“Bakur” is Kurdish for “North”. It refers to the land in the North of Kurdistan (the land where Kurds live), in the eastern part of Turkey, particularly the southeast.
The Turkish state was founded in 1923, at the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and a system of Turkish cultural and language assimilation was installed, known as ‘Turkification’. Kurdish and other languages were forbidden. Names of rivers, mountains, villages, cities and other places were changed to Turkish, and naming children anything other than Turkish names was also forbidden, as was education, books, etc in such languages.
The Kurdish movement was founded in opposition to this forced assimilation, in favour of Kurdish and other minority cultural rights.
In past years, the ancient city of Hasankeyf attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, offering them the chance to explore the traces of more than 20 civilizations that contributed to the city’s cultural heritage. Hasankeyf – with a history spanning 12,000 years – held a special appeal to visitors from the region as well as to those from western Turkey and every corner of the globe, and this enabled local residents not only to provide for their families but also to share their specialized knowledge of this historic landscape.
Deposed co-mayor Songül Doğan of the municipality of Akpazar in the province of Dersim continues her works in an agricultural co-operative.
“We are the people of Mesopotamia, one of the most remarkable areas of the world, known as the cradle of civilization. We are the people of Hasankeyf in Turkey and of the Marshes in Iraq. We are connected and combined by the Tigris River. The Tigris is our common root, our common lifeline and our common future.”
A court in Turkey’s southeastern Mardin province has pushed forward with terrorism charges against a dismissed mayor from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) over her municipality’s support for women’s cooperatives, which were planting green beans
Access to the 12,000-year-old settlement of Hasankeyf is now only possible with a special permit. The cultural site in Northern Kurdistan is flooded by the Ilisu dam on the Tigris. With it a unique history is lost.
The construction of two dams in Turkey’s south-eastern province of Adıyaman will lead to the forced migration of 5,000 members of the country’s Alevi community from lands where they have lived for thousands of years.
Last call to try and stop the destruction of the 12,000 years old site.
Since the beginning of 2015, "Mesopotamia Ecology Movement", which was formed in 2011, has entered an important process of restructuring itself. Under a new structure and with profounder political claims, more and more people are getting involved for a more ecological society, producing a new dynamic which will have short- and long-term positive effects on Northern Kurdistan.
The filling of the controversial Ilisu Dam continues despite the ongoing strong critic and protests by the affected communities along the Tigris River and civil society organizations from all over Turkey. Almost two weeks ago the raising dam reservoir has reached the 12,000 years old town Hasankeyf which is one of the most magnificent cultural and natural heritage sites at our planet. The planned "apocalypse" by the Turkish government is becoming slowly reality!
Below is the transcript of our interview with three members of the anarchist group Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF, or Revolutionary Anarchist Action) in Istanbul during May 2015. DAF are involved in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle, the Rojava revolution and against ISIS’ attack on Kobane, and have taken action against Turkish state repression and corporate
Kurdistan is not a poor country; it is a country that is being made poor. The lack of Coca Cola does not make us poor. Capitalist modernity, as Ocalan defines it, makes us poor. It wants to belittle people’s own production and to impose on the society capitalist mass production. That’s why the co-operatives and the communes that we have been establishing made the state feel uncomfortable. Because this represents a logic of rupture from mass production and a move towards the use of our own resources. The state was losing its market in Kurdistan.
Turkey has always shown little understanding of the environment, also from an ecological point of view. It has shown no mercy towards nature and people, destroying the landscape and burying a millennia of history under water. One of the most perverse and ruthless ways of interfering in a country without actually entering it is by cutting
The 1st Mesopotamian Water Forum was held on April 6-8, 2019 in Sulaimani (Sulaymaniyah) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. More than 180 water activists from the Mesopotamia region and other countries gathered for the 3-day forum at Sulaimani University.
it needs to be stated that in almost half of Sur, apart from the destroyed buildings, the original street fabric and the insular-parcel integrity have been irreparably lost. Together with the forced exodus and forced expropriation, it leads to the eradication of the traditional-social life, trade forms and urban social memory, developed over thousands of years, the change of propriety, the change of the demographic structure and the interruption of cultural continuity. The ongoing “Tigris Valley Project” is another big threat to the Word Heritage Site Diyarbakir outside of the fortress, which should not be underestimated. If all planning of the Turkish government would be implemented, the World Heritage Site of Diyarbakir would completely lose its core values and its uniqueness. The result would be a new old city with a completely new population, which has no relation to the cultural heritage of Diyarbakir, and a big commercialized area serving only big investments and profit, while erasing the local culture.