© Hasankeyf’i Yaşatma Girişimi

It is getting serious for the 650 year old Zeynel Bey Tomb monument. The relocation has started in secret. The government is vigorously trying to prevent the documentation of the preparations for the drowning of Hasankeyf. Read yesterday’s press release of the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive: +++ Hasankeyf Matters +++ Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive +++ Mesopotamian Ecology Movement +++

Attorney Vladimir Meçi, interviewed by Albanian media after the Court announced its decision. This was the first-ever environmental lawsuit in Albania. © Olta Hadushaj

++ Success for nature conservation and affected residents ++ Big win for the protection of Europe’s last big wild river, the Vjosa in Albania! Yesterday afternoon, the judges of the Albanian Administrative Court in Tirana announced their decision against the construction of the projected hydropower plant “Poçem”: for the time being, the dam must not be constructed.

++ 25 scientists from Austria, Albania, Germany and Slovenia research Europe’s last wild river for a week ++ Press conference held on river island ++ A very unusual press conference was held at the Vjosa in South Albania on April 26 – an initiative like this is without par in Europe. On a gravel island in midst of Europe’s last big wild river – the Vjosa – about 25 scientists from four countries gathered to draw attention to the detrimental impacts that are to be expected from the projected “Poçem” dam.

The floodplains of the Sava offer a unique potential for natural flood retention. © Goran Šafarek

++ Opportunities for and threats to one of the most valuable rivers of Europe ++ Unique potential for natural flood control identified ++ Today, one of the last living rivers of Central Europe received valuable attention in Brussels. Nature conservation foundation EuroNatur and the European Association of Wetlands International made the Sava River an issue in the European Parliament.


They are still alive - the Huchen in the free-flowing Mura in Graz! However, their surrival is at risk!! Previous restauration efforts of the Mura are now being irreversibly destroyed by the start of the construction of the hydropower project in Graz. Watch this video about the fish species "Huchen" in Graz and Franz Keppel - a fighter for fish and rivers. Enjoy! (Sorry, in German only)

The 600 year old Zeynel Bey Tomb monument is to be relocated for the Ilisu reservoir. The monument would lose its historic and cultural significance due to the relocation. © Hasankeyf Matters

Once again, the Initiative to keep Hasankeyf alive together with a coalition of international civil society organisation including Riverwatch, urge the Dutch and Turkish companies responsible for the planned relocation of the 600 year old monument Zeynel Bey Tomb to withdraw from this highly disputed undertaking. This monument of highest cultural importance is to be relocated to allow the inundation of Hasankeyf for the Ilisu dam reservoir. Resistance continues.

Find out in this video what a lower water level as a consequence of hydropower means for fish. The problem of "shallow water zones" due to reservoir flushing has been known for years. The ecological effects on river and fauna are immense. Sorry, in German only. !!Warning: this video contains disturbing images!!

After local communities, national and international scientists and NGOs, as well as the European Parliament have all voiced their protest against hydropower dams on the Vjosa river, it is now the mayors of the Vjoa valley who unify against the projected dams. In an open letter to  the mayors of Përmet, Tepelenë, Memaliaj, Mallakastër and Selenicë put forward the concerns of the affected communities they represent.