Activists mock police lockdown to celebrate anniversary of communal house in Istanbul
ISTANBULActivists celebrated the first anniversary of the establishment of their communal house in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district Jan. 12 by mocking an ongoing police lockdown using social media with a touch of humor and perhaps a grain of photoshop.
The local activist association Caferağa Solidarity attempted to enter the house located near Bahariye Avenue in the heart of Kadıköy on Jan. 12 for the anniversary, but police returned overnight and locked the door by welding a huge metallic plate to it.
The unoccupied and derelict house had been repaired by locals after the Gezi protests in 2013 and converted into a communal space. It quickly hosted forums and various workshops, while providing a common place for neighborhood residents to cook and eat communally. It also featured a library, a carpenter’s shop, a dark room and a swap area.
Police raided the house Dec. 9, 2014, after authorities demanded its evacuation, arguing that it officially belonged to the Treasury.
Activists, however, were in no mood to take offence at the police action and celebrated the incident as a “door adornment and the first gift for our communal house.” They also launched a Twitter campaign under the hashtag #kapılaraçılıyor (the doors are being opened) while a number of social media users shared pictures of the locked door with tags mocking the metallic plate.
Here is a sampling of the bouquet of mockery offered on social media:
"I love welding"
“What did the artist want to express here?”
Cut and crop
“Why grey, dear?”
“We’ll rip it off and sell it to the scrap dealer”
“Hey what are you welding [also means gossiping in Turkish] about?”
“We came, you weren’t there. So we left a notice on the door”
The formula of the weld
“Communal houses against palaces”