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ANATOLIAN WATER CIVILIZATION / THE ANATOLIAN KHAREZES
[ Dursun Özden ] - Documentary director, Research writer
A Documentary movie maker must have a particular point to argue. Some western historians, researchers, journalists and academicians who think in a prejudiced way while talking about Central Asian Turkish people use definitions like nomadic, wild, hunting, war-like, invasive and barbaric people who live in black tents… There are some people among us too that believe in and welcome these kinds of arguments and approaches. And furthermore, these inclinations which have also took place in official history books have been legitimized. Anatolia being in the first place, in Central Asia and in 66 countries that I have visited I have been tracing for 30 years the water civilization of Turkish culture. My research and documentary movies in this direction proves the exact opposite of what have been said and written about those people. Before the sites in the West like Athens, Sparta and Rome appeared, Turkish people in Anatolia, in Asia and in Mesopotamia had built their homeland by the water thanks to their collected public will and the tradition of having a strong and regular army. And where the water didn’t exist, they brought it from far away and through the water tunnels, the engineering wonders (the Kariz) that they dug tens of meters deep underground. There they formed a water culture. Thanks to water, they internalized an advanced agriculture, the social culture of settled site life, and the culture of living together. So they became the initiators of settled site life. They built the ancient water structures which became the embodiment of strength and splendor. Our ancestors who brought water into the Turpan Basin, built the 5100 kilometers long underground water tunnels system situated 120 meters under the Taklamakan desert for 2500 years. As it can be as well inferred from the results of my studies on The Uyghur Kariz these water structures built in accordance with the needs, are wonders of civilization with their architectural design, aesthetic and artistic appearance as well. Our Kariz building ancestors in Anatolia built one by one the unique examples of hydrogeolocical calculations, construction techniques and stonemasonry as great works of art. Although they are not functional anymore, a considerable number of ancient water structures in Anatolia is still alive as our cultural heritage. With this documentary film, it is aimed to discover, to protect, to introduce and to conserve these structures and to draw attention of all. Another objective is to contribute to the development of a consciousness about consuming water highlighting the importance of water and the water structures. On the footsteps of water, our discovery of Anatolian water civilization which will enable to rewrite the human history is going on… We are on the way once again to look through the pages of history and to share our studies that document the water civilization, particularly the Anatolian Kariz situated in these fertile lands that extend from Samsun to Magosa, from Edirne to Van… We have been going after the traces of Anatolian Water Culture situated in many cities of Anatolia the cradle of civilization and whose historical roots go back to the Paleolithic Age, 13000 years before now. Besides , cultural traces on water structures that belong to Sumerian, Hittite, Phrgian, Persian, Akkadian, Urartian, Arabic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman Periods have been defined as mathematical and engineering wonders of a civilized humanity who was conscious of the responsibilities of the age in which he lived. Then to what extent are we, the citizens who have rights and responsibilities conscious of that? Are we aware that water, the source of our living threatens our lives? The sun didn’t exist 13 billion years ago,the earth didn’t exist 4,5 billion years ago and there wasn’t any water 3 billion years ago. Mankind has existed thanks to water only for 8 million years. We all know that water makes up two third of Earth and the human body. And we are constantly abusing the water which is blood and life to us. How absurd and serious at the same time to remind that there wouldnt be life without water. Water is getting away from us. Nature is offended, angry and murmuring inwardly. Is water taking the place of oil? Yet the water has always existed. Dirty wars, drought, thirst, hunger, poverty, circumcision of 140 million young girls under unhygienic and droughty conditions… Don’t they just show us the shamefull face of mankind? We should be startled. We should go back to our origins. We should lend an ear to the sound that comes from deep inside our inner world. Instead of being me and the other one we should be us. Despite all those diversities we should internalize the culture of living together. Before it gets consumed, as long as the light of water shines on our faces we should be blessed like water. We should follow on the footsteps of Anatolian civilizations established near water and lived there for thousands of years. In ‘’Anatolia that extends like a mare’s head from Far Asia to Mediterranean’’, in these blessed lands, centering upon love, we should keep them alive. Turkish culture which is the symbol of a strong and collected public will and its historical artifacts ,the wonders of civilization have been waiting for being preserved and kept alive as common heritage of all humankind. Keeping this culture alive is an honour to mankind. Greetings to those fertile lands and towns through which flows water!