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Nylon Refuges

Tahir Ün | Turkey

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This project is realised in 3 Roma camps at Izmir city area. One of them is near the city center (in the red-line) and the others at suburbs of the city.

A west Anatolia metropolitan İzmir has a population around 4 million and almost 3,500 years of recorded urban history and possibly even longer as an advanced human settlement. Lying on an advantageous location at the head of a gulf running down in a deep indentation midway on the western Anatolian coast, the city has been one of the principal mercantile cities of the Mediterranean Sea for much of its history.

Trade through the city's port had a determinant importance for the economy of the Ottoman Empire as of the beginning of the 19th century and the economic foundations of the early decades of Turkey's Republican era were also laid here in İzmir Economic Congress. Presently, İzmir area's economy is divided in value between various types of activity as follows: 30.5 % for industry, 22.9 % for trade and related services, 13.5 % for transportation and communication and 7.8 % for agriculture.

Izmir is widely regarded as one of the most progressive Turkish cities in terms of its values, lifestyle, dynamism and gender roles.

Nevertheless, unfortunately in large quantities nomadic families of Gipsy (approximately 2500 people) still live at nylon or cardboard refuges in several zones of Izmir.

They work as junkman, basketware, porter, peddler, peon in the informal sectors.

This project is realised in 2009 in 3 camps at Izmir city area. One of them is near the city center (in the red-line) and the others at suburbs of the city.

In 2007, one of these camps is entitled as “Ethiopia of Turkey” at a Turkish daily newspaper and Roman Citizens who live in this camp had invited the Turkish Prime Minister to testify the struggle for survival and improve their living conditions. So far no one did and did not change fundamentally.

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