Day eight: Mass Gathering Spots

Day08

On day eight we go to Yenikapı (translated as ‘new door’ or ‘new gate’), since it has came up so many times during our interviews because it as well as Maltepe, are the new gathering points for the mass and so we are so curious about them…

As soon as we get off at the metro station of Yenikapı, it becomes clear that we are no longer in the hip district of Cihangir where our apartment is located, in the middle of fashionable, expensive bars. The majority of the inhabitants here clearly belong to the working class. Beggars and street vendors are increasingly striking. From Laura’s friends, we get to know that Syrian and other refugees now increasingly inhabit the neighborhood, which also gives the name a further meaning. The government promised to resettle and take measures to help their integration, but here they find themselves in an unknown country with a language they do not speak, left to their fate.

Yenikapı’s land was reclaimed from the sea to create space for political mass meetings, from what we learned. As soon as we realize that we already reached the destination we burst into laughter. What of „ there is nothing“ didn´t we get? There is less than nothing… We find a huge space covered in concrete, surrounded by a fence and observed by cameras, isolated between the water and a massive highway. Only birds seem to be allowed to be there.

Several people gather at Yenikapı, not on the square –of course- but on the sea promenade to forget the everyday life on this warm Friday evening. The view is the best in this place. There are almost exclusively men, few isolated couples that sit on large rocks, fish, eat, drink, smoke or deal. From the beginning, we do not feel very comfortable among the men, because they are grouped and bored. We walk around the fenced-in square towards the park. The park essentially consists of a lawn with strictly arranged rows of trees and a straight, pragmatic route, and is almost empty without any furniture. We only can see a group of men who are just starting to end a dispute. We do not go to the park, take a few photos and disappear soon.

It is still fascinating how full the place can be in case of a political event from the government.

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