The town of Hasankeyf in south-eastern Turkey is the only place in the world that meets nine of the ten criteria for selection of UNESCO World Heritage sites. However, the Turkish government has not officially applied for heritage status or made any effort to promote tourism in the region. The key reason for this lack of action is the fear that heritage status might interfere with the Ilısu Dam project.
When completed, the dam on the Tigris River will generate 3.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year and create the country’s second-largest reservoir. The filling of the reservoir will entirely submerge Hasankeyf, along with 77 other towns and villages, destroying a unique historical site that has been occupied by almost every major Mesopotamian civilisation for 12,000 years. It’s unclear when the dam will be filled.
Conflicts over water have long plagued the Middle East. Yet in the current fighting in Iraq and Syria, the major dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are seen not just as strategic targets but also as powerful weapons of war.
Professional photography & marketing consultant and fellowship director at MIAP
EVELIEn ON MATHIAS
‘‘I felt that Mathias Depardon with his story ‘Gold Rivers’ would be the perfect match for Docking Station for various reasons. Mathias is a very talented photographer and the story that he is working on is very interesting because it touches upon so many different important issues at stake in Turkey today; environmental, social-economical as well as political. With Turkey being very much in the centre of the current news, it’s stories like this that give us a deeper insight that goes beyond what we normally see from there. Mathias furthermore has the perfect personality as he is curious and eager to learn and connect with new people.’’