The Inhabitants of the antique city Hasankeyf have blocked the main road through their city in order to protest the Ilisu Dam Project and especially the resettlement process. The road connects the provincial capital Batman with the cities Midyat, Cizre and the Iraqi border and is intensively used.
More than 500 people gathered on the bridge over the Tigris River in the early morning where they persisted and sat untill the afternoon although hundreds of policemen gathered and threatened the people. The same day in Hasankeyf all students boycotted the schools and shop-owners closed their shops.
The people demanded the stop of the resettlement process done by the state body State Water Works (DSI). The people criticized the resettlement process which started three years ago. The DSI foresees small amounts for the current buildings and the triple price for the new houses in “New-Hasankeyf” which is in the constructing phase for two years and located 2 km in the North. Furthermore in the new settlement area are almost no opportunities planned for the new inhabitants which means a long-term impoverishment. Thats why they shouted “Our caves are enough, we do not need villas”, “DSI, stop these works”, “Resettlement is deception”, “You have stolen our childhood, hands off from our future”.
Also the governor of Hasankeyf Temel Ayca, appointed by the central government and the mayor of Hasankeyf Abdulvahap Kusen could not change the view of the people. In the afternoon the protestors have end the blockade without any arrestation.
Considering the comparatively silence of the last two years by the most inhabitants of Hasankeyf this action increases the protest against the destructive Ilisu Project which is under construction for three years. It is planned by the government to complete the construction within two years.
See attachment for pictures of the protest!
Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive