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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:42 pm
Author: Anthea
It’s not too late to save Hasankeyf!

    June 28, 2019 - Posted in 7 Most Endangered
At their meetings that were held in Athens on 18-19 June 2019, the Board and Council of Europa Nostra deplored the lack of positive news and developments in Hasankeyf. The present public statement is the result of these discussions and serious concerns. It contains numerous reasons why Europa Nostra strongly believes that the Turkish authorities should refrain from flooding Hasankeyf and its surroundings.

Despite the significant degradation of individual monuments, including the Citadel mount, Europa Nostra recalls that Hasankeyf and its surroundings still form one of the most important archaeological and architectural sites in Europe, boasting rich biodiversity and 12,000 years of human history.

The Neolithic mound at Hasankeyf, now only partially excavated, is the site of one of the earliest organized human settlements discovered anywhere. For all these reasons, Europa Nostra reiterates its belief that it is incumbent not only on Turkey but on the entire international community to ensure that this treasure is safeguarded.

In 2016, Europa Nostra listed the Ancient City of Hasankeyf among on the 7 Most Endangered sites in Europe. As Hasankeyf remains one of the most valuable witnesses of Islamic cultural heritage in a country that is a member of the Council of Europe, Europa Nostra firmly believes that it should be conserved not only according to the national law but also according to international and European conventions and recommendations.



PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:57 pm
Author: Anthea
It is not too late to save Hasankeyf

On 11 June a petion was launched in English against the Ilisu Dam, aimed at the Turkish government

The text is based on the call made by the Keep Hasankeyf Alive and Mesopotamia Ecology Movement on 15 May, which was signed by 121 organizations so far

The petion can be signed here: ... 8629%C2%A0

On 14 July, like every here, people in Europe and beyond join the “big dip” into rivers and lakes as part of a campaign for the conservation and renaturation of our freshwater ecosystems.

This year the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive and Mesopotamia Ecology Movement are calling on all activists to go to Hasankeyf on 14 July. “The magnificient 12,000 year old town Hasankeyf and the whole Tigris River are threatened by the Ilisu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant Project in the Kurdish southeast of Turkey”, recalled the statement.

Ilisu is one of the most controversial dams in the world for many reasons, each of which should be enough on its own to halt this project of destruction, exploitation and political hegemony.

The ‘open-air museum’ Hasankeyf, with its 5,500 caves, 550 monuments and traces of 24 cultures, is of so much of universal value that its flooding would be a kind of ‘cultural genocide’. This region is Upper Mesopotamia, where at least 400 other archaeological sites are under threat by the dam, as well as its unique culture. ... keyf-36075


PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:53 pm
Author: Anthea
Historic Hasankeyf castle in southeastern
Turkey to welcome visitors soon

The historic Hasankeyf castle in a thousands-of-years-old town in southeastern Turkey's Batman province will be taken under full-scale protection against rising water levels from the reservoir of a recently-established dam in the nearby area, while ancient artifacts within the castle will either be transported or reinforced and displayed to visitors

Protection and consolidation works on the castle of Hasankeyf, which bears the same name as the ancient town itself, were initiated after Turkey's fourth largest dam the Ilısu Dam was inaugurated.

The Hasankeyf Castle, which was home to several civilizations from over 12,000 years ago up until the 1970s, now houses many ancient and historical artifacts and buildings, including those from Ancient Rome, the Artuklu Dynasty and the Ottoman Empire.

To protect those artifacts and buildings from flooding, a one-kilometer-long and 60-meter-high wall has started to be built around the castle within the scope of protection efforts.

After the works are completed, the castle will be opened to local and foreign tourists, and a harbor will be built for easier access to the historical citadel.

Hasankeyf District Governor Haluk Koc told Anadolu Agency that the Yusuf Ağa Mansion, the Great Palace (Büyük Saray), the Small Palace (Küçük Saray), Ulu (Grand) Mosque, caves and historic mausoleums located within the castle will also be restored and opened to visitors.

Saying that there were waterways built within the castle to meet settlers' water needs and they were used until the 1970s, Koç noted that they plan to reactivate those waterways.

"When the works are completed, there will be a beautiful landscape," said Koç, adding "tourists coming here will have the opportunity to visit both the castle and many other places in the lake area."

Hasankeyf is one of the oldest continually-settled areas in the world. It is located right on the banks of the Tigris River, the area around which is known as "the cradle of civilization." The town's surrounding areas are home to thousands of man-made caves carved out of limestone cliffs as well as hundreds of medieval monuments, making the area an open-air museum. ... itors-soon


PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:05 pm
Author: Anthea
Actions for Hasankeyf multiply

As part of the actions leading to the 'Big Jump' in Hasankeyf on 14 July, artists and activists have been promoting activities all over Europe and Turkey

Europa Nostra published a statement at the end of its meeting in Athens.

The document said: "Despite the significant degradation of individual monuments, including the Citadel mount, Europa Nostra recalls that Hasankeyf and its surroundings still form one of the most important archaeological and architectural sites in Europe, boasting rich biodiversity and 12,000 years of human history.

The Neolithic mound at Hasankeyf, now only partially excavated, is the site of one of the earliest organized human settlements discovered anywhere. For all these reasons, Europa Nostra reiterates its belief that it is incumbent not only on Turkey but on the entire international community to ensure that this treasure is safeguarded."

Europa Nostra deplores the fact that over the course of two years, Turkish authorities have removed Hasankeyf’s most invaluable, symbolic and visually striking architectural elements. These actions, said the statement "have significantly altered the historic landscape and caused irreparable damage to individual monuments of Hasankeyf."

Action at the Museum of Louvre

An Hasankeyf Action has been organised at the Louvre Museum. Four artists belonging to a group called “Compagnie bien a vous Armanc Kerborani”, Juan-Golan Elibeg, Thomas Lamouroux, Zehra Dogan and Aurélie Gerardin, organised a performance to call on people to do whatever they can to help Hasankeyf.

Artists for Hasankeyf

Over twenty singers and bands performed for Hasankeyf in Beyoğlu, Istanbul.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:14 pm
Author: Anthea
Small Palace in Hasankeyf at risk of collapsing

The historical "Small Palace" in 12,000-years-old Hasankeyf, is at risk of collapsing

The ancient site is to be submerged due to the construction of the Ilisu Dam.

Works around the historical Hasankeyf Castle and the Tigris Valley continue, affecting the old buildings.

The fortress and the Small Palace, which is covered with concrete, are closed just above the harbor which was built in order to reach the castle when it would be inundated. The fortress wall is trying to be "reinforced" with concrete and iron.

It was learned that there was a risk of collapse for the walls of the palace due to the vibrations of heavy machinery.

If Hasankeyf is inundated, an islet will be formed in the upper parts of the castle. A harbor is set up next to the castle walls in order to visit this island.

The foundations of the port recently started with concrete pouring. The pressure created by heavy machinery creates the risk of collapse in the historic Little Palace.

It has been learned that the concrete-filling work has been suspended since Monday due to the risk of collapse of the Small Palace.


For 12.000 years, Hasankeyf has been a site of uninterrupted human settlement. With the labour of dozen cultures this outstanding universal site with its 5500 caves and hundreds of monuments has been created with an unique embedding into the Tigris valley.

Recent excavations show that Hasankeyf lays atop of a deep, uncovered cultural heritage and is the twin of Göbeklitepe, a sanctuary site 225 km to the west with a past of 12.000 years. Independent researchers state that Hasankeyf and the surrounding Tigris Valley fulfill 9 out of the 10 UNESCO criteria for a World Heritage Site.

The Ilisu Project was and is a completely wrong and destructive investment. That is why since the beginning the project was strongly opposed not only at the local level in Turkey, but also in Iraq, Syria and globally. Contrary to official claims, the dam would have no socio-economic or any other benefit for the vast majority of the mainly Kurdish society in the affected region. Up to 80.000 people would loose their livelihoods and end up in poverty.

The dam would contribute to the deepening of the assimilation of affected Kurds in the 199 villages and also Arabs from Hasankeyf town. The rich biodiversity of the Tigris River ecosystem – still mainly natural – would be degraded significantly.

The Ilisu Project would also gravely affect the downstream stretches of the Tigris, seriously jeopardizing the water supply of major Iraqi towns, and Iraqi agriculture would be put under serious risk, in particular the UNESCO site of Mesopotamian Marshes in southern Iraq would face reduced downstream flows.

The Ilisu Dam would increase political conflicts on regional level.


PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:22 pm
Author: Anthea
All set for the 'Big Jump' in Hasankeyf

On Sunday 14 July the announced "Big Jump" promoted by Keep Hasankeyf Alive will take place in the 12,000 years old site

Click to enlarge:

The initiative is part of the activities for the defense of the Tigris Valley and its people, flora, fauna and culture.

Solidarity actions will be done in Istanbul, Antalya, Ankara, Dersim, Sarajevo, Valparaiso/Chile, Berlin, Hamburg, Mainz, London, Kopenhagen, Manlleu/Catalonia, Rome.

Prior to the 'Big Jump', on Saturday, 20 HDP deputies and co-mayors from the surrounding municipalities will gather in Hasankeyf in order to protest the Ilisu Dam and demanded to stop the project.

On 10 July, 24 civil society organizations from Iraq have sent a letter to the Turkish Government demanding it to abandon the decision to flood Hasankeyf.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:24 pm
Author: Anthea
Play against destruction in Hasankeyf

Demolitions continue in Hasankeyf, a city with a 12 thousand year old history, as the site waits to be flooded due to the under construction Ilisu Dam. Many sections of society protest the planned flooding of the historic site. One of the protesters is Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul Chapter Culture and Arts Commission Spokesperson Mehmet Ucar, who is writing a play titled Hasankeyf to create awareness against the destruction

Ucar said they staged a part of the play for documentation due to the continued destruction in Hasankeyf and time running out until the flooding.


Ucar said he aimed for a two act play when he started to write: “I still continue to write the play. But the destruction in Hasankeyf continues every day, and the dam is going to start collecting water. At that point I believe we must create awareness at once. So we needed to act fast. We filmed 15 minutes of the play I wrote and compressed that to 5 minutes for easy sharing on social media. But as I said, this is a two act play and it will meet the audiences in fall.”

Ucar said Hasankeyf is an important cultural center for human history: “Hasankeyf is a play based on awareness against looting and destruction. The great Ali Yildirim is staging the play.” Ucar said when the play is completed it will be staged by a larger company.


Ucar said Hasankeyf has a history of 12 thousand years: “The dam is going to destroy that. What they want to destroy is the Meds, the Persians, Sumerians, Assyrians. Hasankeyf is the common legacy of human history. What stands to be destroyed is our history, memory and legacy. That is why it is important to keep Hasankeyf from flooding. With this in mind, we call on all to be aware."



PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:43 pm
Author: Anthea
A Message on Ilisu Dam From Iraqi
Civil Society to the Turkish Government

    Save the Tigris
Humat Dijlah Association (Tigris River Protectors) – the Iraqi partner for Save the Tigris Campaign – and a wide range of Iraqi civil society organizations, movements, and individuals (signed below) address the Turkish Government to abandon the decision to flood the Ilisu Dam because of the serious environmental effects that will affect directly on Iraq. Where the water supply to major cities and Iraqi agriculture will be at the risk of drought. While the process of filling the dam threatens the natural places that have a diverse biological dimension in Iraq, in particular, the Marshlands, which is one of the natural and heritage sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List that is populated by an essential component of Mesopotamia in southern Iraq.

Save the Tigris Campaign has been working for years to protect the Tigris River from the effects of dams that pose a danger to the water levels, and therefore this effect extends to the environment of Iraq as a whole, as there is a close relationship between Climate change and water shortage. In our region, as heat temperature increases, the high evaporation rates of the water increases, which coincides with the lack of rainfall. As dams hold large quantities of water within large areas, they are clearly increasing evaporation and thus causing additional water scarcity.

The scarcity of water in Iraq is one of the most important challenges faced by human and the environment in the region, and certainly, this scarcity is due to the climate change and unsustainable policies to manage the water that your country and our country depend on, which are riparian countries on the Tigris River and its tributaries. Instead, we invite you, the Turkish government, to review the damage of the dam. We also call for opening new horizons of cooperation and negotiation with the Iraqi government, in which the shares of the two riparian states are determined, like; how to distribute the damage, each state’s obligations and rights to its neighbor, to take the Convention of the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses of the United Nations of 1997 into consideration, and most importantly take into consideration the texts that says ” Parties of this Agreement take into account the problems that affect many international watercourses and caused by the increase in pollution and consumption of water”. And also, “the importance of international cooperation and good-neighborliness” as stated in article VI “factors relating to equitable and reasonable utilization” and article VII “Not to cause significant harm”.

We also should refer to 1972 convention concerning The Protection Of The World Cultural And Natural Heritage, which states, in Article 4 “Each State Party to this Convention recognizes that the duty of ensuring the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural heritage referred to in Articles 1 and 2 and situated on its territory, belongs primarily to that State. It will do all it can to this end, to the utmost of its own resources and, where appropriate, with any international assistance and co-operation, in particular, financial, artistic, scientific and technical, which it may be able to obtain”.

Also we should mention the United Nations 1992 convention on biological diversity, which contains two important articles, the first one is Article 11 (Incentive Measures: Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate, adopt economically and socially sound measures that act as incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of components of biological diversity). Also, article 14 (Impact Assessment and Minimizing Adverse Impacts). These articles indicate that each contracting party should aim to preserve biological diversity and take the necessary measures to protect this diversity and to eliminate all the threats using any possible mean.

We, Humat Dijlah Association, Save the Tigris Campaign, and Iraqi Civil Society express our hope that the Turkish government will take this message of great importance in studying and analyzing the environmental and humanitarian consequences that will be left by the process of the flood of the dam, not only to Iraq but to all the riparian states on the Tigris River.

Signed by:

• Humat Dijlah Association (Tigris River Protectors \ Iraq)

• Save the Tigris Campaign

• The Iraqi Social Forum

• Dhi Qar Social Forum

• Sports Against Violence/ Iraq

• Nawaah Center for Development and Human Rights

• Tikrit Youth Council

• Tikrit Center for Volunteerism

• Tikrit Social Forum

• The Peace Forum in Hit

• Shaykofian Organization for Development and Culture

• Babel Social Forum

• Diwaniyah Environment and Peace Forum

• Humat Alfurat (Euphrates protectors) – Basrah

• Humat Alfurat (Euphrates protectors)-Hit

• Humat Alfurat (Euphrates protectors) -Ramadi

• Humat Alfurat (Euphrates protectors) -Falluja

• Humat Alfurat (Euphrates protectors)-Nasiryah

• Humat Dijlah (Tigris Protectors) – Diyala

• Humat Dijlah (Tigris Protectors) – Maysan

• Al-Ghad Foundation for Dialogue and Development

• Iraqi Observatory for the Prevention of Extremism

• Information Center for Research and Development

• Waterkeepers Iraq-Kurdistan ... qxNtyllZSw


PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:36 pm
Author: Anthea
German police briefly detain Kurdish
artist protesting destruction of Hasankeyf

The 12,000-year-old town of Hasankeyf in Turkey’s Batman province has made international headlines since 2014, following news that the ancient site, home of 2,500 people today, will be submerged upon completion of the Ilisu dam just about 25 miles downstream from the town

Turkish authorities have been pushing ahead with the transportation of historic artefacts in Turkey’s southeastern ancient town and plan to move several of the 300 monuments from Hasankeyf, despite a decision from the country’s Council of State to cancel the tender for the move.

Doğan’s artwork documents rights abuses in Turkey while calling attention to the problems of the country’s Kurds, who make up around 15 percent of the population.

In July of 2017, Turkey sentenced the artist to two years and nine months in jail for “exceeding the limits of criticism” over her depicting the destruction of the southeastern town of Nusaybin by state security forces. ... -hasankeyf


PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:41 pm
Author: Anthea
Turkey’s Ilisu Dam is a war on culture and
nature with catastrophic consequences

CULTURAL and natural heritage are frequent casualties of war – often deliberately so. Sometimes, as in the predominantly Kurdish areas of south-east Turkey, the “war” may not be officially recognised as such, but that can make the cultural war even more intense

With so many human casualties, it can seem an indulgence to concern oneself with other losses, but, especially for those who daily risk their lives, culture and nature matter. And it is hard to envisage a greater deliberate attack on both culture and nature than the Ilisu Dam, which, when it is filled – and Turkey is threatening to start this at any moment – will drown the 12,000-year-old town of Hasankeyf and surrounding archaeology, disrupt the ecology of the Tigris valley and affect the water supply of everywhere downstream, including the Iraqi marshes.

The dam has displaced approaching 80,000 people – including those forcibly evacuated earlier and nomadic communities who don’t appear in official counts.

This is Upper Mesopotamia, an area often described as the cradle of civilisation. Hasankeyf caves were first used in the Neolithic period, 12,000 years ago. Later, it became an important stop on the Silk Road, and the hugely picturesque town, until the forced displacements, was still a living community of Kurds and Arabs. It is an architectural record of developments through the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic periods. Hundreds of known archaeological sites will vanish under the water – along with many more yet undiscovered – and the history they could tell will vanish with them.

All that will be left above the surface will be a small part of Hasankeyf fortress, with new tourist landing stage, and seven monuments that have been relocated to sit together, out of context, in a sterile “cultural park”.

When the waters rise, 136km of unique river ecosystem will be lost forever, with unpredictable consequences; 313 square kilometres of land will be flooded, and there are fears for the viability of adjacent farms as salination levels alter.

Like so many unwanted developments, the Ilisu Dam is being promoted through green-washing and promises of economic growth. It is expected to produce 1200 megawatts of electricity, but, as numerous ecological organisations have pointed out, power can be produced without approaching this level of environmental destruction, especially with recent progress in solar technology.

Turkish ethnic nationalism has ensured that Kurdish areas have generally seen little by way of investment. A massive project for 22 dams (now increased to 29) was first proposed for south-east Turkey in the 1970s.

But, although it was promoted as bringing development to an undeveloped region, many Kurds see this as an example of exploitation by the Turkish government in Ankara.

Like most of the electricity, the great majority of the economic gains are predicted to flow out of the area, with the only local beneficiaries being a few larger businesses and big landowners.

Compensation for those losing their homes is inadequate, particularly when compared with the cost of homes in the purpose-built new town, and for those who own no land there is nothing to help them restart their lives.

Protesters have come from Iraq and Syria, downstream from the dams, as well as from a wide range of local and international organisations.

Even hard-nosed European credit agencies have taken notice of the widespread opposition, and of Turkey’s failure to meet environmental, social and cultural conditions, and have withdrawn funding from the Ilisu Dam. The Turkish government has been left to organise construction and support the close to €2 billion cost almost on its own.

The area is heavily guarded and protest is severely restricted, as has become normal in Turkey, especially in the Kurdish south-east.

This is about more than electricity. The Ilisu Dam is also a mechanism for political power, both within and outwith Turkey’s borders.

Control over the water supply gives Turkey political leverage over its downstream neighbours.

For the Kurds in Turkey, the devastation of the region’s culture and ecology, and the uprooting of settled communities, are clearly seen not as incidental casualties of development, but as part of a decades-long attack on Kurdish identity. Ethnic nationalism is a foundational ideology of the modern Turkish republic, and Kurdish resistance to attempts at forced assimilation has been met by harsh measures.

Kurds have described the situation in south-east Turkey as internal colonisation, and their struggle for freedom from this colonial control has seen guerrilla fighters take on the forces of the state, as well as – repeatedly crushed – attempts to defend Kurdish culture and existence through political means.

Forced clearances of Kurdish villages have been a recurrent instrument of state control, and Turkey has also demonstrated its readiness to destroy historical monuments in Kurdish areas, as well as outlawing and attacking less material forms of Kurdish cultural expression.

Suppression of minority culture – from language to buildings – is, of course, a standard form of political control.

Turkish government destruction in the Kurdish region goes way beyond their more general readiness to sacrifice historical areas to the property speculators, as demonstrated by the fate of the 4000-year-old walled city of Sur.

Here, support for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and attempts at creating a level of autonomous organisation, have been punished by government appropriation and forced evacuation of the entire old city, and by the physical destruction of some 40% of its built fabric.

Part of the destruction was the result of brutal military crackdown, but most postdates this, and has been accompanied by ethnic cleansing of the inhabitants, as well as real-estate speculation.

One of the casualties of the Turkish invasion of Afrin, in early 2018, was Ain Dara temple. Although it was surrounded by countryside and of no military significance, Turkish bombs reduced its 3000-year-old lion statues to rubble.

Kurdish sources have also documented how the Turkish government has resorted to a scorched-earth policy in its attempt to make Kurdish areas unsustainable. Trees and crops have been deliberately burnt in both south-east Turkey and north-east Syria.

While Daesh sleeper cells have claimed responsibility for the majority of the Syrian fires, and some suspicion has also fallen on supporters of Assad’s Syrian regime, video evidence shows Turkey contributing to this deliberate economic sabotage.

But the Kurds are far from giving up hope. Even at this 11th hour, the defenders of Hasankeyf are continuing to make their case. There have been international protests, including one in London that was met with some heavy-handed policing. And today, an international gathering of activists will be drawing attention to what is at stake by taking a protest jump into the waters of the still unflooded Tigris.

For more information please visit ... sequences/


PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:41 pm
Author: Anthea
Riot police try to stop protest against hundreds
of historic villages being wiped off the map

The construction of the Ilısu dam in southeastern Turkey threatens to displace 78,000 people and destroy one of the oldest continually inhabited places on earth

Turkey wants to fill the dam’s reservoir as soon as possible. But campaigners say international solidarity action is delaying the process. The dam is being built by international and Turkish companies in Bakur – the part of Kurdistan within Turkey’s borders. And as The Canary previously reported, the filling of the dam would see hundreds of Kurdish villages submerged under water, literally wiping them from the map. Among these is 12,000-year-old Hasankeyf, which has thousands of neolithic caves and hundreds of ancient monuments.

The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive (ITKHA) called for global actions against the dam on 14 July. The event was dubbed the ‘Big Jump’. The ITKHA called on international activists to come to Hasankeyf and symbolically jump in the Tigris river. The ancient town of Hasankeyf will be flooded if the dam is completed.

Suppression of protest

The governor for the area, however, was not prepared to allow even symbolic protest against the dam to take place. He announced that protests would not be allowed without permission. And police soon lined the banks of the Tigris river to prevent people from jumping in the water.

The ITKHA, along with deputies and co-mayors from Turkey’s People’s Democratic Party (HDP), made speeches at the protest. Many international activists joined them, including a delegation from Wales and England. Labour MEP Julie Ward attended the protest and made a speech.

One of the delegates from Wales told The Canary:

    On our way in to Hasankeyf, we were all searched. We eventually got through to a cafe on the banks of the Tigris [where the ‘Big Jump’ was to take place]. There were 100-150 police and army who surrounded us by the river banks. But the resilience of all the people [at the protest] made me feel comfortable. Some activists, including members of the HDP, negotiated with the police and Julie Ward helped. The ridiculous image of the armed police spread out down the river next to the cafe’s parasols will stick with me.
The police wouldn’t allow the ‘Big Jump’ to take place in Hasankeyf, so the activists decided to travel 50km to the Batman river to carry out their action.

International solidarity

The ITKHA also called on international activists to organise their own ‘Big Jumps’. According to a statement from the initiative, activists held solidarity events in Germany, Catalonia, Italy, Britain, Switzerland, Brazil, Iran, Bosnia, Iraq, and the US.

Activists also held solidarity actions all over Turkey and Bakur against the dam. The ITKHA says that this growing local support is crucial to the campaign against the dam.

‘It’s not too late to save Hasankeyf’

The campaign against the Ilısu dam has been ongoing for over 20 years. But the coming weeks and months are critical for the region. The ITKHA says this is the beginning of a final push to save Hasankeyf:

    One very important slogan of the successful Big Jump action day was “It is not too late for Hasankeyf”! With this [we] express that it is never too late to stop the Ilisu Dam which would destroy the 12,000 year old town… flood the Tigris valley with its rich biodiversity and destroy the livelihoods of up to 100,000 people in the Kurdish region of Turkey… This action day is an expression that the activities in the next weeks and months against the destructive Ilisu Dam and for the defense of Hasankeyf and the Tigris river will continue.
The fact that riot police prevented a group of protesters from symbolically jumping in a river shows the oppressive environment that the ITKHA has to face. If the struggle against the social and ecological catastrophe the dam represents is to be successful, they will sorely need our voices and our solidarity over the coming months.

Get involved

    Read more about the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive’s campaign
    Get involved with your local Kurdistan solidarity group
    The Kurdistan Solidarity Network and Kurdish Solidarity Cymru are supporting the campaign to Save Hasankeyf ... f-the-map/


PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:06 pm
Author: Anthea
Artist Zehra Doğan Detained Following Protest at Berlin's Pergamon Museum

The protesters painted their bodies with Hasankeyf cave paintings (courtesy of the Hasankeyf Collective)

German police briefly detained Kurdish artist and journalist Zehra Doğan last Saturday following a protest she staged inside the Pergamon Museum.

“We were detained by the German police in Berlin for our performance with Juan Golan Elibeg, Aurélie Gerardin, Thomas Lamouroux at the Pergamon Museum in order to summon Hasankeyf. The interrogation continues,” she wrote in a tweet shortly after the action.

On Saturday, July 13, Doğan and three other artists entered the Pergamon Museum’s Mesopotamian collection where she, along with several French nationals, staged a protest against the imminent destruction of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Hasankeyf. Dogan is known for her political deployment of artwork.

In July of 2017, Turkey sentenced Doğan to two years and nine months in jail after she painted the destruction of the southeastern town of Nusaybin, after skirmishes with Turkish security forces reduced most of the city to rubble.

Hasankeyf, which has confronted numerous wars, empires, and threats of other destructions throughout ages but managed to survive, is about to disappear along with its 12,000-year history thanks to a dam project being proposed by the Turkish state.

Located in the province of Batman, Hasankeyf is not currently in consideration to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site because the state under which it must apply, Turkey, has not nominated it. Nominations to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site must come from the Ministry of Culture of a sovereign state, a model which has recently come under intense criticism.

Juan Golan Elibeg, Aurélie Gerardin, Thomas Lamouroux, and Zehra Doğan protested at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin (courtesy of the Hasankeyf Collective)

In order to stop the construction of Ilisu Dam and keep the Hasankeyf and the surrounding Tigris Valley alive, Doğan together with Juan Golan Elibeg, Aurélie Gerardin, and Thomas Lamouroux, took action at the Pergamon by adorning their own bodies with Hasankeyf cave paintings, lying on the floor and distributing leaflets.

Doğan said in a statement to Hyperallergic that after the action, she was detained and has been banned by the institution for 99 years. After her arrest, Doğan added that German police confiscated her phone and deleted all of her photos.

The Pergamon Museum has not yet responded to Hyperallergic’s requests for comment. The Citizen Service of Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office told Hyperallergic that the “police can not disclose sensitive personal data such as police records (including records of a persons arrest) to private entities.”

Doğan says the activists chose the Pergamon Museum because, “When you enter the Pergamon you feel that you are in the Middle East, simultaneously, you will feel Pergamon in Mesopotamia because all the works are taken from there.” (courtesy of the Hasankeyf Collective)

She underlined that she and the others chose to execute the action at the museum because, “When you enter the Pergamon you feel that you are in the Middle East, simultaneously, you will feel Pergamon in Mesopotamia because all the works are taken from there.” She claims that this plunder is being aided and abetted by machinery provided by French and German companies that are constructing the dam. She went on:

    These states do not care about Hasankeyf at all, which is a 12-thousand-year-old world heritage site, the birth of Mesopotamian peoples. Ilisu Dam is using machinery bought from European states using German and French-made machines that were sold to Turkey to construct the dam. That’s why we chose the Pergamon Museum. In our own history, we wanted to draw attention to the attack on this history, which is today under threat of being destroyed.
The action at the Pergamon follows up on a similar action she and the artists did at the Louvre in Paris last month.

“Because there are artifacts from Mesopotamia in the collection of the Pergamon, we feel that the silence of the institution with reference to Hasankeyf is a byproduct of plunder and profit,” Doğan said.

The Pergamon Museum’s collection includes one of the Seven Wonders of the World: a full-scale reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate constructed in about 575 BCE that was later excavated and shipped to Germany in 1930 CE and is considered one of the most iconic objects of the Mesopotamian world.

According to Turkish news outlet Ahval News, the impending construction of the dam has amounted to approximately 300 cultural objects being removed from the region. These objects can and often do end up on black markets and eventually into the collections of public and private museums.

“Doing something for Hasankeyf these days is not only the responsibility of the Mesopotamian peoples, it’s a duty of all peoples,” Doğan stressed. ... on-museum/


PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:18 am
Author: Anthea
Statement for Hasankeyf by 25 Bar
Associations: 'Let's Make the History Live'

The 12-thousand-year-old ancient city of Hasankeyf and the Tigris Valley will be submerged into the water if the Ilısu Dam, construction of which was completed in May, begins to operate

Another call has been made against the dam's filling with water, this time by bar associations from 25 provinces, including Aydın, Antalya, İzmir, Tekirdağ, Kırklareli, Yalova, Diyarbakır, Bursa, Urfa and Mardin.

Chairpersons of the bar associations gathered at Hasankeyf View Terrace with banners that read, "Let's make the history live, humanity live, Hasankeyf live" and "Let the Tigris flow freely."

Batman Bar Association Chairperson Abdülhamit Çakan read a statement, saying that saving Hasankeyf is possible.

"Hasankeyf is a place where civilizations intersect and meet. Although it was declared an archeological protected site, none of the necessary actions to protect it and hand it down to the next generations have been taken.

"It is evaluated by the digging experts that only about 10 percent of the digging could be done and 50 or even 70 years would be barely enough to unearth the archeological remains.

"Although all of these are known, Hasankeyf is desired to be sacrificed for the Ilısı Dam and Hydroelectric Plant project, the life of which can be 50 years at most. None of the international conventions or laws were taken into consideration during the construction of the Ilısu project. The project does not even have an environmental impact evaluation report.

"Hereby, we call upon all the authorities from these ancient land, we expect them to take action to save Hasankeyf and Tigris Valley." ... story-live


PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:22 am
Author: Anthea
25 Baro’dan Hasankeyf Çağrısı:Tarihi Yaşatalım

12 bin yıllık antik kent Hasankeyf ve 199 köyü ve üstün biyo-çeşitliliğe sahip Dicle Vadisi’nin sular altında bırakılmasını engellemek için yapılan çağrılara bir yenisi daha eklendi

Aydın, Antalya, İzmir, Tekirdağ, Kırklareli, Yalova, Diyarbakır, Bursa, Urfa ve Mardin barosunun aralarında bulunduğu 25 baronun başkanı ve avukatları Hasankeyf ve Dicle Vadisi'nin sular altında bırakılmaması için Hasankeyf'te basın açıklaması yaptı.

Batman Barosu’nun çağrısıyla Hasankeyf Seyir Terası’nda “Tarihi yaşatalım, İnsanlığı yaşatalım, Hasankeyf’i yaşatalım” ve “Bırakın Dicle Özgür Aksın” pankartları ile açıklama yapıldı.

Açıklamayı 25 baro adına okuyan Batman Baro Başkanı Abdülhamit Çakan, Hasankeyf’i yaşatmanın insanlığı yaşatmak anlamına geldiğini söyledi.

Çakan, Hasankeyf’in kurtarılabilir ve yaşatılabilir olduğunu dile getirerek, Hasankeyf’in binlerce yıldır kesintisiz bir şekilde insan yaşamına ev sahipliği yaptığına dikkat çekti.

"Hasankeyf medeniyetlerin buluştuğu bir yer"

Yapılan ortak açıklamada şu ifadeler yer verildi:

"Hasankeyf, medeniyetlerin kesiştiği ve buluştuğu bir yerdir. 1978 yılında arkeolojik sit alanı ilan edilmesine rağmen, korunması ve sonraki nesillere bırakılması için gerekli hiçbir çalışma yapılmamıştır.

Arkeolojik olarak sadece, %10 civarlarında kazının yapılabildiği, yer altında kalan arkeolojik kalıntıların gün yüzüne çıkarılabilmesi için 50 hatta 70 yıl kadar daha zamanın ancak yetebileceği bizzat kazı uzmanları tarafından değerlendirilmektedir.

"Barajın ömrü en fazla 50 yıl"

Tüm bunların bilinmesine rağmen, ne yazık ki Hasankeyf, ömrü ancak 50 yıl olabilecek Ilısu Barajı ve Hidroelektrik Santral (HES) projesine feda edilmek istenmektedir. Bitme aşamasına gelmiş Ilısu Projesi yapılırken ulusal ve uluslararası hiçbir sözleşme ve yasa dikkate alınmamıştır. En basitinden projenin bir Çevre Etki Değerlendirme (ÇED) raporu dahi bulunmamaktadır. Tarih ve kültür ile kıyaslandığında milyarlarca liralık harcamaların bir anlamının olmadığı kanaatindeyiz.

Sonuç olarak bütün yetkililere buradan, bu kadim topraklardan, çağrıda bulunuyor, insanlığın geçmişi ve hafızası olan Hasankeyf ve Dicle vadisinin kurtarılması için harekete geçmelerini bekliyor." (RT/DB)


PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:42 am
Author: Anthea
Urgent call to join Hasankeyf
Vigil as filling of Ilisu Dam began

The Turkish government has started filling the controversial Ilisu Dam Reservoir on the Tigris River in the Kurdish Southeast of Turkey

The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive and the Mesopotamia Ecology Movement have called on "all people and organizations to stand against this act of destruction. Join or visit the Hasankeyf Vigil in the 12,000 year old town Hasankeyf!"

Photos shared on social media from the 23 July 2019 showed how a road along the Tigris River just upstream of the dam has been flooded, said the activists.

However, they added "neither the responsible state agency, the State Hydraulic Works (DSI), nor any other governmental institution has made a statement. But the DSI informally informed people on the ground that it is a ‘test filling’. We do not know this in detail, but we believe this was said in order to start with filling the reservoir without facing any serious resistance."

New photos from 25 July show how the water level continues to rise and the reservoir now has a length of several km.

"It is crucial to show protest already at any and in particular this stage!", said the statement released by the two association.

"Activists from the Hasankeyf Coordination, a recently founded Turkey-wide platform of all organizations struggling against the destructive Ilisu Dam, will start with a permanent vigil in Hasankeyf in the next 2-3 days. It is planned to last for at least two months. The aim is that the “Hasankeyf Vigil” will become a site of resistance in the Tigris Valley. The activists from the planned Hasankeyf Vigil are asking for civil society organizations, political movements and parties, academics, artists and other interested people and groups to come to Hasankeyf daily either to visit the Hasankeyf Vigil, or even to join it!"

The activists added: "We are at a very critical moment and need to stand up strongly against the Ilisu Dam now! It is time to show international solidarity with the affected people in the Tigris Valley! If you can not come to the Tigris Valley, organize actions in your places and raise pressure on Turkish government!"

The activists ended their statement by saying: "We still have the chance to stop the dam being filled if the protest gains strength on the ground, as well as internationally. Whatever happens, we will continue to fight until the Ilisu Dam is stopped!" ... egan-36525