The 12,000 year old Turkish city is starting to disappear under the rising water
Turkish officials have started flooding a 12,000-year-old city to make way for a dam project to feed the region.
Hasankeyf, possibly one of the oldest locations of human settlements, will become an artificial lake as water flows through the Tigris River.
Authorities on the Ilısu hydropower project have begun to fill the dam with water at another stage of the river, 50 miles away. The city is located in the southeast of the country in an area that is often referred to as Turkish Kurdistan because of the large Kurdish population.
It once housed a bridge from the 12th century, a burial monument from the 15th century, two decayed mosques and hundreds of natural mountain caves and was home to thousands of residents. The caves in the old town have survived since the Neolithic era as houses and some locals still use them as houses today. Traces have been left in the city by all the civilizations that ruled the region, including the Mesopotamians, Romans and Ottomans.
Most of the artifacts, including a tomb, were moved last month to a location named New Hasankeyf and the residents of the city are expected to follow in mid-October.
The decision, confirmed by the regional governor, Hulusi Sahin, during a meeting on Saturday, ignores decades of resistance from campaigners and residents.
Newly-married Mehmet Center, and his wife Sultan, on the right, can be seen enjoying tea next to the Tigris River in southeastern Turkey on August 17, 2019. The planned reservoir will completely and partially accommodate 199 villages and houses 78,000 people another 3000 nomadic families flooded. The dam, which is further downstream, is filled
People can be seen here sitting on chairs in the Tigris that runs through the historic city of Hasankeyf. The inauguration of the controversial Ilisu dam in Turkey on the Tigris River is likely to increase water shortages in neighboring Iraq
Boys can be seen when opening umbrellas next to the newly built stone wall in Hasankeyf in August this year. This settlement, which will be flooded next month, was a former trading post along the Silk Road, leaving Romans, Byzantines, Turkish tribes and Ottomans there.
A woman takes a photo of the 12,000-year-old ancient city of Hasankeyf, on the banks of the Tigris, in southeastern Turkey on August 17, 2019. Although the new wall is on, most of the old artifacts have already been moved to the new city
Devran Tunc, 28, who owns a coffee shop next to the Tigris River in the city center, plays with his dog in Hasankeyf, southeast Turkey, on August 17, 2019. The area where Devran last month with his dog for the photo sat will be completely submerged next month. Families who have been in the city for centuries will have to relocate
The 55-year-old Hacire Yalcin, pictured on the right, is sitting next to her sister-in-law earlier this month in the middle of Hasankeyf's cemetery. The cemetery is on the banks of the Tigris River, so all corpses must be dug up and transported to the nearby nearby New Hasankeyf cemetery
Hanife Ekinci, 55, is waiting next to her father-in-law's grave while an excavator discovers the body that will be moved to the new Hasankeyf cemetery on September 15, 2019. The planned dam will drown the whole of the city that has been inhabited for some 12,000 years
He said the site will be closed off on October 8, forcing residents to leave just over a month before the flood begins.
& # 39; Entry and exit are not permitted, & # 39; said Sahin.
& # 39; Time is running out, we all have our duties. & # 39;
The city will be submerged as part of the Ilisu Dam project that, according to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will power the region and have various economic and environmental benefits.
The dam was first conceived as a solution to the area's need for electricity and to irrigate the surrounding farmland in the 1950s, but failed to obtain traction until 2006.
The dam and the associated power plant can produce the same amount of electricity as a small nuclear power plant.
Young Kurdish boys play in front of the Ilisu dam itself, 50 miles southeast of the historic city. The dam near the town of Mardin is starting to be filled and Hasankeyf will be submerged in mid-October
Muhammed (left) and Hasret (right) enjoy a dip with hot spring water in the Botan Valley just a few kilometers away from the new dam. Lawmakers and activists have said that Turkish officials have started filling the nearby dam that will drown the old city of Hasankeyf
Employees carry a corpse at the new Hasankeyf cemetery after transferring it from the old Hasankeyf on 12 September 2019
The shrine of Imam Abdullah Zawiya (pictured left in the distance) can be seen during the transportation process to ensure that it is not damaged when Turkish officials flood the city of Hasankeyf in Batman, Turkey. The cylindrical Zeynel Bey Tomb (photo front right) has also been moved to a new site to prevent flooding damage
Hacire Yalcin, 55, is crying at her sister Fadile's grave while waiting for her sister to be transferred to the new Hasankeyf cemetery on September 13, 2019. New Hasankeyf is a city with 710 homes for those who are displaced
Many countries have withdrawn their support for the Ilisu dam, including the UK in 2001 and in 2008 many European companies withdrew their financing of the controversial project. A man tries to convince an old Kurdish lady to accept the removal of a grave from the old cemetery to the new Hasankeyf cemetery
Although the government has built a new city with 710 homes for the displaced, residents are not happy with the forced relocation.
Local resident, Firat Argun, told cbsnews that his family lived in the area for 300 years.
& # 39; We lived with hope, but we have now lost that. They gave us three to five months, & he said.
& # 39; I have to start all over again. I feel like I have just arrived in this world. I don't know if it will be good or bad. & # 39;
The historic caves overlooking the Hasankeyf valley (pictured above) are still used today as residences and a man can be peered over his fence. The caves were originally used as houses in the Neolithic era
In this photo taken on May 12, 2017 shows a general view of the Hasankeyf bridge over the Tigris river in the Hasankeyf district in Batman
This photo shows another city in southeastern Turkey that has been invaded with water, such as Hasankeyf will come mid-October. Despite ten years of protests to stop the floods, the Turkish authorities have begun the process
Workers lift a corpse from the old Hasankeyf cemetery to be moved to the new Hasankeyf cemetery on September 13, 2019 with the city in the background overlooking the cemetery
Hanife Ekinci, 55 years old, is waiting next to her father-in-law's grave to be moved to the new Hasankeyf cemetery before the waters flood the area of the old Hasankeyf cemetery on September 15, 2019
A worker holds the covered head of a corpse of a 15-year-old boy who died in an accident in Hasankeyf in 1997 while his 28-year-old brother Fatih (R) watches while they are ready to transport it from the old cemetery to new on September 13, 2019. The dam was first conceived as a solution to the area's need for electricity and to irrigate the surrounding farmland in the 1950s, but did not get hold of it until 2006.
Yunus (2e-L) stands with his younger brother (L) while waiting for workers to show them the grave of their younger baby brother who died in 2016, during the transfer of the graves to the new Hasankeyf on September 15, 2019
A man prays at the new Hasankeyf cemetery where bodies were transferred mid September from the old Hasankeyf cemetery on the banks of the Tigris in southeastern Turkey
An elderly woman looks up at the newly built stone wall near the 12,000-year-old city of Hasankeyf in Turkey
The new city will house the old artifacts in a museum and hope to attract archeology enthusiasts there.
The drafts have brought together 86 local and national organizations under the banner of the initiative to keep Hasankeyf alive, but with recent comments from the governor it seems that their solidarity might have been in line.
Many countries have withdrawn their support for the Ilisu dam, including the UK in 2001 and in 2008 many European companies withdrew their financing of the controversial project.
Cetin Yildirimer, known as Mazlum, a 28-year-old tourist guide, stands in the middle of the derelict old town of Hasankeyf at dawn, on the banks of the Tigris in southeastern Turkey, on August 19, 2019
Hacire Yalcin (C), 55, walks into the middle of the old Hasankeyf cemetery with her sister and sister-in-law (R) as they search for one of their family's graves being moved to the new Hasankeyf cemetery. the banks of the Tigris in southeastern Turkey on September 13, 2019
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