Hans Hochstöger Exodos A narration of water scarcity and conflict in Turkey Tensions rise where water is scarce. This is especially true for the Tigris–Euphrates basin. According to a NASA survey, the region once known as the Fertile Crescent lost 144 cubic kilometers of freshwater reserves in the last decade – almost the amount of water in the Dead Sea. Turkey, Syria, and Irak are beset by conflict today; increasing scarcity and dire projections have made them view water both as a national security priority and as a political and economic lever. Particularly Turkey as an upstream state of the Tigris-Euphrates basin has used its strategic position to advance its regional interests. Water cannot be separated from politics here. Our scenery revolves around the Ilisu dam, a highly contested large-scale infrastructure project on the river Tigris, close to the Iraqi-Syrian border. The dam strengthens Turkey’s geopolitical position, as it allows controlling both main rivers in Mesopotamia, hence strengthening control of Syria’s and Iraq’s water supply. Closeby is Hasankeyf, a milennia-old settlement about to be inundated, with 199 other villages, by the Ilisu-reservoir once the dam is completed in 2018. It is said to be one of the Worlds oldest settlements, continuously inhabited since at least 8000 years. The village is the only place to meet 9 out of 10 criteria to be included into UNESCO World Heritage, but Turkey does not advance its inclusion. Both are examples for the GAP project (Southeastern Anatolia Project (Turkish: Güneydoğu Anadolu Projesi – GAP), Turkeys attempt at developing its poor Southeastern region, and gaining better control of these rebellious provinces at the same time. The project has been in the works since the 1970s and besides hydroelectric power production includes activities in agriculture, irrigation, and urban and rural development. Its basic aim is to eliminate regional development disparities by raising incomes and living standards in Southeastern Anatolia. Ilisu, as Hasankeyf, are prime examples for our use of natural resources and the conflicts resulting of Climate Change and the dawn of the Age of Oil. Water cannot be separated from politics here. In Turkey we are at a turning point. In ancient Greek drama, ἔξοδος was the last act, the part of the play after the choir left the stage. This is where we are now: the dam is completed, and about to be flooded. New settlements have been built for those to be relocated; new Hasankeyf stands proud a few kilometers above the old city. The first archeological remains have been relocated, a 1100-ton mausoleum has been transported from its old place to a new home. I have been documenting Ilisu and Hasankeyf since 2009. Now is the most important time for the project: things are settled, the protests are over, activists have long left the place. It is time to document the changes as they happen; a new world will come to live once all this is completed. As a mayor in the region put it: “I see people drinking Cafe Lattes on a beautiful promenade in a few years here.” Prospering landscapes on the shores of idyllic lakes.