Istanbul: Özgür Ortak Alan 1903

Below is the proclamation which was distributed on March 22nd, 2014, during the squat attempt in the district of Beşiktaş, Istanbul [‘we’ for buildings; ‘you’ for people]:

I came into being of stone and wood in the year 1903. I am a product of human thinking and effort.

I have been through many things.

Workers’ labor, kids’ hustle and bustle and laughter, lectures of teachers… Afterwards came my desertion by people, my damp walls and leaking ceilings…

There came a time when you abandoned me and broke the bonds that you had once formed with me. With time, you broke the bonds among us as well. With each passing day, you built a new wall between us. You have surrounded us with fences.

You have imprisoned us. Why?

Because you have broken apart from each other. You have fallen into doubt and fear. Some of you even fed yourselves by playing games on us; people who were selfish and infected with the disease of always wanting more.

During the 40 years that you are not here, I have been watching the growth of plants in my garden and the lives of mice, spiders, lizards, birds, and cats.

Recently I have noticed that you began to form bonds with each other again. You have overcome your fears. You were right about your doubts.

I overheard Taşkışla telling the story of what happened on the grave of the deceased Topçu Kışlası artillery barracks, where Gezi Park is now located.

You were very loud. Your voice echoed at my rooms, which you may call empty. The voice of your streets. I was able to hear you.

I am aware that you need us in order to develop the bonds you have formed with each other. We also need you in order to keep standing.

Your past and our past have reconnected me and you at this point.

It is time to wake up. Both for us and for you.

I am glad I was able to provoke you. Welcome.