Hasankeyf is a historical district in Batman, Turkey. In the district there are many caves where people used to live in the past. Because the rocks in this area are suitable for carving easily. For the same reason, migratory birds also use these rocks to build their nests.
After surviving thousands of years this site is destroyed for the sake of the “national interests” by the Turkish State. They built a dam by cutting the Tigris River to generate electricity.
In the photo series you can see three different periods of Hasankeyf, old Hasankeyf which was built thousands of years ago, current Hasankeyf which was built in 1960 and the new Hasankeyf that was built by the Turkish government to relocate the citizens after the flooding. Due to the state’s persistence to construct the Ilisu Dam, the fate of this ancient space is to remain under water. The Tigris Valley which surrounds Hasankeyf is the only place in the world that meets nine of the ten criteria of being “World Heritage” by UNESCO.
What does Hasankeyf look like now? What will it look like in a couple of years? What did it look like before the flooding? Can we look at Hasankeyf from the point of view of those who once lived in the caves? What we surely know is that they knew that the shadows behind the caves like in Plato’s allegory were the truth. What about us who are living so many years after those people, which side of the cave do we believe that shows the truths?
Workers of Hasankeyf