HASANKEYF  TOWN

©TriciVenola 2018. Hasankeyf drawn from a photo taken in 2007. 

THE COVER

BOOK 21: ON THE HASANKEYF TRAIN
TriciVenola -FALL 2007 ON THE HASANKEYF TRAIN
HASANKEYF SOUTHERN TURKEY ANATOLIA KAPADOKYA

Project inception: Fall 2007: The ancient city of Hasankeyf, on the Tigris River, in Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, was doomed by the Turkish government to be drowned by the Ilisu Dam.  Atlas Magazine and Turkish ecologists organized a train to protest this, The Hasankeyf Train. My old friend Celal Ögmen, at Kalamar Restaurant in Kumkapi, had wanted to send me to draw his mother’s village in Lake Van. Instead he bought me the last ticket on the train to a place I’d never suspected: Hasankeyf. Much of the art in this book appears in this section of the blog: ROCKING THE CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION IN HASANKEY

IN HAYDERPASHA

-Phyllis / Filiz -R Crumb would faint if he could see this German-Turkish Amazon valkyrie. -Amazing old chandelier leftover from the glory days -Istanbul, Fall 2007: Invited by my friend Celal at Kalmar to go on a train to “Hasankeyf” on the Tigris, the oldest continuously-occupied town in the world. 12,000 years of visible history, and the Turkish government is going to destroy it with a dam that will last 40 years. This is a protest train from Istanbul to Sumeria- Mesopotamia (Modern Turkey) sponsored by Atlas Magazine. I am the only foreigner on the Hasankeyf Train. -TriciVenola ©2007
-The fifth wrong seat was this guy. Luck! –One of the organizers -“(NCRPL)Natural & cultural rescue & protection for life. It’s a long name but it’s true.” –Ahmet Tuncay, architect, planner, archeologist, President of the protest group. –Two guys putting posters on the conference car. –Drawing “out the window” for the first time in YEARS. –And we’re off! A very long train bound for an ancient village soon to be drowned by greed and idiocy -“It is 12,000 years old Sumerian, like that, they kill it.” -“We will have a city under water- we will dive.” -It’s like I know these people. -TriciVenola ©2007

I did know them. They’re the ecology-loving, women’s rights-promoting, heritage-preserving, leftist celebrators of peace and freedom I’d been looking for since I moved to Turkey. My brethren! 

THE LONELIEST STATION

-Curled up on the seat with Mother’s old red shawl, on a night train to forever ago. Full moon. -Everyone is sleeping. -Later out in the murk I saw an immense pale hill –I feel like the world is a secret I’m listening in on. -SAPAK -Ahmet Tuncay -The loneliest train station in the world. Out on the whitened plain -Under the high chill moon. -TriciVenola ©2007

HASANKEYF CONFERENCE ON THE TRAIN

30 August 2007 -Guven Eken -Oscan -Trici Venola’s participation in this trip sponsored by KALAMAR RESTAURANT in KUMKAPI-TriciVenola ©2007

I learned more about how dams dry out the country than I ever wanted to know, and all of it is true, borne out by Turkey’s worsening rural conditions and subsequent horrific overcrowding of its cities, primarily Istanbul, by families who can no longer be supported by the land.