Water Stories Part II, Halfeti
As a part of the Southeastern Anatolia Project, GAP, several dams were constructed in the area and surrounding regions as part of a larger agricultural and economic initiative by the Turkish Government. Halfeti, a small farming district who hosted many anatolian civilisations, on the east bank of the river Euphrates, was among those settlements. The town, villages around and a great part of the green valley, ancient and contemporary, remained under the rising water levels in 1999 because of Birecik Dam on the Euphrates. The history of halfeti dates back to 855 BC when The Assyrian King establishes a settlement here named Shitamrat. The town was subsequently settled by a number of civilisations like Greek, Aramaic, Byzantine, Arabian. Also located across Halfeti, Rumkale where one of the apostles of Jesus augmented copies of Bible, is counted a holy place for Christianity. Besides historical and archeological texture, flood effected the lives of the locals who were lliving from the fruit and pistachio trees. Until the area was flooded, the people lived from fishing in the river and farming on the riverbank, especially growing pistachio. After the flood, two fifth of Halfeti, houses, working places, farms and properties remained under water. The town was removed to the village of Karaotlak which is 10km from the old town. Some of the locals kept staying in old town while most of them moved to new settlement getting paid the eminent domain return. People who moved to New Halfeti faces water and transportation problems. It is estimated that 30000 people efected from the flood.
1 234