World’s oldest waterway featured in documentary
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
The documentary titled ‘Anadolu Su Medeniyeti’ features the oldest waterways and water resources from different civilizations that have existed in the Anatolian region. AA Photo
The world’s oldest water structures in Anatolia are the subject of a new documentary series by Turkish journalist and writer Dursun Özden. The series titled “Anadolu Su Medeniyeti” (Anatolian Water Culture) consists of 13 episodes.
Özden said he had conducted research in 66 Turkish provinces over the course of six months. He said the documentary had been filmed under very harsh conditions and the documentary team’s goal was to present key information regarding these structures to the audience.
“Based on interviews we conducted with experts and scientists, we have documented some of the world’s oldest architectural wonders,” Özden said. “We revealed traces of the world’s oldest water channels, cisterns and waterways from 13,000 years ago.” He said they found waterways from the Sumerians, Hittites, Urartians, Eastern Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, Ottomans and the Republic.
Özden said the purpose of the documentary was to draw the attention of Turkish officials to the historical structures in the Anatolian countryside to preserve and protect them. He also said he hoped to highlight the importance of water resources and waterways, the strategic importance of which is increasing in the world.
Özden said he also revealed the existence of an underground irrigation system in Anatolia. “Our ancestors brought water from very far places. They found rain and snow waters flowing from mountains underground. They found a way to carry this water to their living spaces and called their underground irrigation system ‘kariz.’”
He said he had worked in Turkey for three years to find and film the underground irrigation systems. “There are traces of this system in Uyghur 6,000 years ago, in Iran 2,500 years ago and in Azerbaijan 1,800 years ago.”
While discovering the underground waterways, Özder said they also documented some of the world’s longest waterways. “There is a 246 km waterway between Istranca Forest and Istanbul and a 115 km underground water resource in the southern city of Mersin’s Silifke district.”
He said that while the existence of those structures was known, their features remained unknown. To figure it out, Özder and his team worked with civil engineers, survey engineers and land surveyors to determine the waterways’ lengths and depths, he said.
On the importance of the use of water, Özden said decreases in usable water can be traced to climate change and an unconscious use of the resource.