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Catch last glimpse of 12,000-old Turkish town before it's devoured by water (VIDEO)

Catch last glimpse of 12,000-old Turkish town before it's devoured by water (VIDEO)
The ancient Turkish town of Hasankeyf may soon literally sink into oblivion, likely to be flooded with water from a massive reservoir built behind a dam despite international outcry and calls to stop the project.

Ruptly’s footage from Saturday shows the ancient city on the banks of the Tigris River as we probably should remember it, since in several months it might no longer be there. The reason is the Ilisu Dam, a part of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), estimated to generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity and add $260 million to Turkey’s economy per year.

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The filling of the reservoir, with a capacity of more than 10 billion cubic meters, is scheduled to begin next week. It is estimated that the rising water levels will start affecting Hasankeyf and the neighboring village as soon as October, and might submerge them by next April.

The launch of the dam will displace hundreds of people, who have been promised new homes by the authorities.

Ankara attempted to fill the reservoir last June, but aborted the effort due to outrage from Iraq, which relies on the Tigris River as one of its major water sources. It is feared that the dam might lead to water shortages there.

Seventy-five civil society organizations, including from Turkey and Iraq, have called on Ankara to scrap the project, arguing in a letter in May that apart from "seriously jeopardizing the water supply of major Iraqi towns," it would damage the country's cultural heritage while having "no socio-economic or any other benefit for the majority of society in the affected region."

"Independent researchers state that Hasankeyf and the surrounding Tigris Valley are as important historically as Ephesus, Troy and Cappadocia and fulfill 9 out of the 10 UNESCO criteria for a World Heritage Site," they wrote.

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