A Turkish dam is about to flood one of the oldest continuously settled places on Earth

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tags: Turkey, ancient history, dams

The time had finally come for Ramsiz Alcin to leave, generations after her ancestors settled in this ancient town on the Tigris, decades after the state proposed building a dam down river and after years of protests that had ultimately failed to stop it.

The dam would leave Hasankeyf almost totally submerged.

The water was coming, soon, officials said. So Alcin and her family moved last month, abandoning their house with its fig and pomegranate trees. A flatbed truck transferred their belongings to a new home, on higher ground, but the place — shoddily built, with a garden full of rocks — was no substitute.

“They made victims of the people of Hasankeyf,” she said.

It is expected to take a few months before the water starts to rise in this 12,000-year-old town, one of the oldest known, continuously inhabited settlements in the world, as the reservoir created by the Ilisu dam more than 35 miles downstream begins to fill.

Turkey’s government has promoted the dam as a vital development project — part of a larger network of dams aimed at reducing the country’s dependency on energy imports and providing jobs in its impoverished southeast region.

Read entire article at Washington Post

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