Nazım Hikmet Foundation evicted for ‘mall construction’
Elvan Yarma – ISTANBUL
DHA PhotoA foundation working under the name of Turkey’s prominent poet Nazım Hikmet Ran has been evicted from its Istanbul office as a firm is expected build a shopping mall, with actors protesting the eviction on June 3, the anniversary of the poet’s death.
Nazım Hikmet Foundation has had its office in the 116-year-old Hrisovergi apartment building for 20 years. The building, owned by Balıklı Rum Hospital Foundation, is currently rented by Azade Nisa Tourism Construction Real Estate Firm for next 49 years. All renters in the building have been told to leave the building with a notice that the Beyoğlu Municipality will start an eviction procedure if they resist.
The move came on the day of Hikmet’s commemoration in Turkey and Moscow (where his grave is located), on the anniversary of his June 3, 1963 death.
At a protest in front of the building, Turkish actor Rutkay Aziz, head of the Nazım Hikmet Culture and Art Foundation, said the building was going to be demolished and rebuilt under claims of not being earthquake resistant.
“This is a historical building and needs to be protected. There is no protection board decision or project which says the building is under earthquake risk. Although our rent contract still continues, the building is rented to a firm for so-called repair work when, in fact, it will be turned into a shopping mall and hotel complex,” said Aziz during the protest, which was also supported by many other actors and artists.