Hasankeyf is not impacted by rising waters like coastal cities like Jakarta in Indonesia or New Orleans in Louisiana. Instead, a dam project to deliver electricity to the area would drown most of the city.
An underwater park constructed during the epidemic honours the wrecks of roughly twenty British, French, and Australian ships—relics from the First World War—off the Gallipoli peninsula.
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An important conflict took place in the Dardanelles 106 years ago. The Ottoman Empire joined forces with Germany and Austria-Hungary at the start of World War I, assaulting Russian ports in the Black Sea and blocking the strait to incoming ships. First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill sent a British-French fleet of battleships, submarines, and minesweepers to the Dardanelles in February 1915 in an effort to widen the straits and clear the way for the conquest of Istanbul, or Constantinople.
However, the Ottomans and their allies in Germany were prepared for them. Mines at Cape Helles sunk two British warships, and one French battleship, severely damaged three more and killed over 700 men on March 18, 1915. Since the Battle of Trafalgar, a century earlier, it was the largest loss of life and wealth for the Royal Navy. Thus, all lead toward a watery grave in the diadem of becoming a park.
These sunken ships have lain in their underwater graves for a century, occasionally visited by researchers, but not off-limits to the general public like, for instance, the World War II battlefields around several South Pacific atolls. The Dardanelles were governed by the Turkish navy, which had little interest in promoting tourism in the vitally important area.
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Sonar surveying of the strait has been done by Turkish Marmara Research Center boats over the last three years in order to pinpoint the precise position and depth of all 28 wrecks. Among the sinking ships, live torpedoes were investigated and found by divers. The first wreck to be made accessible to visitors was the 421-foot battleship HMS Majestic, which was commissioned at Portsmouth, England, in 1895. On May 27, 1915, the German submarine U-21 attacked and sunk the Majestic, killing 49 men. A French corporation made a deal with the Turkish military administration and blew up the Majestic for scrap fifty years after it sunk off Cape Helles. The ship was reduced to a pile of iron and steel by the explosions, although certain components were still intact
Unavoidable and far less pleasant was the eventual appearance of another kind of marine life: a white-grey stringy substance that landed on every surface of the Majestic and reminded me of the spray-on cobwebs for Halloween. The scumbag goes by the unsavoury moniker “sea nose”; this is an organic substance released by phytoplankton that has reached dangerous quantities in Turkish seas as a result of global warming and unchecked raw sewage discharges.
Despite how terrible the situation at sea is, the Ministry of Culture is making good progress on its underwater park. After the dive on the Eftelya Din, Mr Kasdemir informed me that his organization soon intended to make available additional wrecks in the region that had not been demolished by scrap dealers, such as the French battleship Bouvet and the British ships Goliath, Triumph, and Louis. The French battleship Bouvet struck a mine on March 18, 1915, and sank in less than two minutes with the loss of more than 600 men. Hence it looks more diadem of surreal nature for the tourism industry.