On The Edge II

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¬ On The Edge II

Turkey has been experiencing an unprecedented protest movement since June 2013. Plans for the Gezi park, yet another urban renewal programme developed without involving local inhabitants was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The reality is that it is the AKP’s entire urban and social policy, its leader, the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s delusions of grandeur that are at stake.
A growing fringe of the population are rising up against these ideological and excessive projects that have heavy social and environmental consequences. Projects that reveal the close ties between large construction companies and the town’s ex-mayor who is facing serious charges of corruption.
Surrounded by fields and military grounds, Basaksehir is a district in Istanbul that is held up as a model. It is more than an hour from the city’s historic centre, and is a testing ground for the new « conservative » middle class way of life and the first milestone of the « suburbs of Islam » programme put in place by the AKP. Its key-words are cleanliness, safety and respect for traditional muslim values. Most women wear headscarves. Bars and off-licences selling alcohol are strictly controlled.