VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
The final dispatch from NG Young Explorer Julia Harte and team member Anna Ozbek examines the lives of villagers who have already been displaced by hydroelectric dams in Southeastern Turkey — and what they portend for residents of the 12,000-year-old town of Hasankeyf, soon to be submerged by the Ilısu Dam.
NG Young Explorer Julia Harte and team member Anna Ozbek visit the construction site of the Ilısu Dam, a 1,200 MW hydroelectric dam whose reservoir will displace at least 25,000 people and flood hundreds of archeological sites across Southeastern Turkey.
Almost nowhere in the world is human history as densely layered as it is in Hasankeyf. Strange sights greet its visitors: thousands of caves carved into limestone cliffs, children playing on the remains of a gargantuan medieval bridge, the towering minaret of a 15th-century mosque. Explore the ancient Turkish town with NG Young Explorer Julia Harte and team member Anna Ozbek.
NG Young Explorer Julia Harte and team member Anna Ozbek interview members of Iraqi Kurdistan’s Yazidi, Mandean, and Armenian populations about their relationship with the rivers that traverse northern Iraq — and their fears about future water security.
Kurdish and Arabic nomads, a dwindling population in Iraqi Kurdistan, may be forced to move to cities if river levels in the region continue to decline. NG Young Explorer Julia Harte and team member Anna Ozbek report on the situation through text, photos, and video.
Near the point where Turkey, Iraq, and Syria meet, two villages face each other across the Tigris River. On one side lies the Iraqi Kurdish village of Faysh Khabur, home to a Chaldean Christian community for more than fourteen centuries. On the other bank sits Khanik Village, another ancient Chaldean community — but one that lies in Syria.
As temperatures in Southern Iraq approached 52 degrees Celsius (126°F) last July, Habib Salman, a 52-year-old farmer in the Al-Islah township, shot himself in the head, leaving behind an eleven-member family. The stream on which their farm relied had recently dried up, jeopardizing his family’s survival.
NG Young Explorer Julia Harte documents the culture of the Marsh Arabs of Southern Iraq through text and photos, as well as a video shot and edited by team member Anna Ozbek.
NG Young Explorer Julia Harte examines the historical importance of water in Mesopotamia’s cultures and religions through text and photos, as well as a video shot and edited by team member Anna Ozbek.