The destruction of the ancient town of Hasankeyf by the Turkish government has drawn anger and disappointment to many people all over the world. Unfortunately, the submersion of the early Mesopotamian settlement is now imminent.
In 2014, Hasankeyf made international news headlines as stories emerged that the ancient site, still the home of 2,500 people today, will be submerged upon completion of the Ilisu dam just about 25 miles (approx. 40 km) downstream from the town.
The construction of the Ilisu dam has been very controversial, as it is expected to raise the level of the Tigris by nearly 60m (197ft), which inevitably will submerge 80% of the ancient city and several villages nearby. It will also destroy more than 300 historical sites that have yet to be excavated, and ruin the fragile ecosystem of the Tigris, as The Guardian reported in 2017.
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