On June 25, 2019 more than 23 artists took the stage in solidarity with Hasankeyf. The event was organized by the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive.
Read the article on the event published by Bianet on June 26, 2019:
Numerous musicians staged a concert last night (June 25) in support of a campaign by the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive for the Hasankeyf ancient town which will be submerged when the dam built in the area began to operate.
More than 20 musicians, including Erkan Oğur, İsmail Hakkı Demircioğlu, Siya Siyabend and Pınar Aydınlar took the stage in the concert.
The ancient town in the southeastern province of Urfa is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The government previously announced the dam will begin to be filled water on June 10 which did not happen after protests that received international support.
“I think the water flow should not be cut. Hasankeyf should not be submerged and the historical, cultural and archeological values and the people should stay where they are. They should live in their own world. And Hasankeyf’s value must be known. We hope the mistakes to be corrected,” musician Erkan Oğur told bianet.
İsmail Hakkı Demircioğlu, who took the stage with Oğur at the concert, said, “I think the people should become aware. I don’t think people who don’t know all these can be the protectors of these. I am from Rize. They constructed hydroelectric plants on all the rivers there. Same things happened there. People did not object.”
Diljen Ronî said, “As a person who lived in the region, who got his village bombed, I am a witness of the destruction of this natural area. History is being attempted to be erased for security concerns. Almost three thousand years of history is attempted to be destroyed for a 50-year project. We have always said, ‘We are temporary, but the history is permanent.’
“The destruction of Hasankeyf will be a historical genocide for us. We oppose this. This is why we are here today. We will continue our struggle.”
Pınar Aydınlar said that the construction of the dam should also be viewed as “a great attack against the history of the Kurdish people.”
“Hasankeyf is a product of the politics of denial and assimilation,” she added.
Apolas Lermi said Hasankeyf is “the bone of the history of humanity which is about to be destroyed.”
The following musicians took the stage in the concert: Apolas Lermi, Ali Doğan Gönültaş, Cem Erdost İleri, Çiğdem Karaman, Çiğdem Ülkü, Doğan Çelik, Diljen Roni, Dodan, Erkan Oğur, İsmail Hakkı Demircioğlu, Fungistanbul, İlker İsabetli, Gerduni, Seyr-i Cem, Luxus, Meltem Taşkıran, Merih Aşkın, Musa Baki, Mübin Dünen, Pınar Aydınlar, Sema Moritz, Talebe, Taylan Yıldız and Siya Siyabend.
History of the Hasankeyf dam
The Initiative also released a statement, drawing attention to the historical importance Hasankeyf and the issue of the dam that has been going for decades. “For a 50-year economic interest, culture and history of 12 thousand years are being tried to destroy,” it said.
The construction of the Ilısu Dam was included in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), a state-sponsored regional development project that has been continuing for decades, in 1982, the statement informed.
After the project was included in the government’s investment program in 1997, protests were staged both in Turkey and in European countries where the companies who financially support the project based in. as a result, the project was stopped in 2002, according to the statement.
The Ilısu Dam (Photo: AA)
“When the Ilısu project came to the fore in 2005, the construction of the dam was tried to be prevented with a stronger campaign. As a result of this, the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive emerged.
“Hasankeyf and the Tigris Valley are still there as a result of the struggle of tens of civil society organizations who oppose the construction of the dam. But the process has become more difficult lately.
“In 2017, seven monuments were moved from Hasankeyf. Two monuments, one of them is the famous Tigris Bridge, were covered with rocks under the guise of ‘restoration’.
“More than 200 caves that were dug in Neolithic Era pioneers and large parts of the valley next to the castle were filled with excavation waste.
“According to statements by authorities, dam gates will be closed and the dam will begin to fill with water. If the gates are closed, Hasankeyf will be totally submerged into water within four to eight months.”
Link to the original article: https://bianet.org/5/101/209779-musicians-take-stage-for-hasankeyf