to engulf the 12,000-year-old ancient city of Hasankeyf and its surrounding Tigris Valley

After the gates of the dam were closed last month and the water retention began, the Governorship of Batman announced this week that the old road of Hasankeyf will be closed to traffic in October.

The Hasankeyf Coordination, in an attempt to prevent the dam from becoming operational, decided to organize an action day on September 14.

The coordination released a statement, briefly saying the following:

Once again, saying 'It is not too late for Hasankeyf, we call on people and civil society organizations who love life and solidarity to participate in the global level on September 14, 2019

Action Day to Do/Draw/Say Something for Hasankeyf

"We are at a critical threshold for the common heritage of humanity. The water is being retained and Hasankeyf is attempted to be closed to the public. Let's take action for Hasankeyf and the Tigris River with our conscience and creativity, especially with the universal power of art!"

"Let's raise our voices against Ilısu, a project of destruction and exploitation, with the art we will produce and put forth on September 14 and before. In recent months, as many people and institutions in our country have begun to raise their voice for all living things and culture in the Tigris Valley, the government has had to postpone the water retention it announced at the Ilısu Dam for June 10, 2019. Despite all the protests, we realized on July 23, 2019, that the government has quietly launched water retention and wants to make us face a fait-accompli.

"But we never accept this now and at a later stage. The Tigris Valley hasn't been lost yet, there are many values we can save. Above all, there is hope to be gained for nature, culture and habitats.

"In Hasankeyf and Tigris, Kaz, Cudi and Munzur Mountains, Salda Lake, the Northern İstanbul and METU forests, and dozens of other places, we see that there is a struggle to live against the imposed destruction."

"Wherever you are in the world on September 14, take your instruments and play outside or at home and / or sing for the cultural and natural heritage of the threatened Tigris Valley".

"Draw Hasankeyf, Tigris and other threatened nature and habitat on canvas, paper, walls or floor using a brush, pen or your hands. We have something to do for Hasankeyf, which has a value above identities. Hasankeyf and Tigris are waiting for you and me. Let's not let a few companies rip out the heart of our region for the sake of making more money and for the government to develop policies of domination.

"Yes, it's time to do something for Hasankeyf. By sharing photos and videos of our work already with the hashtag #HasankeyfİçinGeçDeğil (It's not too late for Hasankeyf), or with the hashtag that will be announced on the social media accounts of the Hasankeyf Coordination at 8 p.m. on September 14, we can turn public attention to the cry of Hasankeyf and Tigris and stop the project."
About the Hasankeyf dam project

The construction of the Ilısu Dam was included in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), a state-sponsored regional development project that has been continuing for decades, in 1982.

After the project was included in the government's investment program in 1997, protests were staged both in Turkey and in European countries where the companies who financially support the project based in. as a result, the project was stopped in 2002.

When the Ilısu project came to the fore in 2005, the construction of the dam was tried to be prevented with a stronger campaign. As a result of this, the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive emerged.

Hasankeyf and the Tigris Valley are still there as a result of the struggle of tens of civil society organizations who oppose the construction of the dam. But the process has become more difficult lately.

In 2017, seven monuments were moved from Hasankeyf. Two monuments, one of them is the famous Tigris Bridge, were covered with rocks under the guise of 'restoration'.

More than 200 caves that were dug in Neolithic Era pioneers and large parts of the valley next to the castle were filled with excavation waste.

According to statements by authorities, dam gates will be closed and the dam will begin to fill with water. If the gates are closed, Hasankeyf will be totally submerged into water within four to eight months.

Source: Hasankeyf Initiative

https://bianet.org/english/environment/ ... ptember-14
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Re: SAVE HASANKEYF GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION 14 SEPTEMBER

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:24 pm

Global Action Day For Hasankeyf

Sing, play, paint or do something

Save the Tigris

Call for a Global Action Day “Sing, play, paint or do something for Hasankeyf” on 14th September 2019:

    Do not close Hasankeyf to public!

    Stop Ilisu Dam!

Once more we say “It is not too late for Hasankeyf” and call on to stand with actions for Hasankeyf and the Tigris River which are threatened by the Ilisu Dam Project.

All people and organizations in favor of life, nature and culture are called to join the Global Action Day “Sing, play, paint or do something for Hasankeyf” on 14th September 2019.

It is urgent to act with all our energy and creativity for this outstanding heritage and value; the Turkish government has started to fill the Ilisu Dam reservoir and it declared to close Hasankeyf for the public on 8th October 2019.

Because of the start of filling the dam reservoir, which progresses still slowly as it is summer, few villages have already been flooded and abandonded (of totally affected 199 villages). The risk for people, nature and culture becomes reality.

The last big river of the Middle East with its many tributaries could be destroyed soon, the local climate would change dramatically and would be a contribution to the global climate crisis.

The 12.000 years old town Hasankeyf with its heritage from two dozen cultures as well as the sparely excavated 300 archaeological sites are under biggest threat. Up to 100.000 people in the affected region would end up mainly in poverty if their livelihoods would be flooded.

This would be also the annihilation of a deep memory in Upper Mesopotamia. The adverse affects would be experienced also downstream where live the different people of Iraq (and a bit Western Kurdistan/Syria) and use the waters of the Tigris for thousands of years.

We managed to delay the announced start of the filling on the 10th June 2019 due to the broad protests by many people, organizations and artists. But on 23rd July 2019 the government started to fill the dam reservoir without any announcement in a silent way.

However, we reject all these steps and planned other steps. The Tigris Valley has not been lost yet, there is so much to save. In particular there is a hope to be won for the nature, culture and people.

Nowadays in our country there are struggles for life and solidarity in Hasankeyf and at the Tigris, the mountains of Ida, Cudi and Munzur, the Salda Lake, the forests of the North and the Middle East Technical University of Ankara and dozens other places against projects of destruction and exploitation.

Let’s raise our voice against this project of destruction, expoitation and hegemony using particularly art on the 14th September. You can play with your instrument and sing, paint on table, walls, paper or any area or perform with other means of art in the public or wherever else.

You can decide yourself for any other political action to stand for Hasankeyf and the Tigris and the other sites under threat. There is surely something which you can do for the universal heritage Hasankeyf and the Tigris.

Do not allow Turkey to destroy an important the heart of our region in order private companies make more profit and states deepen their policies of hegemony and repression.

Very urgently we will request not to close Hasankeyf to the population and public as it was announced by the governor of Batman province for the 8th October.

Also very urgent is to stop the filling of the Ilisu dam reservoir. This would be the basis to stop the Ilisu Project and to start a new participative and democrative process on the future of this region.

The stop of the Ilisu Project at this and any stage would be a big gain for everybody in our society!

You can already start to do actions in the next days and share their images and videos using the hashtags #HasankeyfİçinGeçDeğil and #SaveHasankeyf.

On 14th September at 8 pm (7 pm Central European Time) we will be present in the social media in a strong way with new hashtags. Follow our accounts and website (or contact us) in order to join this crucial action day in order to bring Hasankeyf and the Tigris into the public.

We do not dream when we claim to stop the destructive Ilisu Dam. We all are real like Hasankeyf and the Tigris River with its living beeings which need our solidarity! We never give up our HOPE!

We need the solidarity of everybody in our countries and in the world NOW.

And we need the creativity of ALL!

It is not too late, it will be never too late for Hasankeyf and the Tigris River!

Hasankeyf is our culture, Tigris our nature!

Hasankeyf Coordination
(Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive is part of this new big alliance)

Email: hasankeyfgirisimi@gmail.com
Twitter: @HasankeyfKoord and @hasankeyfdicle
Facebook: @HasankeyfKoord ve @hasankeyfyasatmagirisimi
Instagram: @hasankeyfkoord
hashtag: Until evening 14.9.2019: #HasankeyfİçinGeçDeğil and #SaveHasankeyf- on day of social media campaign we will share the new hashtags

More information (in English): http://www.hasankeyfgirisimi.net
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Re: SAVE HASANKEYF GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION 14 SEPTEMBER

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:55 am

Sadly, some Kurds are doing there best to destroy the idea of a united Kurdistan

Such people betray the entire Kurdish nation

I am furious that many people have tried to remove the name Western Kurdistan and replace it with Rojava

Rojava simply means WEST

At a time when it is extremely important to show Kurdish unity, part of that unity is being wiped away

Eastern Kurdistan
Northern Kurdista
Southern Kurdistan
Western Kurdistan

    ARE ALL PARTS OF KURDISTAN

The WORLD needs to know this

Kurds need to FEEL part of a great unified country

Knowing Kurdistan is one country ALL Kurds have a duty to PROTECT their great nation

ALL Kurds should protect Hasankeyf because

    HASANKEYF BELONGS TO KURDISTAN
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Re: SAVE HASANKEYF GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION 14 SEPTEMBER

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:25 pm

Women will Pay the Heaviest
Price in Migration Wave


The Coordination of Hasankeyf has published a report entitled "Ilısu Dam and hydroelectric power plant project Review Report" on the dam being built in the area including the ancient city of Hasankeyf in Batman province in southeastern Turkey

The report said that the survey work of the dam project began in 1954 and included the process and reflections that have come to date.

"One of the most important problems of Ilısu Dam, like many other dams, is that its economic life is no more than 50-60 years, " said the report, noting the effects of the Ilısu project on ecological, social and cultural assets. For 50 years of energy, 12 thousand years of history, will the Tigris River, which formed over millions of years, be destroyed?" he asked me. The report briefly said the following:

    * The Ilısu project is such a huge project in terms of geography that if it were to be implemented, it would leave a total of 199 villages in Batman, Siirt, Diyarbakır, Mardin and Şırnak provinces and Hasankeyf district completely or partially under the water. According to the State Water Management (DSI) figures, 85 out of 199 villages will be completely submerged. As many as 55 thousand people in 200 settlements will lose their homes and/or lands, of which 15 thousand will have to emigrate.

    * The population in the villages is composed entirely of Kurds whose identity is not recognized in the Constitution. Of these, two villages in Batman's Beşiri district have Yazidi faith. Hasankeyf district consists of Kurds and Arabs half-and-half. If we include the migrants from the Ilısu project, we can easily state that the number of people affected exceeds 100 thousand.
Economic impact

    * If there is migration to the cities, many social, economic and psychological problems will await the migrants. Those who are producers in rural areas will now be consumers in urban areas. Those who come to the cities will not be able to find work because of their professional position, as they are usually farmers, and if they do, they will work hard jobs with the lowest incomes.

    * Women will pay the biggest bill for coming to the city. This situation will disappear in the city as women take part in the production in the countryside. There's a good chance that women who don't know the city will be locked up between four walls.

    * The upper Tigris Valley where Ilısu Dam is planned is very important for the history of civilization. This region, known as Upper Mesopotamia, is an important part of the geography in which the first settlements in human history were formed, according to recent excavations and surveys. In other words, it is a critical area of the "Fertile Crescent," where the Neolithic Revolution developed.

    * So far, only 20 sites have been excavated in the Ilısu region, meaning that the overwhelming majority of archaeological sites will remain under the lake without being explored and will be destroyed. If the Ilısu dam is filled, the archaeological data finds and sites that we cannot predict and/or do not know about will be destroyed and lost before they are brought to light.
Ecological impact

    * If the Ilısu project becomes operational, the damage it will do to nature will be very serious in a large region. Ilısu project will create a 313 square kilometer Dam Lake and 136 km of the Tigris river itself, including 400 km of streams will be turned into an artificial lake.

    * According to the studies done by the University of Tigris, the number of fish species in the Tigris River in Diyarbakir and Batman provinces is expected to drop to an estimated three-five, while the number of fish species in the Tigris River is 40.

    * Again, a very important problem and danger is the expected decline in the water quality of the planned dam Lake. This condition, called eutrophication, is the extinction of living things in the dam lake by the reduction of oxygen in the wastewater due to biological and chemical substances.

    * In the high mountains in the last 25 years, the decrease of the already decreasing snowfall, as well as the extremes of rainfall regime will increase. A year can be very dry, a period of the following year can be very rainy. The rainfall regime will directly affect agriculture, resulting in reduced food security.

    * One of the most important problems of Ilısu Dam, like many other dams, is that its economic life is no more than 50-60 years. For 50 years of energy, 12 thousand years of history, will the Tigris River, which formed over millions of years, be destroyed
International impact

    * The Tigris River crosses the borders of Turkey and flows into the territory of the states we call Syria and Iraq today due to its natural structure. With the construction of the Cizre Dam, there is a possibility that by the end of the arid summers the water that will flow from the Tigris River into Iraq will be completely depleted* If the Ilısu project becomes operational, the damage it will do to nature will be very serious in a large region. Ilısu project will create a 313 square kilometer Dam Lake and 136 km of the Tigris river itself, including 400 km of streams will be turned into an artificial lake.

    * According to the studies done by the University of Tigris, the number of fish species in the Tigris River in Diyarbakir and Batman provinces is expected to drop to an estimated three-five, while the number of fish species in the Tigris River is 40.

    * Again, a very important problem and danger is the expected decline in the water quality of the planned dam Lake. This condition, called eutrophication, is the extinction of living things in the dam lake by the reduction of oxygen in the wastewater due to biological and chemical substances.

    * In the high mountains in the last 25 years, the decrease of the already decreasing snowfall, as well as the extremes of rainfall regime will increase. A year can be very dry, a period of the following year can be very rainy. The rainfall regime will directly affect agriculture, resulting in reduced food security.

    * One of the most important problems of Ilısu Dam, like many other dams, is that its economic life is no more than 50-60 years. For 50 years of energy, 12 thousand years of history, will the Tigris River, which formed over millions of years, be destroyed?

    * Under these circumstances, the control of the water that will be made possible on the Tigris River by the construction of the Ilısu Dam may adversely affect relations between the countries and hinder the development of regional peace. (RT/VK)

http://bianet.org/english/environment/2 ... ation-wave
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Re: SAVE HASANKEYF GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION 14 SEPTEMBER

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:27 am

Outrage as 12,000-yr-old Settlement
of Hasankeyf may Soon be Flooded


The 12,000 yr-old settlement of Hasankeyf, Turkey may soon be underwater, much to the dismay of citizens and historians. Government officials around the world are famous for approving projects that many citizens do not want, and nowhere is that principle more evident right now than in Turkey, in the province of Batman

Barring a miracle, the town of Hasankeyf is soon going to be under water, if a planned project to flood the region for a dam project goes ahead October 8th. But a citizens’ organization has been protesting the project for years, writing to officials to note the historic importance of the town and begging them to reconsider.

Just last week, Batman governor Hulusi Sahin held a meeting at which townspeople expressed their concerns, but he told the media: “After (October 8th) the old settlement will no longer have any traffic. With the opening of the new road, we will take the old settlement completely into the securities circle. Entry and exit will not be allowed…for this reason, our citizens must make their plans in accordance with the calendar of highways. Time is running out…we all have our duties.”

But people of this historic town are extremely unhappy with the decision to move ahead with the Ilisu Dam project, in spite of their vociferous complaints that have been aired for years. One local group, known as Hasankeyf Coordination, said in a recent release that it hopes the world will join their efforts to fight the project, even at this late stage.

Hasankeyf located along the Tigris River in the Batman Province of southeastern Anatolia, Turkey It is an ancient city, with roots going back 12,000 years. It was declared a natural conservation area by Turkey in 1981.

“It’s not too late to save Hasankeyf,” a post on its website says. “….stand with actions for Hasankeyf and the Tigris River, which are threatened by the Ilisu Dam Project. All people and organizations in favour of life, nature and culture are called to join the Global Action Day. Sing, play, paint or do something for Hasankeyf on September 14th, 2019. It is urgent (we) act with all our energy and creativity for this outstanding heritage…” Whether environmental and other supportive groups around the globe are listening remains to be seen, although many have supported the organization’s position over the years.

But it seems highly unlikely that Turkish officials will, have a sudden change of heart, as they claim the dam is needed to create and supply power in the region. But Hasankeyf is a historic area, and the town is one Turkey’s oldest, if not the entire region’s. The buildings in town have been steadily moved out by government workers, including the Artuklu Hamam, a centuries old bathhouse, which was relocated in 2018. Other old structures in town include a 15th century bridges and warrens of natural caves.

The project has been controversial for years, with the government arguing for it as a representation of progress and opposed parties arguing it will damage the area and the Tigris River, as Hasankeyf rests on its banks. Although the dam initially received a lot of international support, many nations, including the U.K., have pulled out because of the negative attention it has garnered.

The government continues to insist that the dam is needed, and that there will be few if any environmental side effects. The Foreign Ministry’s website acknowledges that “there has been some controversial opinion held of the effects of building this dam both socially and environmentally. Certain NGOs and pressure groups have taken issue with some of the aspects.”

However, the government insists the power it will generate is needed if the area is to thrive, and says that these groups hold misconceptions about the project’s potential damage to the Tigris and other countries. But certain European companies have pulled funding over the years for fear of looking bad, as even profit-based firms become more concerned with climate change and preserving history and less with revenue and progress.

It seems improbable that the Turkish government will suddenly have a change of heart by October 8th, particularly as so many historic sites have already been moved. Very soon, apparently, one of Turkey’s oldest settlements will be almost entirely underwater, and all that will be left are the keen memories people hold in their minds, and can envision whenever they want to remember what their town once was.

Link to Article - Photos:

https://www.thevintagenews.com/2019/09/04/hasankeyf/
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