Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hasankeyf The Undrowned

The Turkish town of Hasankeyf has existed on the Tigris River for over 12,000 years. This ancient community is now threatened by flooding with the completion of the Ilisu Dam.

People had inhabited the spot in the Middle Bronze Age under the Hurrian kings. Its name then is lost to the dust of time, however town has been called Ilānṣurā by the Akkadians, Ciphas by the Romans, Kiphas by the Byzantines and Hisn Kayf in Arabic meaning 'rock fortress before Ataturk gave it the more Turkish name, Hasankeyf.

Since the 12th Century a stone arched bridge traversed the Tigris transforming the town into a link of the old Silk Road to China and Hisn Kayf survived the Mongol assault on Islam thanks to its relative unimportance.

Life is simple for the most part for the Kurdish population.

Its doom due to the dam project has been stalled, as foreign consortiums have pulled their support in the face of resistance from the World Heritage Foundation.

12,000 years is a long time.

I wish Hisn Kayf another 12,000.

Hasankeyf too.

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