15 Şubat 2011 Salı

Going back to how things look from Hasankeyf

Hasankeyf values may seem a pretentious title, but "Hasankeyf" is already in use on Blogger, so I tried adding "values" and it worked. I could have used "view," because I think the view of the landscape from in front of the Great Mosque (pictured here) is one of the best things about Hasankeyf. Standing on top of the cliff, looking across the Tigris Valley to the mountains in the north -- this is where you can understand that the site is a composite and integral whole. Geology, biology, and a medieval city. All at once. And gradually the history of Anatolia comes into focus.

But "view" might be too touristic.

So the title is a bit of a gamble. Are we up to it? Can we sustain a conversation about Hasankeyf and the ethics by which we make political and economic decisions? Can we talk about Hasankeyf in terms of the trade-offs that inevitably must be made if the standard of living is to keep rising? How much are those of us who live in a city, say Istanbul, willing to pay for a continuous supply of electricity or for the opportunity to choose filtered coffee (imported) over a slender glass of tea (locally produced)?

And who are "we" any way? I am certainly not up to this debate on my own. So please share your thoughts and opinions. My hope is that this will be a good venue for surfacing and evaluating information about Hasankeyf and the Ilisu Dam Project.

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