Government shells out for site
BATMAN - Anatolia News Agency
Government will spend total of $100 million to save the artifacts at Hasankeyf area. City’s treasures will be inundated when construction of the Ilısu Dam is completed.Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysi Eroğlu said yesterday that $100 million will be spent to save artifacts in Hasankeyf. Eroğlu and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek visited new housing sites in Batman’s Hasankeyf, where Eroğlu said a total of 20 percent of Hasankeyf would be inundated. “We are doing everything that we can to save the artifacts.”Eroğlu said an underwater cultural park and a museum would be built.All this work will be done to present Hasankeyf to the world, Eroğlu said. “We will also restore the historical buildings such as Artuklu Bridge.”
There were many protests and signature campaigns against the building of the dam. Some of the city’s historical treasures will be inundated if construction of the Ilısu Dam is completed. These include the ornate mosques, Islamic tombs and cave churches. The threat of the Ilısu Dam project prompted the World Monuments Fund to list the city on its 2008 Watch List of the 100 most endangered sites in the world. It is hoped that this listing will create more awareness of the project and prompt the Ilısu Consortium to develop alternate plans that are more sympathetic to this site of exceptional historical and cultural significance.
Many facts in Hasankeyf have been revealed in the excavations, but the most important findings from this year’s excavation work were a water purification system.