Erklärung des Protestcamps in Hasankeyf (engl)


Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive



We, individuals and organisations from different parts of the world and
Turkey, met in 11-17 October 2010 by the Tigris River for the Hasankeyf
Solidarity Camp to raise voice against the Ilısu Dam project which will
damage, if built, natural and cultural life. The construction of the
Ilısu Dam has been going on since spring 2010 despite all the counter
response of the local communities and other segments of society. We came
together to raise voice against the displacement of at least eighty
thousand people from their livelihoods and the destruction of  twelve
thousand years old cultural heritage in the name of some hydro-electric
power production.  We came together not only to protect Hasankeyf from
being a lost natural-cultural heritage such as Halfeti and Zeugma, and
from the destiny of Allianoi which is hidden under sands now, but also
to underline the need for a change in the existing water governance in
Turkey which creates such “destruction projects” in other parts of the
country such as Munzur, Hakkâri Cilo and the Black Sea region. We
thought together about it, discussed it from different perspectives,
learnt together and redefined the problems together.

We, the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive, also aimed at drawing public
attention at national and international levels to the developments of
the last six months in Hasankeyf whose historical ruins are closed to
public visit due to rock fall and the construction of the Ilısu Dam
being carried out with national financial resources. We carried out
panels, civil disobedience actions, concerts, competitions, theatrical
performances and folk dance shows for the exchange of ideas and
experiences among actors of social movements against dams and
hydro-power plants from different parts of the world and various regions
in Turkey. Despite the weather and our limited resources, we believe
that we have reached our goals successfully.

We declare that there is an urgent need for a deep change in the
existing understanding of governance which does not take into account
nature and society; aims at converting livelihood resources into sole
economic ones; targets only economic profit; has no ethical bounds in
reaching its goals; steals the livelihood resources from future
generations and communities, whose very existence depends on the
protection of those livelihood resources, through creating despair or
deceiving as if these resources belonged to them; legitimizes such
social-ecological destruction under the guise of “progress and
development”; and accuses and punishes, in the most aggressive ways, any
response against this destruction. This understanding of progress and
development which has great social-ecological costs should be replaced
with a new governance approach that will be holistic and based on
keeping alive existing natural-cultural heritages. Unless we change this
paradigm which causes deterioration rather than progress and destruction
rather than development, Hasankeyf, Hakkâri-Cilo, Munzur, Allianoi, the
Loç Valley, the Palovit Valley, Yuvarlakçay, the Çoruh Basin and many
other cultural-natural heritages of Turkey will continue to be under the
threat of extinction. As this threat is pointed towards humans, other
living-beings, the past and the future, our struggle should embrace
universal values as well as the cultural diversity of local struggles.
For as much as, we can deal with the consequences of the global
development paradigm at national scale only through the embracement of
such universality.

Therefore, following our Hasankeyf Solidarity Camp, we all together
raise voice stronger:  Let live Hasankeyf; not the Ilısu Dam! Let live
Life; not destruction!

Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive