February 3, 2013

Alert: 12,000 years old major site in Kurdistan threatened by mega-dam

Only one is needed, and the 12,000 years-old village Hasakyef fulfills nine of the ten possible reasons to be declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Yet the Turkish colonial authorities are not interested in seeing this village recognized in any way and therefore the site remains mostly forgotten

Ankara wants to build there one of the most important reservoirs of the Turkish state and another interested party is the Austrian company VA TECH, subsidiary of the German multinational Siemens AG, which would get the bulk of the construction deal. 

It is not just a problem of resettlement, of opposition by the locals, who actually don't even feel represented by the Turkish state at all (they are all Kurds and feel oppressed in a colonial way in fact), it is not just a problem of water robbery to other states like Iraq, it is a problem of a major heritage site of Humankind, dating to the Neolithic (Kurdistan was probably the major boiling cauldron of innovation in the early Neolithic, even more important than the Levant surely) and transiting through all ages until present day, being destroyed by the imposition of a colonial government and the lack of interest of the World. 

While the dam has been planned for decades, this time it seems very serious. Conservation laws have been sidelined and 3000 people are already working in the preliminary part of this destructive work.

Source: Paleorama[es].


  1. It's off topic but I don't think Kurds are being "colonized" here: it's Kurds who are newcomers in the region West of the Tigris.
    The "native" people here (colonized by the relatively young state of Turkey) are the Semites Neo-Aramaic speakers (Christians) and their arabized kin. And just a bit North, there are the Armenian highlands, once mainly inhabited by Armenians.

    1. Kurds are mentioned by ancient Greek sources, their language is rooted in Median and their genetic roots probably come mostly from Hurro-Urarteans, more ancient than any Armenian or Semitic presence in those areas. In any case it is a deeply rooted people and is exploited colonially by Turkey without doubt - this aspect of economic exploitation and military occupation is what I meant. There are some peoples, like mine, which are oppressed politically but not in a way that can be described as 'colonial' but colonial oppression is clearly the case of Northern Kurdistan under the Turkish military boot.


Please, be reasonably respectful when making comments. I do not tolerate in particular sexism, racism nor homophobia. Personal attacks, manipulation and trolling are also very much unwelcome here.The author reserves the right to delete any abusive comment.

Preliminary comment moderation is... ON (your comment may take some time, maybe days or weeks to appear).