Message from Urban Movements Istabul to the Anti-Mipim tribunal.
Today a huge amount of ‘urban renewal’ and ‘renovation projects’ is going on in Istanbul; and these projects are virtually rebuilding the whole city. Solid and well built buildings, registered historical buildings, whole neighborhoods are being destroyed and forest land conservation areas and archaeological reserve areas are eliminated just for the sake of annuity. Renovation projects are initiated into some historical neighborhoods and people’s homes are being expropriated by force. Very valuable historical buildings are demolished by the state. This neighbourhood culture, which has been established through living together for dozens or perhaps even hundreds of years is being destroyed all at once. People are being sent away from their neighbourhoods where they have been surrounded by the good and strong neighbourly relationships and strong ties of soildarity established through many years, from their places of work where they earn their living, without being offered any social support and security, and are being sent to the far corners of the city to live in poor conditions.
In Sulukule, Tarlabasi, Fener-Balat-Ayvansaray Zeyrek and in Sulaimaniya, which are all unique historical districts located in the historical peninsula and which include invaluable examples of civil architecture, many registered and important buildings are being demolished. Precious examples of the Ottoman architecture, wooden houses, are exterminated ruthlessly. İstanbul is losing its unique historical, architectural character.
Despite judicial decisions regarding saving these areas, the archaeological wealth under the ground as well as above ground is being destroyed blatantly just before the eyes of the whole public.
Previously public areas are now being transfered to privite persons. Hospitals, schools, historical sites, foundations, land, forest land, residences, public institutions and facilities are being rapidly privatized; and new hotels, shopping centers and many other touristic facilities are being constructed in their place. Today 156 school buildings in Istanbul have been marketed for this purpose.
HOSPITALS are converted into HOTELS,
The historical Haydarpasa Train Station is being converted into a hotel,
Emek Movie Theater, is being CONVERTED INTO a SHOPPING CENTER,
FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE THIRD BRIDGE, FOREST LANDS are being cut off, HOMES located on the route of the construction are being destroyed;
NATURE is plundered…
In the Black Sea, our streams, our water supply, our coasts are under threat because of hundreds of Hydro-electric Plant projects.
Capitalism is attacking from every direction …
Now any ideology or a particular worldview is not important at all. Because this process will not leave to us a world where we can live; because there won’t be left any air to breathe. They do not leave us any clean water and shelter for housing. They’re forcing us to be surrounded by unemployment and without bread.
This extinction is something that is very important for everyone, because everyone is going to get hurt …
In this system, all the victims, the oppressed, the marginalized, irrespective of any ideology, should come and act together with the aim of reclaiming what is being taken away from them by force. what is being taken away from them by force.
The only way to overcome this problem is to somehow reshape social consciousness in a way that subordinates individual interests to those of the public and puts social benefits at the top of all other concerns.
Otherwise, we simply cannot find the air to breathe, can not find a single piece of healthy food left in the near future. Rivers, streams, seas, green areas, forests, water, meadows will all be extinct. In a world surrounded by hotels and shopping centers, in a global market where we are not customers, we will become waste people pushed out of life with each passing day.
In Capitalism, with neo-liberal policies, all the precious resources are used up for the welfare and pleasure of a handful of people, a small majority in society. The world we live in, our habitat is sacrificed to ambition and greed. It is a problem of system and it should be explained to the young generation very well. And if we can manage to do this, then neither special law articles nor specially designed rules can overcome the power
deriving from the power brought about by the togetherness and unity of society and can be justified. And then, also supported by the huge energy of the youth, we can build a more sustainable world for ourselves …