The Flooding of Hasankeyf
The ancient town of Hasankeyf on the banks of the Tigris River in southeastern Turkey, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements on earth, dating as far back as 12,000 years. The Turkish Government have given residents until October 8th 2019 to evacuate the town before they permanently submerge the area for a controversial Ilisu dam project, which will mean flooding 199 settlements in the area and displaying up to 80,000 people. Hundreds of still inhabited man made caves, churches, tombs and historical sites will be forever lost in the scheme. The ancient city has been part of many different cultures in its history, ancient Mesopotamia, Byzantium, and Arab and Ottoman empires with only an estimated 10% of the area having been explored by archaeologists.
The Turkish government has built a new settlement for the 700 households 3km away but some will be left homeless with nowhere to go and many being forced to give up both their homes and their income from the land they own as they watch their homes slowly submerge when the government forcibly floods the city.
Shot on assignment for the Los Angeles Times