By: ECA Watch Austria
Ulrich Eichelmann -- ECA Watch Österreich +43 676 662 1512
Thomas Wenidoppler - ECA Watch Österreich +43 650 822 5200
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From October 11th until Sunday, October 17th, a protest camp against the construction of the Ilisu Dam has been set up on the banks of the Tigris river in the antique town of Hasankeyf in South-Eastern Turkey. Approximately 150 people, mostly from the surrounding region, have visited the camp every day. But there are also participants from New Zealand, France, Germany and Austria to protest against the construction of the Ilisu dam. The event aimed to inform about the project, additional events and actions have been planned, and lawyers have given advice to the local population about their legal rights.
"The camp is an important sign of resistance from within the Ilisu region. Even though construction activities continue, there is hope for the rescue of Hasankeyf," said Ulrich Eichelmann from ECA Watch Austria, who is currently in Hasankeyf. Just recently "Aksiyon", one of the most popular magazines in Turkey called for the implementation of an alternative model to the current plans to build the Ilisu dam. The magazine sited a study by the renowned Technical University of Ankara, which shows how Hasankeyf and parts of the Tigris valley can be saved by the construction of five smaller dams.
If the Ilisu dam is built according to current plans, more than 400 kilometres of the Tigris river and its tributaries, habitat for some globally endangered species and so far undiscovered flora and fauna, will be destroyed. Endemic species will be extinct and a unique ecosystem will be lost forever. Ten thousands of people will be displaced, and the ancient city of Hasankeyf will disappear in a gigantic reservoir, together with more than 200 other highly valuable archaeological sites.