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.
In the summer of 2023, Mount Cudi is once again the site of significant wildfires, marking a recurring environmental challenge that has profound implications for the region which is an important part of the Kurdish geography. This event brings to the forefront an interview with Zozan Pehlivan, an environmental historian of the modern Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, and Ottoman Kurdistan, conducted in 2020, now translated into English by MedyaNews, that explores the intricate connections between ecology, economy, and history in Turkey, Kurdistan and beyond.
Ecology is one of the three pillars of the paradigm of Democratic Confederalism, the political-theoretical concept of the Kurdish Freedom Movement. Besides democracy and gender liberation, ecology has been mentioned explicitly as a dimension in this concept since 2005. However to date, ecology is less discussed and practiced than the two other pillars.
In light of the conditions that Syria is currently facing, water has been cut off from North-east Syria and Iraq, and a policy is being pursued to starve and dehydrate millions of innocent civilians. This is not only happening on top of the current political conflicts in the region and its associated inhospitable living conditions but amidst the corona pandemic – all of which is taking place in front of the international community.
In 2021, too, the war in Kurdistan has a great impact on the struggle for an ecological society there. So we need to take a closer look at how these two issues relate to each other and what an ecological stance can look like in times of war. To that end, Make Rojava Green Again conducted an interview with Kamuran Akın from Humboldt University in Berlin.
The nation has been accused of breaking its agreement to ensure a flow of 500 cubic metres per second of the Euphrates flows through to Syria.