Published by Mesop, December 2015

1) We would like to share the press release below about the selection of Hasankeyf by Europa Nostra among the the 14 most endangered heritage sites. In March the final selection of the most 7 sites will be done.

2) For around three weeks the construction of the Ilisu Dam continues after a five month strike by the workers of the Ilisu construction. In June 2015 several workers had been injured by the sub-contractor company “Malamina” which has resulted in the protests of the workers who burnt down many machines, vehicles and offices at the construction site.

3) After more than an half year the State Water Works (DSI), the governmental body responsible for waters and dams, has given the order to two companies – one from Europe – in order to relocate the Zeynel Bey Tomb, one of the most important and visible monuments in Hasankeyf. This has been done on an illegal basis after the chamber for architects of Turkey refused to issue a document for joining the tender. In the last weeks the news about the start of the relocation process have increased. For next spring the relocation may start. We will inform you more regularly about recent news around the Ilisu Dam.

Ancient city of Hasankeyf in Turkey among the 14 most endangered heritage sites in Europe

10.12.2015 – The Hague / Luxembourg, 10 December 2015 – Europa Nostra, the leading

European heritage organisation, and the European Investment Bank

Institute announce today the 14 monuments and sites shortlisted for ‘The

7 Most Endangered’ programme 2016 by an international panel of experts

in various fields. These endangered landmarks from 14 European countries

are: Archaeological site of Ererouyk and village of Ani Pemza, Armenia;

Palace of Justice in Brussels, Belgium; Patarei Sea Fortress in Tallinn,

Estonia; Helsinki-Malmi Airport, Finland; Colbert Swing Bridge in

Dieppe, France; Castle in Divitz, Germany; Kampos of Chios, Greece;

Venice Lagoon, Italy; Castle Rijswijk, the Netherlands; Y-block in Oslo,

Norway; Valflores Palace and Estate, near Lisbon, Portugal; Convent of

St. Anthony of Padua, Extremadura, Spain; Ancient city of Hasankeyf and

its surroundings, Turkey; and Mavisbank House, near Edinburgh, the

United Kingdom. Some of these sites are in danger due to neglect or

inadequate planning/development, others due to lack of resources or

expertise. The final list of 7 sites will be unveiled at a public event

in Venice on 16 March.


The 14 shortlisted monuments and sites were selected taking into account

their outstanding heritage and cultural values as well as the grave

danger that they are facing. The commitment of various public and

private stakeholders and the engagement of the local communities to

rescuing those sites were also considered essential. Another important

criterion was the potential of these sites to serve as a resource and a

driver of sustainable development for the wider region in which they are



Nominations for ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ programme 2016 were submitted by

civil society or public bodies which form part of Europa Nostra’s vast

network of member and associate organisations from all over Europe.

Fourteen sites were shortlisted by a panel of experts in History,

Archaeology, Architecture, Conservation, Project Analysis and Finance.

The final list of 7 sites will be selected by the Board of Europa

Nostra. ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ programme was launched in January 2013

by Europa Nostra with the European Investment Bank Institute as founding

partner and the Council of Europe Development Bank as associated partner.


Ancient city of Hasankeyf and its surroundings, TURKEY


The 12,000-year-old settlement of Hasankeyf is located on the banks of

the Tigris River in south-eastern Turkey. From Neolithic caves to Roman

ruins and Medieval monuments, Hasankeyf is a living museum of epic

proportions. Despite its exceptionally rich multicultural history and

heritage, 80% of Hasankeyf will be flooded if the Ilısu hydroelectric

dam project is implemented as planned. There is no internationally

recognised scheme for the relocation and preservation of the monuments.


The most urgent actions required are to alter the Ilısu Dam project and

to formulate an independent strategic plan that balances conservation

and sustainable development. Hasankeyf was nominated for ‘The 7 Most

Endangered’ 2016 by the Cultural Awareness Foundation whose campaign is

supported by a range of national and international bodies.

The goal of the campaign is to contribute to a dialogue about heritage

conservation by outlining a model for balancing conservation and

development. This model is to be based on case study examining the

example of Hasankeyf. This study presents an opportunity to share

knowledge and build consensus concerning heritage conservation and

economic growth.


If Hasankeyf is designated as one of Europe’s 7 Most Endangered sites,

heritage and financial experts from Europa Nostra and the European

Investment Bank Institute, working in close cooperation public and

private stakeholders representing local and national interests, will

assess the site and, taking into consideration the investments that have

already been made in the area’s development, help formulate a feasible

action plan for conserving Hasankeyf and its invaluable universal heritage.

Both in its geography and its philosophy, Hasankeyf sits in the heart of

a region, a world, struggling to find its way forward. It is important,

especially today, to remember that Hasankeyf is a kernel of peace.

Visitors feel a sense of calm and tranquility as soon as they arrive,

and locals are proud of the fact that their town has avoided the

violence that has plagued the region for decades.

It is hoped that this report will contribute to an ongoing discussion of

theories and methods of heritage conservation among leading

conservationists, government decision-makers, and other stakeholders in



Europa Nostra

Joana Pinheiro, [email protected]

  1. +31 70 302 40 55; E. +31 6 34 36 59 85

European Investment Bank Institute – Bruno Rossignol, [email protected]

  1. +352 43 797 07 67; M. +352 62 134 58 62

Cultural Awareness Foundation – Ozan Torun, [email protected]  –(212) 347 24 25; M. (532) 600 30 10 TO FIND OUT MORE