[WSMDiscuss] For Hasankeyf: Worldwide actions in 16 cities!
Zor Ekologiko Batzordea (Ekologistak Martxan)
zor.ekologikoa at gmail.com
Mon Sep 25 16:07:41 CEST 2017
+++ Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive +++
*Worldwide actions for Hasankeyf! Stop Ilisu Dam!*
23.09.2017, Statement on the 2nd Global Hasankeyf Action Day
Today in 16 cities actions have been organized against the Ilisu Dam
<http://www.hasankeyfgirisimi.net/?p=567> at the Tigris River, one of the
most worldwide controversial dams. If completed the Ilisu Dam and
Hydroelectric Power Plant Project with its expected grave social,
ecological, cultural and downstream impacts would become a large scale
With the slogan “We are here to defend Hasankeyf and the Tigris River, thus
to defend life!” the central action was done in the 12.000 years old
Hasankeyf at the Tigris River. Members of 50 civil organizations from
Istanbul, which created two weeks ago a new coalition called “Volunteers
for Hasankeyf”, as well as dozen of civil organizations from the Kurdish
region traveled to Hasankeyf in order to meet local activists from the
Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive (HYG) and people of Hasankeyf. They have
not been intimidated by the state of emergency and the ongoing armed
conflict in the close mountains. The police presence never was so intensive
like today, it filmed everybody joining the press statement.
Already yesterday the Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign organized the
first two actions in the Iraqi cities Baghdad and Najaf which would suffer
also from the Ilisu Dam – today a group protested in Silemani, Iraqi
Kurdistan. The Tigris is crucial for the drinking water supply and
agriculture of most people of Iraq. People from Iran showed solidarity via
social media; in spring several Iranian NGO’s have started a petition to
the UN General Secretary against the Ilisu Project.
People of Hasankeyf informed the Volunteers for Hasankeyf that the
relocation to New-Hasankeyf, just 2 km north far away, would end up for
them in debt with no measures for income restoration. Actually up to 80.000
people, mainly Kurds, in 199 villages are faced with this risk. These
people live for decades with the outstanding cultural heritage of Hasankeyf
and the surrounding Tigris Valley which includes 400 archaeological
not excavated. It is not by accident that experts claim that Hasankeyf
fulfill 9 of 10 Unesco criteria.
“The world looks without no reaction how one of the most important cultural
sites of human history is planned to be flooded. Hasankeyf is our identity We
fight against this project for almost 20 years, but this government does
not listen to nobody in our country” says Ridvan Turan, a resident. Its
time that globally relevant culture is defended by the global community!
Hasankeyf has a strong symbolic value for people in the larger region.
That is why for the second time a global action day has been declared by
the HYG. People in 16 cities followed this call. From Iraq to many places
in Europe: Rome, Bilbao, Brighton/UK, Geneva, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt,
Hannover, Munich, Kaspach, Vienna and even in Port Townsend in
Washington/USA; Barcelona was planned, but had to be canceled due to the
The Turkish government says that the dam is nearly completed. But, in the
view of activists and affected people, it is not too late to
in combination conservation of the cultural and natural heritage would have
economically more benefit for the affected areas and the whole state.
People do not want this imposed “development” project which is beneficial
only for the government and some companies.
It is not exaggerated to say that the planned submergence of Hasankeyf is
in the same line like the destruction of Palmyra in Syria by “Islamic
State” and the Buddha temples in Afghanistan by the alike terrorist
Taliban. The mentality of the Turkish government is close.
When in mid-August 2017 explosives were used to blow up several rocks at
the citadel of Hasankeyf, a new wave of protest has emerged all over
Turkey. This action triggered the start of a new level in the destruction
of the outstanding cultural and natural heritage. Cultural heritage removal
has also been started. In May 2017 the first of 9 monuments, the Zeynel Bey
Tomb, was relocated. This relocation is opposed by HYG and others because
it is limited to up to 9 of more than 300 monuments and harms the monuments
by relocating and disconnect them from their specific environment.
The protests of the action day have been directed to the Turkish
government, to the Austrian company Andritz (building the hydroelectric
power plant) and Dutch company Bresser (relocating monuments) and the
Turkish banks Akbank and Garantibank (main shareholder: BBVA/Spain). Also
the Iraqi government and international organizations – particularly UNESCO
- have been criticized because they keep silent due to political interests
The action day was a further important step to continue with the pressure
on all responsible institutions and companies. The campaign will continue
without doubt as there is the big historical responsibility to defend
culture and nature of such importance! Hasankeyf and Tigris is the life
See website for images from different actions!
Follow hashtag at twitter (#DunyaHasankeyfGunu2017)!
Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive (HYG)
Email: *hasankeyfgirisimi at gmail.com <hasankeyfgirisimi at gmail.com>*
Web site: *www.hasankeyfgirisimi.net <http://www.hasankeyfgirisimi.net/>*
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