Hasankeyf (Kurmanji Kurdish: Heskîf, Arabic:حصن كيفا, Armenian: Հարսնքվ, Greek: Κιφας, Latin: Cepha, Syriac: ܟܐܦܐ) is a 12,000 year old city which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world. Much of the city and its archeological sites are at risk of being flooded with the completion of the Ilisu Dam.
Hasankeyf is rich in history throughout the ages and aside from the sites below, thousands of caves exist in the cliffs that surround the city. Many of the caves are multi-storied and have their own water supply. Churches and mosques were also carved into the cliffs and numerous ancient cemeteries exist throughout the area.
The current population of Hasankeyf is predominantly Kurdish. Until the 1980s, Assyrians/Syriacs and Arab Christian families lived in the cave houses by the river.
Just two days after the 3rd Global Days of Action for Hasankeyf, on 10th June 2019, the news spread that the filling of the Ilisu Dam reservoir has been postponed. The responsible state agency DSI (State Hydraulic Works) declared to several media agencies that due to high river flow at the Ilisu dam site and
Nearly 100 environmentalist institutions have called for action before the AKP-wanted Ilısu Dam makes ancient Hasankeyf disappearing.
On 10 June some 12 thousand years of history will disappear under the waters of the Ilisu Dam.
Of Democratic Confederalism’s three pillars—radical democracy, gender liberation, and ecological sustainability—I would argue that the latter is the most crucial, and sets the foundation for a truly democratic, inclusive and egalitarian society. A society cannot be democratic towards ethno-religious minorities or be truly gender progressive if it cannot first and foremost demonstrate an integral and profound respect for our shared land.