While turkey’s president celebrates his new presidential palace, the White Palace in Ankara, of over one thousand rooms, constructed on more than 150,000 sq m, and costing over 600 million dollars (BBC 14/11/2014), an okupied social social in the Kadiköy neighbourhood of Istanbul was evicted yesterday, December 9, by local police forces.
It might be said that there is of course no immediate relation between one thing and the other, but appearances are invariably deceiving. The Palace and the eviction are part of the same struggle to control space and time, such as to control peoples. Erdogan’s folly is but only the latest gesture in a violent, speculative expansion of urbanisation that is paralleled by the dispossession of houses and lands from the poor, the working classes, and ethnic minorities in the country’s cities, along with the wanton destruction of green spaces.
The Caferaga okupied social centre was one of many in Istanbul, born in the wake of the Gezi Park-Taksim Square occupation of 2013. And its multiple activities were acts of resistance against capitalist driven appropriation of public and common spaces. The authorities what they were trying to destroy: autonomy. What follows from the hundreds strong demonstration against the eviction? For each eviction, 100, 1000 occupations!