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New dam on River Tigris threatens thousands of years of heritage in Turkey

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 New dam on River Tigris threatens thousands of years of heritage in Turkey
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Some call it the cradle of civilisation.

Historians refer to it as Mesopotamia - the place where the Stone Age began.

But the ruined buildings that have dotted the landscape of southern Turkey for thousands of years, will soon be lost forever. A new dam being built on the River Tigris is believed to responsible for potentially displacing around 50 thousand people from the area, and the historical losses are incalculable.

The new dam on the river will provide irrigation for farming, and electricity for modern living in Turkey as well as Iraq. But the rising waters will consume the entire area of the town of Hasankeyf, which will soon be underwater, flooded forever.

Vahap Kusen is the mayor of Hasankeyf said the new dam will solve the draught in the area: "Hasankeyf has, with its 15 thousand years-long history, housed several civilisations. It is a human heritage which will be completely destroyed." He then added: “In the last years the need for water has increased considerably, because of draught. I hope this problem in between the countries is solved so that everyone receives the water they have the right to. This is what we are hoping for."

A local resident said: “They should not do it. It is difficult for us. They should not do it. We will lose everything. We will be homeless. We receive little compensation, it is difficult.”

Another resident from the area added: “This is history. Our culture is very rich. In the West and in Europe they value preserving history, but here we are sitting right in the middle of a world treasure. I am a supporter of preserving it. We must have something to show our children.”

Watch Good Morning Europe's report on the Ilisu Dam in the player above.

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