Ilisu, Siirt province, Turkey, 23.11.2019. Young men next to Ilisu Dam. Part of the GAP project – a sustainable development scheme designed to support the 9 million people living in Turkey’s poor Southeastern provinces – the dam is one of hundreds of agriculture, infrastructure, education and health projects aimed at reviving an area which, over recent decades, has witnessed fighting between the Turkish government and Kurdish PKK militias.
Finally completed in 2016, plans for a dam at Ilisu can be traced as far back as to the 1930s, under the rule of Atatürk. By March 2020, Hasankeyf and about 400 other smaller settlements will be submerged beneath the waters of the Ilisu reservoir.