An Ancient Town Submerged: Hasankeyf Underwater

Images from the past year, as the Turkish town of Hasankeyf was slowly engulfed by the rising Tigris River, behind a controversial new dam.

Bulent Kilic / AFP / Getty

Last year, I featured photos of the efforts made to move parts of the ancient Turkish town of Hasankeyf to a new location, as a massive dam project was about to cause the Tigris River to rise and flood the area. A year later, and the reservoir behind Ilisu Dam has largely filled up, inundating the historic town and surrounding archaeological sites, despite years of protests by residents and activists. Most of Hasankeyf’s residents were relocated to New Hasankeyf, a village of government-built housing on the opposite shore, as their old homes were slowly submerged. Now, to encourage tourism, authorities are allowing swimming in the reservoir, and boat tours are being offered. Collected here, images from the past year, as Hasankeyf was slowly engulfed by the rising Tigris River.