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Preservation of the Historical Town of Hasankeyf within the Scope of Sustainable Tourism

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Historical settlements which reflect nomadic and sedentary life were constructed and developed in areas where the geographical conditions are suitable for life. Some of these settlements have importance. One of these important heritage units is the historical town of Hasankeyf. The historical and cultural richness of this town, registered as a world cultural heritage site and conserved as a protected area since 1981, is closely related to its geographical location in Upper Mesopotamia. Besides having suitable life conditions (climatic, hydrographic and geomorphologic), the town of Hasankeyf, located at a strategic point connecting east and west, north and south, has hosted different cultures and civilizations (Fig. 17-1).

The town of Hasankeyf is a city where three worlds come together (Arık 2003). It is a crossing point of three such zones, forming an international super-identity and also a cultural melting pot which transcends eras and ethnic backgrounds. These three main cultural zones are: Mesopotamia, where the Assyrians built up an international empire for the first time in history, the Roman Empire that formed the basis of the Western World by connecting cultures in Europe and in the Mediterranean, and finally the Middle East – Iran that formed an international cultural atmosphere thanks to both its both natural creation and its conductive role between the Far East and the Near East.

Besides Hasankeyf's various tourism richness based on the natural environment, the town is located at the crossing point of these three historical zones, and the presence of the cultural (historical) heritages is extremely important for national tourism as well as regional tourism. The town of Hasankeyf, which brings the history of thousands of years and cultural richness from the past to the present day, includes all the richness of historical and cultural tourism. Hundreds of tumuli and thousands of caves are located in the town of Hasankeyf, and its immediate surroundings hold the cultural heritage of the various past civilizations that have lived in this zone.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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