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W&E Infobrief

Demonstration against Ilisu dam in Hasankeyf

+++ Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive +++ Initiative for free and equal citizens +++

Nearly 2000 affected people demonstrated to Hasankeyf against the planned Ilisu dam

20.05.2007

Today, on 20th May 2007, nearly 2000 people affected by the planned Ilisu and Hydroelectric Powerplant (HEPP) demonstrated to protest the destructive Ilisu project.

The demonstration started at 1 p.m. in the village "Kesmeköprü II" and end in the antique city of Hasankeyf. (The village Kesmeköprü II is close to the Tigris River, approx. 4 km west of Hasankeyf city and lies on the road between Batman and Hasankeyf.) People from all dam affected areas took part in the demonstration, i.e. from Hasankeyf inhabitants and people from the 199 affected villages in five different provinces. Beside the dam affected people also people from cities like Batman participated in order to support them in their protest against the Ilisu dam project. When the demonstration started the men took off their top and walked half naked to Hasankeyf. The people had banners like "Ilisu dam is the massacre of history”, "Do not destroy 10.000 years of history for 50 years energy” "No displacement through Ilisu dam”. The people had slogans like "Hasankeyf is history, it will stay history”. The demonstration was accompanied by the traditional drum and wind instrument (davul-zurna). When the people entered Hasankeyf they were welcomed by hundreds of people in the streets of Hasankeyf with applause.

The demonstration ended in Hasankeyf close to the river with a short manifestation where speeches by the dam affected people and by different invited representatives and persons will be held. At first Mesut Aydin from the organizators said that the planned Ilisu dam is one of the biggest of culture destruction in the world, that Hasankeyf which is one of the main places in Mesopotamia and would never been flooded if it would be in Europe, that the Ilisu dam will desert a whole region and that it would destroy the rich ecosystem of Tigris valley. Another speaker was Oktay Konyar, the leader of the Bergama villager in the province who are struggling against the destruction of their through a gold mine. He said that resistance is very important for any success, futher that the Kurds are active against indemocratic treatment and destruction of livelihoods but not enough the people in the west of Turkey. He also demanded the stopp of military operations in the region.

The demonstration was mainly organized by the "Initiative for free and equal citizien”, together with our Initiative all preparation was done.

The dam affected people showed that after the approval of the export credit guarantees by the German, Austrian and Swiss government’s end of March 2007 the protest and resistance against the Ilisu project is continuing. And there are planned more activities in the next weeks,

Further Information: Diren Özkan (Tel: 0090-5358977666) and Ercan Ayboga Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive www.hasankeyfgirisimi.com E-mail: hasankeyfgirisimi@gmail.com