The sun lights up the new residential area that is built at the foothills of Mount Raman. The new Hasankeyf was built on the foothill of the Raman Mountain, which is 2 kilometers away from the old town center, and provided to residents for a certain fee. Right below the new residential area, the caves from ancient times and old Hasankeyf houses can be seen.

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2023 ZEKE Award: Honorable Mention

Drowned History

Mustafa Bilge Satkın | Turkey

The construction of the Ilısu Dam in Turkey had devastating impacts on the local community and environment in the Dicle Valley, a 100 km long area along the Tigris River. The project resulted in the displacement of over 10,000 most of whom are Kurdish and Arabic and the submergence of 198 villages, including the ancient city of Hasankeyf, one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited settlements.

Despite this, the dam was constructed as part of the state's water policies, with little regard for the consequences it would have on the local community and environment. The inhabitants of villages were forced to abandon their ancestral homes, sell their livestock, and move to a hastily built new town. The process of moving was emotionally distressing, as people had to exhume the graves of their loved ones and carry their remains to the new town so future generations could visit their ancestors.

In conclusion, the construction of the Ilısu Dam had a profound impact on the residents and environment in the Dicle Valley, causing displacement, loss of cultural heritage, and emotional distress for the local community.

A photographic image is the poetry of the time, whether it is a good or a bad experience. Photos are incredibly important not only to understand what is happening now but also for future generations to understand who we were and how we got there. My desire to take photos gives me endless ideas to get to know communities, integrate with them, and learn about life. In the photos I take, I look for answers to the questions such as "Who am I? and what is my role in this world?” It is my way of seeing and perceiving the world.
I usually focus on long-term environmental stories. In order to see the effects of the problems such as climate crisis, and environmental migration and to understand their seriousness, we must accept that these are common problems of all humankind. For this reason, these issues in the geography I live in are my area of interest.
I think the subjects chosen by photographers are related to their own past. Even if you focus on the stories of people with whom you have no organic connection, you try to find a connection with your own life.

Diversify Photo Member

UNDP Turkey volunteer photographer

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Whatsup: +90 5324554401


Instagram: @m.bilgesatkin

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