Save "Allianoi" from being submerged…

28 January 2008
I support the creation of all types of infrastructure required to improve the quality of human life. Not only people, but all creatures, should live properly.

First of all, we will fill our stomachs, we will dress to be protected from the harsh climate, we will build shelter, water will be brought to our homes for sanitation, we will have electricity and be warm, we will have light. Ignoring the fact that all of these are the basic needs for humans would be like cutting them off from life. According to American psychologist Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs, without eliminating the basic needs such as eating, drinking and shelter, mankind is not even able realize his social, cultural and spiritual needs. Thus, he cannot make an effort to achieve them.

I'm not going to argue the other side of this theory; although it is understandable that some people do not yet understand these basic conditions, but, as a society, can we not keep one step ahead with this psychology and mindset of the hierarchy?

I have seen information about a very important health center with rich 1800-year old archaeological artifacts that was discovered by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Yaraş from Trakya University, who is the representative of the team that is continuing research in Allianoi in Bergama, İzmir. 
According to what I read, this area was the world’s largest and most robust Roman thermal baths and there is still hot water there. These are extremely important findings that should be included in the literature of archeology, art history, architecture, medicine, pharmacology and hydrology, along with those who brought it to light.

The Nature Association reminds us that this region is not only rich in terms of cultural relics, but it is also rich in vegetation. I learned that the ancient city of Allianoi and its surrounding environment is particularly unique in the world for its ecological environment as well as for its historical texture.

And now, this city and its surroundings are on the brink of destruction from the construction of a dam that is considered necessary for economic benefits. Moreover, due to the splayed structure of the valley where Allianoi and its surrounding environmental richness is located, the dam that is deemed “necessary’ will claim the entire area, resulting in widespread destruction of the natural and historical heritage of the region. 

In addition to the economic benefits that it is claimed the dam will bring, I want to point out another type of social impact that we should not ignore: Archaeological centers such as Allianoi and Hasankeyf are resources for information that previous societies and cultures left behind for us. 

For the scientists, artists and researchers who will bring new values to humanity with their research and work and, briefly stated, the information these resources will present are the most important materials for their creative process. I believe with all my heart that the real creaters of economic value and development are these people, and so, the main element of development is the people who can present their work freely and the people who will be able to do their work there shall help society benefit from the richness of the past. This is why I invite all of the decision-makers to think about which economic benefit is better for our country, and to reconsider the construction of this dam.