Template: Infobox city in Turkey / Maintenance / County

Hasankeyf (Kurdish: Heskîf, Aramaic: Hesna / Hesno, Hsenkep or Hesno d- Kepo ) is an ancient fortress city on the Tigris, and a present-day district in the Turkish province of Batman.

The Turkish name literally means Hasankeyf Hasan's joy, which is a corruption of the Arabic name Hisn Keyfa. Hisn Keyfa means rock fortress or castle rock. The Romans called the city Kip ( h) as, KEPHE, Cepha, or Ciphas. This should in turn be derived from the Syriac word for Kifa rock.

From its foundation until the 12th century

The history of Hasankeyf is available only in the first centuries of the Christian era. The place was in that part of northern Mesopotamia, the since the 3rd century, both the (Eastern) Roman and the Persian Sassanids claimed. Therefore, the first rulers often changed. Well soon after 363, the Romans built here a frontier fortress, which should control the important Tigrisübergang: They called this border fortress Kiphas and was able to fend off the Sassanids in the following years, mostly; only 608 managed this under Khosrau II taking the place they but 630 gave back to the Romans. Well 638, in the course of Islamic expansion, then the Arabs conquered the place. Since then, the Christians of the area lived under Islamic suzerainty, first under the Umayyads, then the Abbasids. The Hamdanids ruled here from 906-990 and after them the Kurdish Marwaniden of 990-1096. Hasankeyf had no particular strategic importance for the Muslims until then.

From 1101 Hasankeyf was expanded under the Artukiden to the center. The Artukiden come from Artuk, a general of the Seldschukenherrschers Malik Shah I, from. They ruled until 1232, were active political actors and built the city of. They built a madrasa, water channels, the high- handed way to the castle, and a new bridge over the Tigris.

History from the 13th century

1232, the city fell to the Ayyubids. 1260 the city was overrun by the Mongols. Hulagu spared Hasankeyf, when he heard that its ruler was a Ayyubide. 1301, the city fell Hülegüs descendant Ghazan. After the destruction of the Ayyubid rebuilt the city again. Many of the buildings date from this period. From the middle of the 15th century the development stagnated. From 1461 to 1482 ruled the Akkoyunlar. The Ayyubid won Hasankeyf again though, then came but under the pressure of the Safavids. 1515 won the Ottomans this area, leaving the Ayyubid the administration of the city. This was a strategy of the Sultan, to win the local Kurdish rulers against the Safavids. The rule of the Ayyubid ended 1524 and the Ottomans beat Hasankeyf to the province of Diyarbakir.

In the 16th century, the city of 10,000 residents to have had, 60% of Christians. At that time belonging to Hasankeyf area, however, was larger and included all of Batman, Siirt and parts of Mardin. By the time Hasankeyf lost more and more in size and importance, but kept the Kurds the status of a place of worship or a national heritage. During the genocide against the Armenians 1915-1917 Hasankeyf was a major extermination because deportation routes crossed there.

The population declined dramatically in the last 20 to 30 years.

The controversial dam project

As part of the Southeastern Anatolia Project, the creation of many dams - as well as the Ilisu dam - in southeastern Turkey aims to plans of the Turkish government to put Hasankeyf under water. On the other hand stirs up today national, mostly Kurdish, and international protest. Despite this, Turkey has started in early August 2006 with the construction of the dam. On 15 December 2006 the Swiss Federal Council granted the company Alstom, Colenco, Maggia and Stucky export risk guarantees in the amount of 225 million francs for the Ilisu dam project. Of the approximately one hundred listed conditions should be at least 25 " satisfactorily " met.

On 26 March 2007 also approved the German and the Austrian Cabinet loan guarantees for the construction project involved local businesses, as the predetermined criteria are met. Parts of the ancient city should be enabled and set up in a cultural park again. Critics reported, however, that only a small part of the ancient treasures will be preserved.

The Switzerland stopped the export risk guarantee, just like Germany and Austria, despite significant improvements after the project requirements for the environmental and cultural heritage protection had not been satisfactorily met.

In February 2010, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his government has found a new lender and thus the dam can be built. The financing of the highly controversial project had become questionable after Germany, Austria and Switzerland were terminated in the summer of 2009 loan guarantees. According to current planning Hasankeyf will be flooded in 2016, therefore, for the most part.


  • Built in 1116 of Artukiden Fahrettin Karaaslan bridge, now in ruins. Parts of the old bridge were made of wood, which was removed when enemies threatened the city.
  • The artukidische Palace
  • The Ayyubid Ulu Cami
  • The small palace of the Ayyubid
  • Cliff dwellings
  • Zeynel Bey Mausoleum