The historic settlement of Hasankeyf, located in the Batman Province in southeastern Turkey, was submerged once the Ilısu Dam became operational in early July.
One hundred and ninety-nine settlements, including fifty villages, were submerged and thousands of people living in the area were forcibly displaced.
Hasankeyf contained evidence of the first human traces dating back 300,000 years. It also contained archaeological settlements dating back 12,000 years and two hundred and eighty-nine ancient burial mounds. In addition, there were over one hundred endemic species and animals living in the area.
Hasankeyf Coordination Initiative (HCI) spokesperson Rıdvan Ayhan stated that: “This place does not belong to us only. It belongs to the whole world. Wherever you dig, you come across a different historical period and culture. If you submerge these cultures without preserving them, then you harm the memory of humankind”.