Istanbul Kent Mitingi: Mass Rally in Kadikoy on December 22 – Our Call to Reclaim Istanbul

We are the people of Istanbul, we reclaim our city! To unite, to get organized and to say “Isatnbul is ours,” we are meeting in Kadikoy on December 22!


Those craving for money and power have, by means of their political power and their local authorities, commoditized İstanbul and put on sale its neighborhoods, public squares, forests, its history and culture. They besieged İstanbul with their unlawful laws, exceptionally empowered ministries, law-enforcement forces, bulldozers and co-conspiring local authorities, turning the city into a scene of struggle for survival. They catered our neighborhoods to the advantage of real estate companies and the Housing Development Administration; our forests to the interest of crazy projects and deluxe housing estates, and our public squares and shared historical values to the interest of shopping malls. Disregarding all conditions for earthquake safety in a city awaiting its earthquake, they made İstanbul the construction site of corporations. They commercialized all of our fundamental rights from transportation to healthcare. In a city traversed by the Bosphorus, surrounded by the sea, they encouraged car sales and turned İstanbul into a traffic hell. They sacrificed yet another life to labor murders each day under the hazardous working conditions of their contractors. They plundered our breathing areas, our efforts, our nature by means of local administrations that are managed by mandated orders –just like their corporations.

This explicit and organized attack on our city, our neighborhood, our park, our water, our forest, our farmlands, and our gardens continues at full steam. With all of its natural and urban thresholds under pressure, İstanbul, being gentrified to cater to the desires of the rich and marketed to their capital and managed by the discretionary orders of those in power, is struggling for life. Together with their city, the people of İstanbul are irreversibly destructed, piece by piece and altogether. Our rights to live humanely and safely in a secure and healthy city; our civil and urban rights; our rights to speak and decide for our own lives; our human dignity are being disregarded.

As the residents of İstanbul we say “NO! İstanbul belongs to its people!” We, as the people of İstanbul, are standing our ground and demand respect in the face of these attacks in every area of our lives, these attacks to our vested rights and conditions for humane living. We are meeting in Kadıköy on December 22 to unite the struggles that we have been individually carrying out for years against this irreversible destruction imposed on urban and natural life and on the people, and to cry out that we don’t want to be governed by such attitude. We are meeting in Kadıköy on December 22 to say NO to the plundering of our forests for the sake of profit; to sacrificing our forests and water basins to property-focused fierce and crazy projects like the 3rd bridge and the 3rd airport, like Canal İstanbul that have no purpose for the city and its people but merely cater to the interest of mining and water corporations. We are meeting in Kadıköy on December 22 to say NO for the sake of the lives, the lives of not only the people, but also the fauna and flora.

We are meeting in Kadıköy on December 22 to reclaim our gardens that are turned into concrete blocks; to reclaim our farmlands that are being destroyed; to reclaim our water that is turned into a commodity distributed by pre-paid meters and bought and sold in bottles.

We are meeting in Kadıköy on December 22 to reclaim our homes and neighborhoods that are being demolished under the disastrous disguise of the “Disaster Law” in order to supply cheap land to construction companies for sustaining the construction industry; to say NO to the attempts of tearing down our lifestyles under the pretext of “risky areas;” to say NO be exiled to the outer boundaries of the city, to be burdened with debt and to be forced to spend sleepless nights with the fear of losing our homes and living areas.

We are meeting in Kadıköy on December 22 to say NO on the one hand to plundering of our forests and on the other hand to the marketing to the capital owners through the 2-B Law of the homes where workers have been living for decades, the gardens they have been raising their fruits and vegetables; the farmlands and fields they have acquired from their ancestors; to say NO to the marketing over extravagant “2-B Market Rates” and forcing those who cannot afford to pay these prices out of their homes, neighborhoods and farmlands.

We are meeting in Kadıköy on December 22 to say NO to the arbitrary practices that irreversibly destroy our history, our archeological sites, our cultural values, our souvenir; to say NO to the irresponsible destruction of our matchless heritage.

WYe are meeting in Kadıköy on December 22 to say NO to selling our schools, hospitals, cinemas, dockyards, stations for building hotels and shopping malls; to privatizing our public spaces, parks, public squares; to plundering our coasts for the sake of building concrete marinas.

We are meeting in Kadıköy on December 22 to say NO to the investments that disregard the need for public transportation, the benefits of sea and rail transportation and build ever more roads for the sake of the interests of automotive and petroleum monopolies despite all the expert warnings.

We, as the people of İstanbul, are standing our ground! We are starting out from the poorer neighborhoods that are dragged into destruction. We are scaling up the fight in defence of İstanbul’s northern forests. We are “reclaiming our city” in the forums that we are establishing in parks, public squares, gardens and fields. We are uniting our voices rising from Haydarpaşa, Cevizli, Haliç, Ataköy.

We, as the people of İstanbul, are standing our ground! We are continuing to awaken, we are continuing our walk which we have embarked upon in our Gezi Protests against those who want to opress and enslave İstanbul together with all its values for the sake of their own interests and ambitions. We saved the Gezi Park by resistance; and now we continue our walk for reclaiming our city, İstanbul, proudly, boldly, revolting with our dreams. We are raising our demand for our lives in a democratic city and a democratic country that equally work for all of us, that is in peace with its people, its nature and that we share with Ethem, Ali, Ahmet, Ferit, Mehmet, Abdocan, and Medeni. We are raising our demand for our lives in a democratic city and a democratic country where we have the right to speak and decide about our living areas and our future.

“What is the city but the people. “ We, the people of İstanbul, are standing our ground in pride and hope, against the rule of the profiteers which have set out to siege our city arrogantly with their monies, to tame our city by force and tyranny. We are not leaving our city in the hands of robbers! As the residents of this city and as the true owners from all across İstanbul, from Taksim to Kartal, from Gülsuyu to Kuşdili Çayırı, from Alemdağ to Ümraniye, from Fener-Balat to Okmeydanı, from Sarıyer to Kanarya, from Gümüşdere to the villages of Beykoz, from Gaziosmanpaşa to Güzeltepe we are meeting in Kadıköy on December 22 to unite, get organized and act in solidarity.



Istanbul Kent Mitingi
12 December 2013