Turkey: Ancient village soon to disappear underwater

Video footage captured a precious glimpse of the ancient city of Hasankeyf, in the Batman Province of south-east Turkey, on Saturday. After having stood tall for 12,000 years, the village is about to be submerged for the construction of the Ilisu dam. The village was declared a natural conservation area in 1981 thanks to excavations that have led to the discovery of a settlement that dates back... Еще to 9500 BC. Residents of the region will be forced to move into the new settlement in 2018 before the town submerges completely following the construction of the dam. Mesut Cagri, a local, says that he is not proud of moving to the new settlement, «We are not happy because all of this historical heritage you are witnessing will be forever gone.» For Mustafa Gul the 'new' Hasankeyf is a «gamble» since «No one knows if the new Hasankeyf will receive tourists and visitors.» «If Hasankeyf submerges it won’t just be a loss for our country but it would be a great loss for the world’s heritage» says Hasankeyf resident Kemal Ari. The much-debated Ilisu dam project is nearing completion, despite the fact that Hasankeyf and the surrounding Tigris Valley were declared a 'first degree archaeological site' by the Turkish Supreme Court back in 1978.

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