A historic town in Turkey, home to thousands of residents, is about to sink completely within a few weeks, after officials rejected decades of opposition campaign to continue their plan to flood the entire town.
The provincial governor, during a meeting on Saturday, confirmed that the town of Fort Kiva would be surrounded on 8 October, leaving the angry residents only a month to evacuate their homes.
The town, which lies on the banks of the Tigris River in southeastern Turkey, will be flooded as part of the Eliso Dam project, which will provide an energy source in the region. The project has caused much controversy over the past years and has lost the support of foreign governments and supporters because of its effects on the Old City. Fortress Kiva is about 12,000 years old, making it one of the oldest settlements in Mesopotamia. Its important historical monuments include the remains of a 12th-century bridge, a 15th-century cylindrical tomb, ruins of the ruins of two mosques, and hundreds of natural caves.
But once the deportation is complete, the city’s streets, houses and historic sites will disappear under the Tigris, leaving its castle alone above the surface, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, which claims the dam will have many economic and environmental benefits.
The governor of Batman province, which includes the town of Fort Kiva, said at a meeting on Friday that the old town would be permanently closed once a new road was opened in the area.
“After this date, there will be no traffic in the Old City,” Batulian Governor Holosi Shaheen said. With the opening of the new road, we will encircle the entire area. ”
“This will not be allowed in and out. That’s why our citizens have to make their plans according to the schedule. Time is running out and everyone has their obligations,” Shaheen said.
The move was greeted with anger by groups organizing rescue campaigns in the town, where a campaign, called Hasankeyf Coordination, called the project a “devastating encirclement.”
Some countries, including the United Kingdom, have backed away from the Eliso Dam project since 2001 and have attracted international attention on numerous occasions over the past decades. In 2008, Al Sadd lost funding to several European companies.