Historic shrine moved to make way for hydroelectric dam

A 1100-ton Zeynel Bey shrine was moved to make way for a hydroelectric Ilısu dam on the Tigris river in the province of Batman, East Turkey.

Observers of the moving (by Anadolu Agency)

The massive shrine, which is a symbol of Batman’s Hasankeyf district, was moved two kilometres away in a single piece thanks to a newly produced rail system and the laying down of a special asphalt. At least 50 people, including engineers, were on duty to aid in the moving process. The preparations for the moving of the historical shrine took two years and necessitated the creation of a special platform with at least 150 wheels. Concrete measuring a depth of one meter was poured below the shrine before it was transferred to a platform with its concrete base by hydraulic cranes.

The tomb being moved (by Anadolu Agency)

Turkish Police and gendarmerie forces took security measures during the moving process, flying drones in the area.  The gendarmerie also used detectors and specially trained dogs to search for any possible bombs. Moreover, the dam project is considered as controversial because it will inundate areas of southeastern Turkey, destroying priceless archaeological heritage.

Under the construction (by Anadolu Agency)

The Zeynel Bey shrine is the only work left by the Aq Qoyunlu tribal federation ruling once in Hasankeyf. It is believed that Zeynel Bey was the son of Uzun Hasan, the ruler of the Aq Qoyunlu, but that he lost his life in the Battle of Otlukbaşı (1473), which took place between the Aq Qoyunlu and the Ottomans.

Transport of the tomb (by Anadolu Agency)

(after The Guardian, Hurriyet Daily News & Anadolu Agency)

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