Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Batman MP Mehmet Ali Aslan has protested that rocks were being removed with dynamite as a part of the Ilısu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant (HES) Project that will submerge Hasankeyf under water.
According to dihaber (Dicle News Agency), chaining himself to a rock, Aslan stated the following:
"There are certain criteria concerning historical monuments in the world. At the same time that it is forbidden to even take photographs in any museum or historical site, it is incomprehensible that such places are being dynamited.
"Official authorities are blatantly making false statements. They say that no explosives are being used. Are these then images of children popping balloons? When I saw the footage, I couldn't believe my eyes. I associated it with ISIS' (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) historical massacre in Palmyra.
"It cannot be a coincidence that they are dynamiting this place when the Parliament is on holiday. They are taking advantage of this. It is a planned action. There is the State of Emergency, no one will come here and take action anyway".
Despite all objections, rocks are still tumbling down from the castles as part of the Ilısu Dam and Dams and Hydroelectric Power Plant (HES) Project that will submerge Hasankeyf, an ancient town and district located along the Tigris River in the predominantly Kurdish-populated Batman Province in southeastern Turkey.
The Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive has stated that the rocks which don't pose a threat or pose a little risk were being tumbled down as well with dynamite-like explosives, which harm the natural structure of the castle. The initiative also has posted a video about the matter.
A delegation of five people consisting of construction engineers, geological engineers and architects made an inspection on the site yesterday (August 16).
Chamber of Civil Engineers Batman Branch Director Ferhat Demir from the delegation stated:
"As far as we observed, the caves below and wine cellars have been damaged due to the destruction. Entrances of the caves have been closed. If the rocks posed a threat, it should have been fixed through appropriate methods. An arbitrary demolition is inappropriate".
Batman Governor Ahmet Deniz on the other hand had shared another video claiming that "It is absolutely not true that dynamite is used during removal of the rocks which pose threat in Hasankeyf". (NV/DG)
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