Thursday, May 5, 2016

May 7-8 Symposium: "Hasankeyf and the Tigris Valley"

Please join us this weekend at the "Hasankeyf and Tigris Valley Symposium," May 7-8 in Batman and Hasankeyf. Organized by the Batman Urban Council (Batman Kent Konseyi) in partnership with The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive and the Mesopotamia Ecological Council, the symposium promises a lively and productive program.

Speakers include Ertuğrul Günay (former Minister of Culture and Tourism), Nevin Soyukaya (Head of Culture and Tourism for the Greater Diyarbakir Municipality and responsible for management of UNESCO-listed Sur District and Hevsel Gardens), Zeynep Ahunbay (Prof. of Architecture, former ICOMOS-Turkey President and, co-founder of Europa Nostra-Turkey), and several other well know scholars, environmentalists, and politicians (representing both the ruling AKP and the pro-Kurdish HDP).

The program is free and open to all. Batman is served by multiple flights daily from Istanbul and Ankara.


10:15-10:30 – Opening Remarks
  • Gülistan AKEL (Batman Co-Mayor)
  • Abdulvahap KUSEN (Hasankeyf Mayor)

10:30-12:30 – 1st Session: Hasankeyf History and Cultural Heritage

Moderator: Nevin SOYUKAYA (Director, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Greater Diyarbakır Municipality): “Results of Diyarbakır’s Listing as UNESCO World Heritage”

  • Ertuğrul GÜNAY (Former Minister of Culture and Tourism, 2007-11): “The Government’s Approach to Hasankeyf”
  • Prof. Dr. Gülriz KOZBE (Batman University): “The Geomorphology of the Tigris Valley and the First Settlements at Hasankeyf”
  • Prof. Dr. Zeynep AHUNBAY (Istanbul Technical University): “The History of and the UNESCO Process”
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Serhat HARMAN (Batman University): “Hasankeyf and Cultural Tourism”
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Düzgün ÇAKIRCA (Batman University): “What do We Lose with the Ilısu Dam?”

12:30-13:30 – Lunch

13:30-15:30 – 2nd Session: The Social, Ecological and Economic Impacts of the Ilısu Dam

Moderator: Prof. Ayla AKAT ATA (KJA Association Chair): “Hasankeyf and Women”

  • Prof. Dr. Murat BİRİCİK (Dicle University): “Biodiversity and the Ilısu Dam”
  • Ayten ERASLAN (Batman Ecological Council, Co-Spokesperson): “The Ilısu Dam Project from a Socio-ecological Perspective”
  • Selahattin GÜVENÇ (Mediterranean Migration Association, Former Co-Chair): “Migration and Social Impacts”
  • Murat TEKİN (Hasankeyf merchant): “Migration and its Social Impacts from the Local Hasankeyf Perspective”

15:15-15.30 – Coffee break

15:30-17:30 – 3rd Session: Efforts Against the Ilısu Dam Project

Moderator: Gülistan AKEL (Head of the Batman Kent Konseyi)

  • Kemal VURAL DOĞAN (Lawyer): “Hasankeyf and Legal Struggle”
  • Dr. Veysi AYHAN (Hasankeyf’i Yaşatma Girişimi): “The Struggle Against the Ilısu Dam and for the conservation of Hasankeyf”
  • Dicle Tuba KILIÇ (Head of Doğa Derneği): “Actions of Doğa Derneği against the Ilısu Dam Project”
  • Özkan SUN (Hasankeyf Matters): “To Understand Hasankeyf, Let’s Live Hasankeyf”



10:00-12:00 – Hasankeyf Meeting and Discussion

Moderator: Recep KAVUŞ (Head of the Batman Environmental Volunteers Association)

  • Abdulvahap KUSEN (Hasankeyf Mayor)
  • Mustafa BAYRAM (Co-Mayor of Halfeti/Urfa, which has been partially flooded by the Birecik Dam)
  • People from Hasankeyf
  • Dam-affected people from Halfeti
  • Dam-affected people from Dersim

12:00-13:00 – Hasankeyf Nature Walk

13:00-14:00 – Lunch

Organized by Batman Urban Council, The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive, Mesopotamia Ecological Network

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