Press Releases


Urgent Int’l Call: Save Hasankeyf! No filling of the Ilisu Dam Reservoir!

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+++ International Urgent Call to Turkish Government and International Public +++

It‘s not too late to SAVE HASANKEYF and Tigris River!

No filling of the Ilisu Dam Reservoir!

For 12.000 years, Hasankeyf in the Southeast of Turkey has been a site of uninterrupted human settlement. With the labour of dozen of cultures this outstanding universal site has been created on the banks of the Tigris River and adjacent small valleys and hills. Recent excavations show that Hasankeyf lays atop of a deep, uncovered cultural heritage. Independent researchers state that Hasankeyf and the surrounding Tigris Valley are as important historically as Ephesus, Troy and Cappadocia and fulfill 9 out of the 10 UNESCO criteria for a World Heritage Site. It is assumed that Hasankeyf is the twin of Göbeklitepe, a sanctuary site 225 km to the west with a similar age, which led to global new conclusions on history’s first human settlement. Read the rest of this entry »

Final Declaration of Mesopotamia Ecology Movement: Water is under assault in Mesopotamia

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University of Sulaimani, Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region of Iraq 6-8 April 2019

Over-extraction; the draining of marshes and wetlands; deforestation; too many irrigation projects, poorly-drained land; pesticides and fertiliser run-off; contamination by poorly or often un-treated discharges from industry as well as households; the widespread building of large and cascade small dams; the increasing exploitation of groundwater aquifers; stream channelization; inter catchment water transfer schemes; and the ravages of fossil-fuel-induced climatic change have variously disrupted hydrological cycles and created conditions of severe local and regional scarcity. For human and non-human beings, such physical scarcities have been exacerbated by policies aimed at commodifying and/or politicising water, denying access to the common good of water.


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PR: Disaster Flood in the Tigris – Made by a Turkish Dam

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ANF Images
ANF Images

On the evening of the 13th December 2018 one of the three spillway gates of the Dicle Dam at the Tigris River in Turkish-Kurdistan has broken. Since then the water level in more than 200 km downstream river stretch increased up to 6 meters and flooded a big area of land along the river with hundreds of affected settlements. Fortunately nobody died, but the physical and agricultural destruction is enormous and unique for the last decades.
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Call to the Mesopotamian Water Forum

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We are very happy to announce the first civil society forum on water in the Middle East: the Mesopotamian Water Forum! The Mesopotamian Water Forum will be held between April 5-7, 2019 in Silemani (Sulaymaniyah) in South (Iraqi) Kurdistan and organized by civil society actors from the states of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria.


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Bresser’s conduct in last year’s relocation of the Zeynel Bey Tomb did not comply with OECD Guidelines

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*** The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive *** Hasankeyf Matters *** FIVAS – The Association for International Water Studies ***

Press Release, 20 August 2018


The Dutch NCP for the OECD Guidelines has concluded that Bresser, a small to medium-size Dutch enterprise, has not fully met the expectations and satisfied the due diligence criteria of the OECD Guidelines.” in the project to relocate the Zeynel Bey Tomb, in Hasankeyf, in Southeastern Turkey. The tomb is a late-15th-century monument of extraordinary cultural value and a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of the region. Its relocation impacts the human right to culture of the affected people. Companies of all sizes are expected to consider and minimize the potential impact of their activities on human rights.


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Impoundment of Ilisu Dam Reservoir has not yet started – Drought in Iraq has other reasons

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Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive +++ Hasankeyf Matters

Press statement, 11.06.2018

On June 1, 2018 news began to circulate that the impoundment of the reservoir of the controversial Ilisu Dam on the Tigris River in the Kurdish Southeast of the Republic of Turkey had started. The Turkish State Water Works (DSI) announced that with the closing of the first valves of the three diversion tunnels the filling of the reservoir had begun. This development overlapped with urgent news from Iraq, where the Tigris River had fallen to historically low levels. This situation has resulted in discussions that have become even more urgent in Iraq than discussion of the recent elections.Hasankeyf-Action_2017-09-23_4 Read the rest of this entry »

Open Letter to UK Prime Minister Theresa May

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by: Mesopotamian Ecology Movement +++ Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive +++ The Corner House +++ Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

to:Rt Hon. Theresa May MP

Prime Minister

10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA

The Ilisu Dam and Turkey’s use of water as a weapon of war

April 28, 2018

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In 30 cities actions for Hasankeyf and Sur

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+++ Plattform Nein zur Zerstörun von Sur +++ Istanbul Sur Solidaritätsplattform +++ Ökologiebewegung Mesopotamiens +++ Initiative zur Rettung von Hasankeyf +++ Rat Munzur soll frei fließen +++

Diyarbakir (Amed), 28.04.2018

Knapp 30 Städte weltweit beteiligen sich am Globalen Aktionstag für Sur und Hasankeyf am 28. April 2018

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Open letter to DSI: Forced eviction of Hasankeyf merchants would violate the universal right to work

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*** The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive *** Hasankeyf Matters *** Fivas – The Association for International Water Studies *** The Corner House *** Riverwatch ***


RE: Forced eviction of Hasankeyf merchants would violate the universal right to work
5 March 2018

Mr. Murat Acu, General Director, State Hydraulic Works (DSI)

Mr. Ali Naci Kösalı, Region 16 Director, State Hydraulic Works (DSI)

Mr. Şehmus Erkan Dursun, Hasankeyf Branch Director, State Hydraulic Works (DSI)

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Call: „Global Action Day for Hasankeyf and Sûr/Amed“, 28.4.2018

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Stop the destruction of Hasankeyf and Sûr!

We call upon all people and organizations to stand against the destruction of Hasankeyf and Sûr (old town of Amed/Diyarbakir) in North Kurdistan (Southeast of Turkey) in a global action day on April 28, 2018. Read the rest of this entry »

NGOs charge Bresser with violating OECD Guidelines in its relocation of Hasankeyf‘s Zeynel Bey Tomb

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+++ The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive +++ Hasankeyf Matters +++ FIVAS – The Association for International Water Studies
The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive (HYG), Hasankeyf Matters (HKM) and the Association for International Water Studies, Norway (FIVAS), welcome the recently published Initial Assessment with great anticipation and hope for a constructive dialogue with Bresser. The Initial Assessment outlines the issues of the complaint for further discussion between Bresser and the plaintiffs, which may be facilitated by the Dutch National Contact Point (NCP). The National Contact Point is an independent body tasked with facilitating dialogue and mediation on implementation of the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Read the rest of this entry »

Destruction Accelerates in Hasankeyf and the Tigris Basin

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Environmental and heritage destruction have accelerated in Turkey’s historic city of Hasankeyf as crews work day and night, seven days a week to collapse vulnerable portions of the cliffs ringing the town and fill in some 200 caves. The work’s stated aim is to reinforce Hasankeyf’s ancient citadel ahead of completion of the Ilısu Dam, which would flood most of the town beneath approximately 60 meters of water. Preparations are also being made to construct a wall to cover the cliff face of the citadel mount. And a new road is being built across the Tigris River to haul equipment and rubble to and from the work site, significantly altering the course of the river and severely reducing its water quality.


2017-10-17_HYG_PR_Tahribat-Devam_1big Read the rest of this entry »

Join Petition to Bresser and Er-Bu! Withdrew from relocation project of monuments in Hasankeyf!

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Join a new petition by the Mesopotamian Ecology Movement which requests from the Dutch company Bresser and Turkish company Er-Bu Insaat to withdrew from the relocation project of monuments in Hasankeyf! Download the following file, print it and collect signatures!

The petition will continue until end of November!

Send the collected signatures to: ISKU, Spaldingstr. 130-136, D-20097 Hamburg, Germany!


Worldwide actions for Hasankeyf! Stop Ilisu Dam!

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Statement on the 2nd Global Hasankeyf Action Day

Today in more than 15 cities actions have been organized against the Ilisu Dam at the Tigris River, one of the most worldwide controversial dams. If completed the Ilisu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant Project with its expected grave social, ecological, cultural and downstream impacts would become a large scale disaster.


Hasankeyf Read the rest of this entry »


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