Turkish officials will flood a 12,000-year-old city next month to make way for a dam project to feed the region.
Hasankeyf, possibly one of the oldest locations of human settlements, houses the remains of a 12th-century bridge, a 15th-century pillar tomb, two decayed mosques and hundreds of natural mountain caves.
Thousands of residents also live there.
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.
The decision, confirmed by the regional governor, Hulusi Sahin, during a meeting on Saturday, ignores decades of resistance from campaigners and residents.
People can be seen cooling off in a cafe on the banks of the Tigris River that runs through the city of Hassankeyf (photo). The settlement was a former trading post along the Silk Road and has left its mark on Romans, Byzantines, Turkish tribes and Ottomans
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
The Ulu mosque and graveyard lie above the cliffs in Hasankeyf, Turkey. The flooding of the dam project will displace around 50,000 people, mainly Kurds, from the region in southeastern Turkey
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
The World Heritage Fund listed the city as an endangered site in 2008, although it did not stop the Southeast Anatolian project, the Turkish energy plan. Above is the remains of a bridge that will be submerged as soon as the dam lane continues
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.
The dam and associated power plant can generate 4,200 gigawatts of electricity every year, comparable to a small power plant
An aerial photo of the city of Hasankeyf and the high citadel in the center of the photo. Once the water has flooded the land, the only visible city of the old city will be the high citadel
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 of Turkey on the Tigris river will also increase water shortages in neighboring Iraq
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 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.
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