Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sulukule Reality - Panel Discussion

21.11.2009, Naunynritze, Naunynstraße 63, Berlin Kreuzberg

in the framework of the music festival kreuztanbul III

host: Secil Yaylali


Ede Müller, film-maker (video message), Berlin
Göksin Yaran, (translator) for Ede Müller, Istanbul
Funda Oral, Sulukule Platform, Istanbul
Martin Schwegmann, urban researcher and planner, Berlin
Sükrü Pündük, Roma Cultural Association Sulukule, Istanbul

Music: Mert Ustaoglu, Aytac Kiran, Yasin Kiran

photograph: Mehmet Bakir

photograph: Mehmet Bakir

Martin Schwegmann, Funda Oral, Secil Yaylali                     

Sulukule, located on the historic peninsular of Istanbul, is - or better was - one of the oldest Roma settlements in the world. A few years ago, Fatih municipality declared Sulukule a “collapsed” area and began an urban transformation project according to new laws. The project included the construction of luxury houses in the neighbourhood and the transfer of local Roma, many of them home owners, to apartments in the distant (56km) Taşoluk neighbourhood belonging to Istanbul’s Arnuvutköy district.

Martin Schwegmann and Marcus Müller-Witte went for field research to sulukule and tasoluk in 2008 and 2009

The urban transformation project caused an angry reaction from Roma and civil society organizations, who decried both the transfer of the population to an alternative location whose conditions were incompatible with their lifestyle. From Sulukule, 340 families moved to Taşoluk yet only six remained there; all others returned to Balat, a neighbourhood close to Sulukule.

The panel explained the current situation in Sulukule from the various points of view of the panellist.

photographs: Mehmet Bakir

photograph: Mehmet Bakir
Roma musicians rehearsing during the panel

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