Rezan Has Museum

Hasankeyf is established along the Tigris River, at a quite strategic point on a passage route from Upper Mesopotamia to Anatolia. This city’s name, taking different forms of pronunciation in the languages of local people, who have lived there in various periods, means “suitable for protection”.  It is possible to see the traces of the accumulation for thousands of years in this geography where near-eastern cultures are mixed up with Anatolian cultures. Hasankeyf that may be called a museum-city; is the capital of caves of Mesopotamia, the northern passage on the Tigris called ‘the earth’s paradise’ in ancient times, the center of the Southeast made on the rocks like an embroidery article thousands of years ago, the capital of Artuqids and the perfect combination of Roman, Byzantine, Sassanian and Arabian civilizations. In these frames where photography artists with different styles meet their points of view of with the audience through their lenses; the time stops with the blessing of a geography, the naivety of its people and wild and angry roars of the waves on the Tigris and Euphrates as well as the calmness of thousands of years hidden in the structures.It is not possible to freeze the time as in these frames. But, we are able to protect and maintain these lands and the ones they shelter.  Hasankeyf situated on the holly lands of Mesopotamia which is the cradle of cultures that had hosted three large civilizations in the past is now in danger… We do not have the right of destructing these cultural assets reaching us after a long journey of thousands of years while it is a fact we should not forget that we also have the responsibility to pass them along the next generations. 
Ara Güler 
Hasankeyf through Ara Güler's lens, 1974. 

Hasankeyf through Ara Güler's lens, 1974.

Coşkun Aral 
Diminishing lights on top of Hasankeyf

Rising of hopes... The water is like the barrel of a gun put on the city’s forehead today. The water doesn’t hear its voice and clouds are far away. Hasankeyf is going away from our hands.

Tahsin Aydoğmuş
History road

Zeynel Bey Tomb and the kids

Have you ever seen how the Tigris turns to red and my purple silhouette falls on the river at sunsets? Have you ever witnessed how the people from almost all nations and religions worked on me like an embroidery article for thousands of years? In fact, I’m the cradle of civilization.

Okan Bayülgen
Cave and the man


Hasankeyf is a puzzle to be solved using your wisdom, your ideas and your heart... Come on you, the brave ones, this incredible world heritage is yours... Don't leave it drown in water. Come on my brave people. Do you know Hasankeyf? You can't.

Mithat Bereket
Hasankeyf, Tigris and love

Grandpa Mehmet Şakir (Orak) "For 70 years they keep saying that they'll build a dam"...

Kutup Dalgakıran

Cherishing the sight

The Byzantine King has ordered 'construct a castle!'. They made their castle on massive rocks along Tigris River. They made tunnels to the banks of the river from inside the castle, not to become without water in the case the city is blocked by the enemies. They took mules to the river through these tunnels. My city has never been without water at all.

Zekai Demir
Loneliness of Tigris

Everbody is from Keyf

The gold-colored river flowing is presenting an unmatched beauty to last glances touching them. Last lullabies are melting in the Tigris flowing away and Hasankeyf is singing goodbye songs into the children's eyes looking at it...

Saygun Dura
Grief of the water, Hasankeyf

Grief of the water, Hasankeyf

The insatiable time is flowing down and the water is rising. It beats whatever comes in front of it. The city caught in the nets of destiny, is now defeated...

Ali Konyalı
Kid from Hasankeyf flying a bird

Agha's House, Kasr Salon (Chalet)

I hosted my people in thousands of 'cave houses'. They had their caves inside my soft rocks. I prospected the people sheltered and lived here in me from hot weather in summers and from cold in winters.

Naz Köktentürk

Shores of Tigris

When you talk to the people in Hasankeyf you notice how everyone protects this historical heritage lying along the Tigris River flowing with a guarding sound, in other words the past...

Levent Yalınay
Hasankeyf of the Night

City of dreams

Hasankeyf is going away from our hands. Its cries are not heard anymore. The restless steps of the Tigris cannot be stopped. Hasankeyf wants to satisfy the day with its lyrical beauty while the stars falling down from the sky are shining on the water.

Tamer Yılmaz
While the clouds are rising

Window opening to the past

Everbody says the same: "We will not let them build the future by destroying our past. They should go and stop the Tigris River at another place..."

Credits: Story

- Project Manager: Özhan Carda in the name of Photographers Without Borders
- Editor: Zeynep Çulha
- Texts : Celal Başlangıç, Mithat Bereket, Okan Bayülgen
- Translation: Hande Altuğ Sangar

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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