Police raids neighborhood in Istanbul after residents object transformation project
Police in Istanbul raided a poor neighborhood at dawn on Saturday igniting resistance from the residents who object to a transformation project carried out by the government.
At around four in the morning, a large number of riot police and demolition teams came to the Tozkoparan neighborhood of Gungoren district in Istanbul.
The police forces were met by the residents who had spent the whole night outside to protect their houses.
Authorities say the project will make the neighborhood safer and more habitable. But critics argue that the project could leave the residents “homeless.”
The police closed an area where they took samples ahead of a demolition which will take place later, while residents protested outside this area.
Videos posted on social media showed staff breaking into homes using force.
The blockade was lifted after the samples were taken from the houses to be demolished.
Deputies from pro-Kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) tried to get through the blockade but were stopped by the police.
One of the deputies, Musa Piroglu decried police brutality while speaking to arti gercek:
“The police have come here, besieged the neighborhood to cut the electricity and the infrastructure of the houses. (...) Police, whose job is to protect the public, are instead currently threatening the safety of the public.”
“It should be known that it is not a neighborhood that is being destroyed here, it is the country itself that is being destroyed here,” Piroglu said.
Arti Gercek reporter Meral Danyildiz said on Twitter that the residents continued to resist in the afternoon:
Tozkoparan halkı yıkımın yapılmak istendiği noktaya yürüyor!!! pic.twitter.com/w7kbC3BASt— Meral Danyıldız (@meraldanyildiz) October 8, 2022