Movement of Hasankeyf artifacts to finish soon
All historic artifacts in the ancient town of Hasankeyf, which will be submerged by the floodwaters of Turkey’s fourth biggest dam, Ilısu, in the southeastern province of Batman, will be moved this year.
Following a two-kilometer transportation of the 650-year-old Zeynel Bey Shrine to the Hasankeyf New Cultural Park Field in 2017, works have been continuing for the transportation of the other historical artifacts and the protection of the immobile ones in their place.
The process continues for the transportation and protection of İmam Abdullah Zaviye—a small Islamic monastery—Artuklu Bath, Er-Rızk Mosque minaret Orta Kapı, Süleyman Han, Kızlar and Koç mosques. These seven artifacts will be transported before the end of this year and displayed in their new places.
Works have also been continuing for the reinforcement of the immobile structures. As part of this work, the legs of the Roman Bridge, which is one of the symbols of the historic town, and 300 caves were filled against a possible risk of collapse.
An almost one-kilometer protection wall, started being built last month for the protection of the Hasankeyf Castle, is about to finish. The wall is expected to protect the castle from receiving any damage from water.
Rocks, which risk falling off from areas where excavators could not enter, were broken by mountaineers.
Ancient harbor to be built
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, the general director of State Hydraulic Works, Murat Acu, said a tender would be made today for the transportation and protection works of the artifacts.
He said works would start urgently after the tender, adding that an ancient harbor will be built for tourists to visit the Hasankeyf Castle after the dam is filled with water.
Stating that upper Hasankeyf would be protected in its original place, Acu said, “Along with the artifacts to be transported, we also have the upper Hasankeyf. We will build an ancient harbor there. The scene will be better. It is under construction with the decision of an academic council. We are excited that we will protect our culture while meeting our need for energy.”
Acu said a 350 million Turkish Lira fund was allocated for the transportation, protection and reinforcement of historical artifacts, adding that 20 million liras were spent on the transportation of the Zeynel Bey Shrine only. “Its transportation increased the number of visitors,” he added.
The massive shrine was moved in a single piece after a rail system was built and a special kind of asphalt was laid. At least 50 people, including engineers, were on duty to aid the moving process.
In Hasankeyf, locals have already started moving to the new houses of the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ).
TOKİ started the construction of 710 houses two years ago, at an estimated cost of 164 million liras, and the construction is due to be finished soon.
In the new settlement, the construction of the Hasankeyf Vocational School, a modern library, a mosque, a business center and a district organization have all been completed.