Hasankeyf: History sinks into water and garbage

While almost twelve thousand years of history sink into the water of the Ilisu Dam, large amounts of waste from the surrounding landfills are floating in the water, threatening both the environment and people.

The spokesperson of the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive (Kurdish: Heskîf), Rıdvan Ayhan, demands the immediate removal of the mountains of garbage floating on the Ilisu reservoir. As the snow melts, the level of the Ilisu reservoir is rising rapidly. The reservoir has de facto turned the rivers Tigris, Botan, Kezer and Başur into stagnant waters and buried the 12,000-year-old settlement of Hasankeyf under water. Directly opposite the new settlement "New-Hasankeyf" there is a large waste dump. The wind and backwater drive the garbage from the valleys and gorges into the lake. Due to eutrophication, the oxygen level of the reservoir begins to drop rapidly, although it is not even summer yet. The initiative to save Hasankeyf demands immediate action.

The garbage promotes the spread of diseases

Ayhan tells that the living beings in the lake are threatened by the garbage and that the water authority (DSI) bears full responsibility for this. "With the water, history was buried and instead came the garbage. This garbage must be collected and destroyed. If the garbage stays, the already endangered creatures here will be exterminated. The DSI or the local government or whoever must do something. If this continues, various diseases will spread," Ayhan warns.