Activists chain themselves to crane in ancient Allianoi

Activists chain themselves to crane in ancient Allianoi

A group of environmentalists chained themselves to a crane in Allianoi, the world’s oldest known spa settlement, to protest damage being done to the site.

September 21, 2010, Tuesday/ 16:35:00
A group of environmental activists have chained themselves to a crane in Allianoi, the world’s oldest known spa settlement, which is at risk of being submerged under water following the construction of a nearby dam.Yesterday, six members of the Turkish Nature Association went to the site to protest the damage to Allianoi, chaining themselves to a crane and carrying sings that read, “No to illegal culture massacre in Allianoi.” Gendarmes took safety precautions and asked the group to end their protest. The gendarmes later cut the chains and detained the activists.

The possibility of the ancient city being destroyed by the Yortanlı Dam remains a contentious issue in Turkey. Allianoi sits inside an area that is expected to be submerged by the dam, the construction of which was recently completed. The dam is not yet fully operational due to the ongoing discussion regarding the preservation of Allianoi’s ruins, which will be inundated and most likely destroyed if the dam is put to use. Two cranes are covering the site with sand before it is flooded by the dam.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Turkish Nature Association President Güven Eken claimed that decisions by the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s board to protect natural and cultural heritage have been violated in Allianoi, saying: “The ancient city is being covered with sand and gravel despite board decisions. We carried out this protest to document this crime.”

Eken also called on Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay to take action. “The minister can stop this disaster. It would be the best for him to come here and see the situation.”

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