Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hasankeyf’te buluşalım! / Meet me in Hasankeyf!

Time to celebrate Hasankeyf and the Tigris!
Hasankeyf Matters and Nature Iraq invite you to the fourth Hasankeyf Ingathering, to be held Friday September 13 to Tuesday September 17, 2013.

Join us as we celebrate the Tigris, the source of civilization and the basis of prosperity, and explore the special relationship between Hasankeyf and the river:

  • Follow the canyons to upland springs from the gardens and orchards next to the river
  • Admire the Seljuq-era technologies that made Hasankeyf the magnificent capital of the Artukids (in the 12th century) and Ayyubids (13th-15th centuries)
  • Fish from the banks of the river, walk with shepherds, find the best place for bird-watching
  • Try out the traditional boats of the Tigris, before they sail downstream as part of the Tigris River Flotilla 
Start the day walking with the herd!
Photo: Hasankeyf Matters

The Tigris River Flotilla Project will see representatives from Nature Iraq exhibit three types of traditional boats – the tarada from the marshlands of southern Iraq, the guffa from central Iraq, and the kelek from Hasankeyf. These boats have provided the basis for trade and commerce along the Tigris for millennia and today are a potential resource for ecotourism entrepreneurs.

The Tarada is used in the southern Iraqi marshlands
Photo: Nature Iraq
The official launch of the Tigris River Flotilla will take place on Sunday, September 15. Over the following two months, the Flotilla will continue downstream through Iraq, with media events in Fishkhaboor, Baghdad, and Chibaish.

Become a friend to the people of Hasankeyf
Recent reports indicate that construction of the Ilısu Dam will be completed in 2014, which means that most of Hasankeyf and virtually all tangible traces of those who have lived here could disappear beneath the reservoir as early as 2016.

A modern kelek (Hasankeyf raft)
Photo: Hasankeyf Matters
Hasankeyf and its residents still need the support of all those interested in the sustainable stewardship of cultural heritage and environmental riches. The Ingathering organizers invite everyone to celebrate the shared heritage of dialogue and prosperity for which Hasankeyf and the length of the entire Tigris have been known throughout history. This is the time to ask, “What is the best way to ensure that Hasankeyf and all communities along this legendary river continue to thrive?”

Hasankeyf Ingatherings occur twice yearly (late summer and spring) with three objectives:

  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.

Practical information:
Remains of Seljuq-era water filtration system
Photo: Hasankeyf Matters
Pegasus Airlines and Turkish Airlines fly to Diyarbakır, Mardin and Batman. Public transportation to Hasankeyf takes 90 minutes (from Batman) and 2-3 hours (from Diyarbakir and Mardin).

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.

Mid-September weather: hot days, cool nights. 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 raincoat are recommended.
Hasankeyf: a cradle of civilization 
Photo: Hasankeyf Matters

For more information, please contact:
Hasankeyf Matters
English, French, Turkish & Arabic

Hasankeyf Hasbahçe
Turkish & Arabic
Firat Argun, owner

Nature Iraq
English, Dutch, Arabic, Kurdish