EKİN ÇEKİÇ - "YUSUFELİ ÇOK GÜZEL BİR YERDİR"

Yusufeli Dam is one of the ten dams constructed or under construction on Çoruh River which borns in Turkey and flows into the sea from Georgia, and creates the largest canyons in Turkish land. This dam, which is in the final stage of its construction, will be the third largest dam built with its technique in the international ranking. The construction of the dam, which came to the agenda for the first time in the 1970s, has been sagged until today due to economic reasons. People living in Yusufeli have been living with the anxiety of displacement for over forty years. The town center has already been moved six times before, for political and geographical reasons. Simultaneously with the construction of the dam, the construction of the new town center is reaching its final stage. After the dam is finished, the current living quarters, agricultural areas, cemeteries and relics of Yusufeli residents will all be flooded.

When I was in Yusufeli for the very first time, I realized that I would not be able to step on this soil a few years later and that I would not be able to see the things I saw again. So that’s how I started this series which borrows its name from a billboard placed at the town entrance. The relationship of Yusufeli residents with this geography is actually like the two streams passing through the town. One of them is Çoruh, which transcends cities and even countries, and the other is Barhal, which remains in its birthplace. Çoruh continues to flow on a new path by adding the stream to itself, and it throws aside what it could not add to its path. Although the flow of Çoruh is blocked by the dams and is losing power, it will continue to flow in the future but Barhal will somehow disappear. And soon the history of Yusufeli will repeat itself and the town center will move again. So which of these two will Yusufeli’s fate be like in the future?

* "Yusufeli çok güzel bir yerdir" means "Yusufeli is a very beautiful place"