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Saturday 8 June 2019

Turkey: Protest against Dam over 12,000-year-old Town

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ANKARA (Ruptly) — Scores of people rallied in the Turkish town of Hasankeyf in Batman Province on Saturday, demonstrating against the filling of the Ilisu Dam on the Tigris river.

The dam, which is part of the South-eastern Anatolian Project (GAP), will reportedly generate some 1,200 MW of electricity.

MEP Julia Ward, who participated in the rally, said:

When this is gone, it is not just gone for the people of Hasankeyf, it is gone for the whole world, for everybody.

In 1978, Hasankeyf, which sits on banks of the Tigris river, and the surrounding area was declared a First Degree Archaeological Site by Turkey’s Supreme Board of Monuments.

The project has drawn criticism in Turkey and downstream in Iraq. Once operational, the dam is expected to displace thousands of people and submerge Hasankeyf, which has stood tall for 12,000 years. In Iraq, the government has expressed concerns over water shortages after Turkey started filling the dam last summer. Last June, Turkey temporarily held back water following complaints from Iraq.

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