Archive for June, 2013

I’ve provided background information on the protests and their repression, and on the protesters and their politics. Here, I begin to summarise the archaeological background of Gezi Park, which I continue through an examination of the destruction of Surp Hagop cemetery and a consideration of the challenges that confront those who wish to speak honestly.
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This is my second background piece on Occupy Gezi. In the first, I reviewed the protests and the repression; here, I explore the protesters and their politics; in the third, I summarise the archaeology of Gezi Park. In the “proper” posts that follow, I examine the economics and politics of archaeology in Turkey; I look at the roles of both archaeology and archaeologists in the Turkish revolution.
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I’ve written up a series of posts on Occupy Gezi. The first three are background pieces on the protests and their repression, the protesters and their politics, and the archaeology of Gezi Park. They’re tldr; and you don’t need to read them to read the “proper” posts on the economics and politics of archaeology; but I wanted simultaneously to summarise events, to challenge official narratives and to complicate media (and public) narratives, and to provide the historical context for the events.
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Occupy Gezi (and elsewhere) is a spontaneous local action, which is consciously and demonstrably part of an international movement; yet it’s also part of a national history of resistance to ‘urban renewal’ that dates back to 1912 and a national history of environmental activism that dates back to 1977.

Here, I try to trace that genealogy of resistance, using a case that has made common cause with Occupy Gezi: the hydroelectric dam projects in Dersim/Tünceli, which were made possible through archaeologists’ illegal unemployment (and a host of other such practices).
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Rather than bundling it up in the huge post that I sincerely hope to post later today, I thought I’d post a rough translation of a recent Selçuk Haber (@selcukhaber) article here. It asked: ‘have archaeologists been forgotten [arkeologlar unutuldu mu]?’ Even more depressing translations of the question would be: Have archaeologists sunk without trace? Have archaeologists sunk into oblivion? For our own emotional well-being, let’s pass over the fact that the problem has existed long enough for people to have forgotten that it exists…
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