Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Meet me in Hasankeyf! 5-8 April/Nisan Hasankeyf'te buluşalım!

Hasankeyf Matters; Nature Iraq; and Birdlife International partners Doğa Derneği (Nature Association) extend an open invitation to the third Hasankeyf Ingathering, to be held Friday April 5 to Monday the 8th, 2013.

Hike in daytime, halay at night!
As with previous Ingathering events, the aim is three-fold:
  1. To explore the city of Hasankeyf and its environs
  2. To bring people from different cultures together for dialogue and mutual understanding
  3. To call attention to local traditions and practices that could provide the foundation for environmentally sustainable economic development over the coming decades.
Art workshop at 2nd Hasankeyf Ingathering
Activities will include art workshops, bird watching, tours of the river and canyons, talks and workshops on traditional weaving, and music. Hasankeyf Hasbahçe is hosting an exhibit, Hasankeyf through Four Seasons / Dört Mevsim’de Hasankeyf – photographs by Civan Değer. Local residents are at the ready to help visitors explore this extraordinary city, the Tigris River and the adjoining canyons. As North Iraq Waterkeeper Nwenar Fatih observed during a recent visit to the area, “Hasankeyf has it all: trails, rivers and streams, and civilization!”

In addition, attendees will reap the benefits of three major initiatives:

Doğa Derneği, in cooperation with ECA Watch-Austria, will screen “Climate Crimes,” a documentary which challenges claims that dams provide ‘green’ energy.

Rafting on the Tigris at Hasankeyf
As part of the Tigris River Flotilla Project, representatives from Nature Iraq will guide visitors through the construction and use of the kelek, a traditional raft, which historically was an important element of Hasankeyf trade and commerce and today is a potential resource for ecotourism entrepreneurs.

Hasankeyf Matters will release a new Hasankeyf Lower City walking itinerary, produced with the help of Istanbul-based artist Melanie Mehrer and Hasankeyf archeologist Necdet Talayhan. This guide aims to show visitors that there is more to Hasankeyf than the Citadel (closed to visitors in 2012).

Hasankeyf needs friends and supporters, now more than ever.
Recent legal developments are hardly a reprieve for Hasankeyf. The Council of State has de jure halted work on the Ilısu Dam project; however, de facto construction in and around Hasankeyf continues. The Tigris River has already been diverted through tunnels at the dam site and related infrastructure work at Hasankeyf is altering the landscape and damaging historic monuments.

Hasankeyf and its residents still need the support of all those interested in the sustainable stewardship of cultural heritage and environmental riches. Ingathering organizers pose the question, “Is there a ‘middle way’ to address the needs, interests and aspirations of all stakeholders in the region – upstream, downstream, left-bank and right-bank?”

Practical information:
Turkish Airlines flies to Diyarbakır, Mardin and Batman. Public transportation to Hasankeyf takes 90 minutes (from Batman) and 2-3 hours (from Diyarbakir and Mardin).

Fresh grilled trout at Hasbahçe
Lodging is available at Hasankeyf Hasbahçe. Room rates are 50 TL per person per night; 25 TL per person to camp (showers available). Contact Firat Argun, owner, at +90.530.929.1527.

Guests should bear in mind that Hasankeyf residents share the traditional values of communities all over the region, including modest clothing (long pants and long sleeve shirts preferred for both male and female). Good walking/trekking shoes, sweater and coat (for cold nights), and a rain coat are recommended.

Participants are also welcome to make a financial contribution to the Hasankeyf school fund (for supplemental supplies, art and sports equipment, etc.)

For more information, please contact:
Doğa Derneği / Birdlife International partners in Turkey (Nature Association)
Turkish, English & Italian
Hasankeyf'te buluşalım!  Meet me in Hasankeyf!

Hasankeyf Matters
English, French, Turkish & Arabic

Hasankeyf Hasbahçe
Turkish & Arabic
Firat Argun, owner

Nature Iraq
English, Dutch