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Kale Mahallesi, Ankara

2019-06-20 23:10

Kale Mahallesi (the Castle Neighbourhood) in Ankara is a historical squatter’s neighbourhood, a gecekondu bölgesi. Built over decades by people who migrated from rural Anatolia to the city in search for work and a livelihood.

These photographs were taken from up the castle itself, in April 2012. The first photo shows an overview of the area north-east of Kale, with Bentderesi (I think) on the left. On the right are newer TOKİ flat complexes, so-called social housing projects.

I don’t know if these homes still stand today. The nearby Hamamönü neighbourhood had already gone through a brutal renewal at this time. I came across an interesting article about that by Courtney M. Dorroll, concluding with:

An analysis of the case of Hamamönü demonstrates that the Altındağ Municipality has used its restoration project to inscribe the AK Party’s vision of institutionalized Neo-Ottomanism and neoliberalism onto the urban space of Ankara, a process that epitomizes the spatial politics of Erdoğanian Neo-Ottomanism in contemporary Turkey.

In “Hamamönü, Reconfiguring an Ankara Neighborhood”, Journal of Ethnography and Folklore, no. 1-2, 2016.

I was somehow reminded of these photos of mine when I came across the work of Jon “Harriorrihar” Juarez.