Archive for August 2013
August 22, 2013, National Geographic Newswatch
Since it was first proposed by Turkey’s State Water Works in 1954, the Ilısu Dam has had a troubled history.
In 1982, the hydroelectric dam was incorporated into Turkey’s Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP): a regional development plan consisting of 19 hydroelectric plants and 22 dams. It was slated for construction on the Tigris River, in a village of a few hundred people.
But controversy soon erupted around the project. In addition to the village of Ilısu, the 10.4 billion-cubic-meter reservoir created by the dam would flood 400 kilometers of Tigris ecosystem, displace more than 25,000 people, and flood 300 archeological sites, including the 12,000-year-old town of Hasankeyf.
August 6, 2013, National Geographic Newswatch
Almost nowhere in the world is human history as densely layered as it is in Hasankeyf.
Strange sights greet its visitors: thousands of caves carved into limestone cliffs, children playing on the remains of a gargantuan medieval bridge, the towering minaret of a 15th-century mosque.
The first known inhabitants of this place on the banks of the Tigris River in Southeastern Turkey settled here in Neolithic times, 12,000 years ago.