UK co-ops urged to speak up against proposed flooding of ancient Mesopotamian settlement

UK co-ops: We need you to join us in speaking up for the tens of thousands of people who are likely to be displaced when the ancient town of Hasankeyf and 200 villages in southeastern Turkey are flooded, as part of a Turkish government hydroelectric project.

The Turkish government recently announced that on 10 June 2019 it will start filling the Ilisu Dam reservoir, flooding the 12,000 year old town of Hasankeyf. Not only is this a vibrant market town, it has a rich and significant history: surrounded by Neolithic caves, it’s the site of medieval Islamic architecture, including a bridge across the Tigris that established it as an important outpost along the Silk Road. Experts say it could be one of the oldest continuous settlements in the world.

Not only will this be devastating for up to 100,000 people who are likely to be displaced or otherwise affected, but it will destroy unique ecological habitats and ways of life, and restrict water access by up to 43% for people living in parts of Iraq and Syria. It will also make it impossible to pursue opportunities for local, sustainable, grassroots cultural and economic development.

On Friday 7 June social movements, NGOs, ecologists, and activists will be coming together outside the Turkish Embassy in London to speak up against this planned action. We’re asking co-operators and supporters of solidarity economy movements to join us in solidarity, putting into practice principles 6 and 7 of the Co-operative Values – co-operation amongst co-operatives and concern for community. Similar events will be taking place in dozens of cities in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and across Mesopotamia, as well as around Europe.

If you’re not able to attend on the day, there are still plenty of ways to show your support. You can:

To find out more and attend on Friday 7 June please visit this Facebook event page.

Image reproduced from the National Geographic at