Tuesday, September 7, 2010
The "Fidelity to Hasenkeyf" trip which was organized for the third time by Doga Dernegi and Atlas Magazine between August 28-30 to attempt to save Hakenkeyf, has been completed with the participation of Son Irmak doga Orchestra and 150 volunteers. The Som Irmak Doga Orchestra gave concerts in Hasentkeyf to support local people's struggle in the region, which is set to be flooded once the Ilusu Dam comes online. This ancient city is located along the Tigris River in southeastern Turkey and has roots going back at least 10,000 years. It is one of the oldest still inhabited towns of mankind and is the only place in the world that meets nine out of 10 criteria to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, according to many respected scientists. About 300 archaeological sites surrounding Hasenkeyf in th Tigris Valley give further evidence of our common human civilization from prehistoric times onwards.
The Tigris river ecosystems are largely intact with many endemic and globally threatened species. It has an outstanding importance for biodiversity in the world. It is the only natural river and canyon system remaining in Turkey. The importance of this river system for the natural habitats and threatened species is very significant, as can be attested by the existence of 5 Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) along its boundaries of international importance for the conservation of nature: the bismil Plain, Tigris Valley, Kupeli MOuntain, Euh Mountains, Cizre and Silopi KBA. However, 400 square kilometers of intact riverine habitat along tyhe Tigris River and its tributaries including Hasenkeyf are threatened by the Ilusu Dam project, which will destroy the globally important natural and cultural heritage embedded in the Tigris Valley.
Doga Dernegi has been a leading campaign against the Ilusu dam and hyropower project due to this urgent need of action to protect the outstanding natural and cutlural values of this region.
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