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Gone With the Water

Artist Blog by Azad Amin

When The Southeastern Anatolia Project in Turkey started, the perspective was improving people’s lives through sustainable development. The Ilısu Dam is one of the 22 dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project and its aim is hydroelectric power production, flood control and water storage. But the story of Hasankyf along with 52 villages that will be submerged by the end of this project is a heartbreaking outcome. Hasankeyf has met nine out of ten criteria for Unesco’s world heritage sites. Even their solutions for keeping historical sites are not useful. In the last few years, the government’s so-called “monument relocation and consolidation of rocks” program has seriously damaged the cultural heritage in Hasankeyf. However, the stories of those houses in the villages, their people, the shadow of their memories over the centuries, and the unique relationship residents have with the mountain will be changed forever with this relocation. The right to live, the right to remember history and keep it for the future is missing in those development plans. The streets, all the walls, and the look in the people’s eyes tell about something precious in danger, the Mesopotamian culture.

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