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HASANKEYF: Letter to UK PM using Ilisu Dam as a weapon

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Re: 12,000 year old Hasankeyf dam will only last 50 YEARS

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue May 01, 2018 3:34 am

People on the streets for Hasankeyf and Sur

Appeals to save the two ancient heritage sites come from all over the world

Saturday 28 April had been chosen by ecologist and civil society organisations as the Global Day of Action for the survival of Sur and Hasankeyf.

People from all over the world joined the demonstrations and organised different and creative actions.

In Istanbul people gathered in Galatasaray Square calling for an end to this policy of eradication of culture and history. Life and environment defenders asked to end what they defined a “political, historical and cultural crime” and said “it is not too late to save Sur and Hasankeyf”.

The Global Action Day was organised by Mesopotamia Ecology Movement, the No Destruction Platform from Sur, Solidarity with Sur Platform, Hasankeyf Volunteers, Hasankeyf Survival Initiative, Munzur Environmental Association, Defense of the Northern Forests.

They all gathered under the slogan “Give Sur and Hasankeyf a voice” and carried banners and photographs of the two places.

Zeynep Tanbay, a member of the Solidarity Platform with Sur, read the joint press statement on behalf of the environment and life defenders.

Emphasizing that centuries old Sur and Hasankeyf faced the danger of extinction, Tanbay pointed out that these two cultural and natural heritage sites located on the shore of the Dicle River are subjected to a multidimensional devastation impossible to compensate for economic and political interests.

Describing the historical and cultural meanings of Sur and Hasankeyf, Tambay describes the history of Sur, which houses very ancient settlements, as old as 7500 years and was recognized as World Cultural Heritage.

Stressing that Sur has been preserved throughout 33 civilisations in history, has undergone a great destruction in the 21st century, Tanbay said that the aim of this was to erase the history and culture of the place. Tanbay also said that now the government wants to destroy the social memory, solidarity, socialization and historical identity of Sur, something which had been preserved for 10 thousand years. “They want to turn Sur into a city without soul, where only commercial-religious and tourist activities are made”, she said.

Tanbay noted that these problems would not be solved if the people or Sur are not returned their houses and neighborhoods: the city, she said, “must be returned to their legitimate residents”.

Speaking about Hasankeyf's 12,000-year old history, Tanbay pointed out that the Ilisu Dam and HEPP projects, which have been on the agenda for 21 years, will mean that Hasankeyf is doomed to be flooded.

Hasankeyf, with its more than 20 oriental and western civilizations and cultural traces, is a unique cultural heritage unlike any other in the world.

Finally, Zeynep Tanbay called on artists, intellectuals and writers, NGOs, political parties and trade unions, and especially the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and relevant international organizations, to act now for Sur and Hasankeyf.

If it was ISIS destroying Hasankeyf and Sur there would be a WORLDWIDE outcry, but because it is the much loved NATO country of Turkey, nobody prevents these disasters from taking place X(
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Re: 12,000 year old Hasankeyf dam will only last 50 YEARS



Re: Goodbye Hasankeyf - Hoşçakal Hasankeyf

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue May 08, 2018 10:40 pm

Goodbye Hasankeyf

A farewell atmosphere prevails in the historic Hasankeyf district, which will be flooded. In every household, there is only one topic spoken in every shop: the new Hasankeyf. Here is the last situation on the streets of the city where the breaths are held :((

The construction sites built on the river edges along the way continue to work in the Hummali. There is a farewell atmosphere in the historic district of Hasankeyf, which will remain under the reservoir waters. The 710 housing made by Toki in the new HASANKEYF will be moved almost complete. The new area at the foot of Raman Mountain, 1.5 kilometers from the old Town center, has also moved to the district of Kaymakamlik and State institutions. The ceremony will be held in May.

According to the timetable, Hasankeyfliler will be transported to new homes in June. It's not going to be that easy for people living in this area to move in. The inhabitants of the region, who will say goodbye to their homes, are having deep sadness of leaving the historic city on the other hand, dreaming of new lives to begin in a short time. There's another question in everyone's head. ' Who will be our new neighbors? ', ' What are we going to do with our trees? ', ' What do we do in new Hasankeyf? ' Here's the last situation on the streets of the historic city where the breaths are held.

The two sides of the Tigris, Hasankeyf's history dates back to the ancient period. Byzantine, Sassanians, Emeviler, Abbasians, Hamdaniler, Mervaniler, Arcutians, Eyyübis, Seljuks and Ottomans dominated the region's rich history. Hasankeyf, an important commercial center in the time of the Artusians, suffers greatly in the Mongol invasion. Castle, Bridge, al-Ririk mosque, Sultan Suleyman, KOC and Ulu mosques, small palace, Grand Palace, Hammam and Zeynel Bey tomb are coming to the beginning of centuries of historical structures. Hasankeyf, one of the most important tourism centres with its historical and natural beauties, is also heavily visited by domestic and foreign tourists. In the rocky hills and deep canyons due to its kalkerli structure, Hasankeyf Caves, which are composed of thousands of nature and people, attract particular attention.

Buildings to be moved individually

The tomb of Zeynel Bey, one of the most beautiful symbols of HASANKEYF, was recently moved to a large ceremony instead of the new settlement. As part of the work conducted jointly by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the General Directorate of State Water Works, the transportation of monuments planned to be carried in the historic Hasankeyf district under the Ilu Dam Lake will be transferred to the new Hasankeyf settlement unit. The work is in progress. There are six more important works planned to be transported. Artuklu Hamam, private Rizk Mosque, middle gate, Girls mosque and Suleyman Khan mosque will be transported to new places shortly.

Last tours made

After the creation of the works, the new Hasankeyf, including the museum, will be held in Archaeopark. Three works, especially the bridge feet, will be preserved in place, which is unable to move. Hasankeyf, which will remain under the Ilu Dam, is experiencing the influx of tourists. Domestic and foreign tourists who want to see Hasankeyf for the last time with the warming of the air are almost flocking to the county. Last photos are taken at the end of the historic city and the Tigris edge. The children who visited the region among the thousands of caves of Hasankeyf are trying to make the faces of the latest visitors with stories of semi-Kurdish and Turkish semi-English.

"will be moved in June"

In front of the main rock mass built up on HASANKEYF, the machines work continuously. The main rock is a gigantic filling of 4 million cubic meters, 528 m high, to avoid damage to the dam water. DSI 16 at the beginning of the studies. Regional manager Ali Naci Kösali, explaining the work of the people in the minds of the questions answered. Kötues: "Ilu Dam, Rock fill type will be the largest dam in the world. It will be Turkey's fourth largest dam in terms of energy production. There are about 3,000 inhabitants in Hasankeyf and around 500 houses. We plan to complete the transport of HASANKEYF in June.

After we take out the houses, we'll carry six more artifacts in the area. In Hasankeyf, we're going to do machine help to transport people. We'll carry the people's homes with trucks. We brought a tree-moving machine to transport the trees. " One of the most debated issues in HASANKEYF was the continuation of a fortress of historic caves, which was allegedly detonated by a rock with dynamite. Kösali responds to these allegations: "We are not destroying HASANKEYF, we are taking protection. We're filling the caves so there's no collapse. Our work is approved by the Ministry of Culture and the Protection Board of natural assets. "

My trees come with me

This migration is not the first for Hasankeyfliler, who is prepared to migrate from the city center. Residents of the region who live in the famous caves of Hasankeyf were removed from the caves in the 1960s and placed in the district center. The 68-year-old retired Zabita supervisor Haci Emin Turan, who had to emigrate after the intervening half-century, explains his concerns: "I was a 20-year-old lad when we came to Hasankeyf. Leaving here will be a red death for me. We're going to go and bleed. We're going to build a new life. The people of Hasankeyf earn their lives from tourism. What will our youth do after the region is underwater? The young need to be employed until the new order is achieved. Our second request is to give home to our youth who come to the age of marriage. Toki should also give home to our young marriages in exchange for his money. I want my trees to come to my new house.

"Solve problems with dialogue"

Hasankeyflans said there is no problem with the transport of the new HASANKEYF the artisan Sea stone, says it is ready to move. Stone, "I've been doing trades here for 20 years. It's not easy moving a county to another place. Especially if this county is a historical place like Hasankeyf. I am in the new Hasankeyf shop for shopkeepers, and I have the key to my shop from today. There are some vague spots in the moving process, awaiting assistance from the authorities. Hasankeyf is one of the most densely populated areas of the young unemployed population. Finally, we want to increase the number of shops built in the new HASANKEYF"

Link to original Turkish article and ass photos: ... -hasankeyf
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Re: We will Cry Tears of Blood as we say Goodbye Hasankeyf

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat May 12, 2018 10:55 pm

Open Letter to UK PM on Turkey’s use of water as a weapon of war

Please click to enlarge:

Mesopotamian Ecology Movement, Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive, The Corner House and Peace in Kurdistan Campaign have sent an open letter to the UK Prime Minister Theresa May on April 28, 2018, the Global Action Day for Hasankeyf and Sur.

In this important letter on the international/downstream impacts of Turkish dams and in particular on the Ilisu Dam it is stated that the Turkish government has used and is using dams as a weapon against downstream people.

We publish the letter below;

    Dear Prime Minister,

    The Ilisu Dam and Turkey’s use of water as a weapon of war

    We write as civil society organizations to draw your attention to the imminent impoundment by Turkey of the Ilisu Dam on River Tigris in contravention of international customary law relating to shared waterways, which requires negotiation and agreement on downstream flows. The announced impoundment of Ilisu comes at a time when Turkey is recklessly and illegally using water as a weapon of war against Northern Syria, denying those affected of their right to water, threatening to exacerbate the existing conflicts in the region and causing severe suffering to those who have already suffered seven years of brutal civil war. We would urge you to protest Turkey’s intended impoundment of Ilisu and to use all available diplomatic means to mediate a peaceful and fair settlement between Turkey, Syria and Iraq on the use of their shared rivers.

    Turkey has pushed ahead with the Ilisu Dam project despite widespread international opposition. Funding for the project was refused by the World Bank because of concerns over downstream impacts and, in 2001, the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department signalled its unwillingness to support Balfour Beatty’s intended participation in the project, due in large part to similar concerns. Several other European Union countries have also declined to fund the project.

    If the impoundment goes ahead as planned, the dam and its reservoir would destroy the livelihoods of up to 80.000 people, mainly Kurds, and flood the ancient city of Hasankeyf. Turkey’s current resettlement and cultural heritage salvage plans are wholly inadequate. Moreover, the downstream ecological impacts of the dam have barely been investigated, let alone mitigated.

    Both Syria and particularly Iraq rely on the Tigris River, which is the vital water source for agriculture and urban centres. The storage capacity of the Ilisu reservoir would allow Turkey to halt flow of the Tigris to Iraq for months; and, even if operated without hostile intent, the dam, when combined with proposed irrigation schemes, would severely reduce downstream flows, increasing levels of salts in the water and gravely violating the right to clean water for downstream riparian people. The impacts would reach as far as the southern Mesopotamian Marshes, an area that was drained under Saddam Hussain but which has now been restored. The Marshes have been approved as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016.

    Turkey has not signed the UN Convention on the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses but international customary law requires mutual agreement between Turkey, Iraq and Syria on the use of shared waterways. Turkey has failed to reach such an agreement with its riparian neighbours over the use of the Tigris. Instead it has taken advantage of conflicts in Iraq and Syria to push ahead with a dam building programme that threatens further conflict by allowing Turkey to control the flows of the Euphrates and Tigris. Ilisu is a central part of this political project.

    The Turkish government is now using its control over water as a weapon against those territories in Syria which have been liberated by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and which are now administered by the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. In the spring and summer of 2017, as well as in recent weeks, Turkey cut the flow of the River Euphrates significantly, violating an agreement signed with the Syrian Government in 1987 to ensure a downstream flow of at least 500 m3/s at the Turkish-Syrian border. As documented in the attached report, only half of the agreed water amount was released.

    There are therefore well-founded fears that the impoundment of Ilisu will be similarly used as a weapon of war, further exacerbating conflict in the region. The Turkish government says that the dam is nearly completed; but, in our view, it is not too late to reconsider. There is no urgent need for the planned electricity from the Ilisu Project in Turkey and protests on the ground and internationally continue to attract increasing support.

    We request that the UK use its influence on Turkey to press for the impoundment of the Ilisu Dam Reservoir to be halted until agreements on downstream flows in the Tigris have been reached with the Iraqi and Syrian governments, the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria as well as affected people and critical civil society organizations in Turkey and Iraq. Negotiations should include the option not to operate the almost completed Ilisu Dam project. We believe that the UK can, and should, act in a mediating role.

    We look forward to hear from you and are open to share more our positions on the Ilisu Project.

    Yours Sincerely

Mesopotamian Ecology Movement
Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive
The Corner House
Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Solidarity Economy Association
Brighton Kurdistan Solidarity
Kurdish People’s Assembly UK
Roj – Kurdish Women’s Assembly UK
Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) UK
Jullie Ward MEP
Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary
Clare Baker, International Officer UNITE
Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director
Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU)
Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer, GMB

Steve Sweeney, International Editor, Morning Star
Thomas Schmidt, Secretary General, ELDH European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights
Martha Mundy, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, LSE (in a personal capacity)
Yagmur Savran, Researcher at University of Bradford
Olga Vlagkouli, Project Architect
Rahila Gupta, journalist and writer
Dr Derek Wall, Lecturer in Political Economy, Goldsmith College
Dr Felix Padel, Oxford University
Lynn Wilde, University of Liverpool
Dr. Tom Wakeford, Coventry University
Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner
John Hunt, journalist
Jonathan Bloch, writer
Antony Shephard, graphic designer
Les Levidow, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)
Stephen Smellie, Deputy Covenor, UNISON Scotland
Margaret Gallacher, Chairperson, South Lanarkshire Unison and Secretary of Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan
Dr Sarah Glynn, Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan
Sarah Parker, translator
Dr Dylan Musphy, teacher/historian
Fatma Kayhan, writer
Amber Huff, researcher
Salima Tashdemir, researcher
Pinar Akpinar, Sussex Kurdish Community
Jo Magpie, Journalist
Maude Casey, writer
Helen O’Neill, Social Worker
Brian Drummond, Minister
Martha Salter
Becky Hobbs
Meredith Tax, author, US
Kariane Westrheim, Professor, Department of Education, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Norway
Eirik Eiglad, New Compass Press, Norway
Dr. Gina Lennox, Alison Buckley, Zirian Fatah – Kurdish Lobby Australia

This letter and the campaign has our full support
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