Until a few years ago was Hasankeyf is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, now the Turkish town struggling to Survive: Many of the sights are disappeared, and instead of the tourist buses, construction vehicles crowding on the roads today. Because in a few months of the year to sink thousands of old town in a reservoir.

“There’s so much history here. In the case of a spade in the ground, you’ll encounter another civilization,” says Ridvan Ayhan, while he looks from the famous citadel to the old town on the banks of the Tigris. “Hasankeyf will destroy a big crime, means of committing.” Ridvan Ayhan is fighting with his club “Hasankeyf alive” for years against the Ilisu dam to the Tigris river to a huge lake damming.


the Assyrians, Romans, Seljuks and many other cultures have left their traces in the city, and the cliffs above the river are full of caves that were inhabited over thousands of years. But all that should disappear.

mosques were before the flooding

saved from the point of view of archaeologists, the flooding of Hasankeyf and about a hundred other villages is a tragedy. For the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has placed in 2006, the Foundation stone, the dam is a key Element of the project to the development in the Southeast Anatolia (GAP), especially irrigation and energy production should be accelerated.

In the past few months, several of the flooding threatened mosques and tombs have been transported to mobile platforms in an archaeological Park. The Park is on the outskirts of the Neustadt, in the 3000 inhabitants of Hasankeyf, soon is to move, is also thought of as a destination for tourists.

Up to it so far, resembles the once picturesque old town on a huge building site full of mud and noise.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.