Ancient city of Hasankeyf in Turkey among the 14 most endangered heritage sites in Europe

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The Hague / Luxembourg, 10 December 2015 – Europa Nostra, the leading
European heritage organisation, and the European Investment Bank
Institute announce today the 14 monuments and sites shortlisted for ‘The
7 Most Endangered’ programme 2016 by an international panel of experts
in various fields.

These endangered landmarks from 14 European countries
are: Archaeological site of Ererouyk and village of Ani Pemza, Armenia;
Palace of Justice in Brussels, Belgium; Patarei Sea Fortress in Tallinn,
Estonia; Helsinki-Malmi Airport, Finland; Colbert Swing Bridge in
Dieppe, France; Castle in Divitz, Germany; Kampos of Chios, Greece;
Venice Lagoon, Italy; Castle Rijswijk, the Netherlands; Y-block in Oslo,
Norway; Valflores Palace and Estate, near Lisbon, Portugal; Convent of
St. Anthony of Padua, Extremadura, Spain; Ancient city of Hasankeyf and
its surroundings, Turkey; and Mavisbank House, near Edinburgh, the
United Kingdom. Some of these sites are in danger due to neglect or
inadequate planning/development, others due to lack of resources or
expertise. The final list of 7 sites will be unveiled at a public event
in Venice on 16 March.

The 14 shortlisted monuments and sites were selected taking into account
their outstanding heritage and cultural values as well as the grave
danger that they are facing. The commitment of various public and
private stakeholders and the engagement of the local communities to
rescuing those sites were also considered essential. Another important
criterion was the potential of these sites to serve as a resource and a
driver of sustainable development for the wider region in which they are

Nominations for ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ programme 2016 were submitted by
civil society or public bodies which form part of Europa Nostra’s vast
network of member and associate organisations from all over Europe.
Fourteen sites were shortlisted by a panel of experts in History,
Archaeology, Architecture, Conservation, Project Analysis and Finance.
The final list of 7 sites will be selected by the Board of Europa
Nostra. ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ programme was launched in January 2013
by Europa Nostra with the European Investment Bank Institute as founding
partner and the Council of Europe Development Bank as associated partner.

Ancient city of Hasankeyf and its surroundings, TURKEY
The 12,000-year-old settlement of Hasankeyf is located on the banks of
the Tigris River in south-eastern Turkey. From Neolithic caves to Roman
ruins and Medieval monuments, Hasankeyf is a living museum of epic
proportions. Despite its exceptionally rich multicultural history and
heritage, 80% of Hasankeyf will be flooded if the Ilısu hydroelectric
dam project is implemented as planned. There is no internationally
recognised scheme for the relocation and preservation of the monuments.
The most urgent actions required are to alter the Ilısu Dam project and
to formulate an independent strategic plan that balances conservation
and sustainable development. Hasankeyf was nominated for ‘The 7 Most
Endangered’ 2016 by the Cultural Awareness Foundation whose campaign is
supported by a range of national and international bodies.

The goal of the campaign is to contribute to a dialogue about heritage
conservation by outlining a model for balancing conservation and
development. This model is to be based on case study examining the
example of Hasankeyf. This study presents an opportunity to share
knowledge and build consensus concerning heritage conservation and
economic growth.

If Hasankeyf is designated as one of Europe’s 7 Most Endangered sites,
heritage and financial experts from Europa Nostra and the European
Investment Bank Institute, working in close cooperation public and
private stakeholders representing local and national interests, will
assess the site and, taking into consideration the investments that have
already been made in the area’s development, help formulate a feasible
action plan for conserving Hasankeyf and its invaluable universal heritage.

Both in its geography and its philosophy, Hasankeyf sits in the heart of
a region, a world, struggling to find its way forward. It is important,
especially today, to remember that Hasankeyf is a kernel of peace.
Visitors feel a sense of calm and tranquility as soon as they arrive,
and locals are proud of the fact that their town has avoided the
violence that has plagued the region for decades.

It is hoped that this report will contribute to an ongoing discussion of
theories and methods of heritage conservation among leading
conservationists, government decision-makers, and other stakeholders in


Europa Nostra
Joana Pinheiro,
T. +31 70 302 40 55; E. +31 6 34 36 59 85

European Investment Bank Institute
Bruno Rossignol,
T. +352 43 797 07 67; M. +352 62 134 58 62

Cultural Awareness Foundation
Ozan Torun,
T. (212) 347 24 25; M. (532) 600 30 10 TO FIND OUT MORE