Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

Hyperallergic has published my update on the threatened hunger strike of cultural workers in Turkey. Thankfully, the government made last-minute concessions and the Association of Culture and Art Workers (Kültür Sanat Emekçileri Derneği) called off the strike. But if the concessions are not realised, the strike is back on, on the 18th of May 2015.

As I note in the article, the resistance (direniş) is ‘organising primarily around the hashtags #arkeologistihdamı (archaeologists’ employment), #sanattarihcilerkadrolarınınpeşinde (in pursuit of positions for art historians), and #arkeologlarvesanattarihcileraçlıkgrevinde (archaeologists and art historians are on hunger strike), though other telling ones are emerging, such as #duyunartıkbugençlerinsesini (hear these youths’ voice now)’.


Hyperallergic have just published my news report on cultural heritage workers’ imminent hunger strike in Turkey. As I explain in the article, if the government does not show any sign of increasing cultural sector employment, at 1pm on the 9th of November, those workers (1) will begin to starve themselves in protest. Next, I’m going to try to explore the connections between archaeologists’ resistance, the Gezi Uprising and the policing of antiquities trafficking.

Word is spreading (update, 30th October 2014)

The Art Media Agency (AMA), artnet news and Arts Journal have picked up the story from Hyperallergic.


1: They are members of the Association of Culture and Art Workers, also known as Culture and Art Workers: the Association of Museum Employees, Archaeologists, Art Historians, Restorers and Visual Artists (Kültür Sanat Emekçileri Derneği (KSED) – Kültür Sanat Emekçileri; Müzeciler, Arkeologlar, Sanat Tarihçiler, Restoratörler ve Görsel Sanatçılar Derneği).

‘Archaeologists have enlightened Anatolian history… but the state has darkened archaeologists’ futures… [Anadolu tarihini arkeologlar aydınlattı… ama devlet arkeologların geleceğini kararttı…]’

As I will explain later today, from now on, I am going to be posting far less (even less) on unfree archaeology – though I will hopefully post some more about this particular subject. Indeed, hopefully, I will publish at least one article on resistance to unemployment in Turkey (and elsewhere).

Over on Conflict Antiquities, I’ve put up a note on the (open) question of how to acknowledge and/or protect public sources, who might be persecuted for statements on social media, and who might delete those statements in order to protect themselves. The problem is more one of unfree archaeology, so I’m not entirely sure why it’s over there, but there it is (in both senses).

There has been a call for action for archaeologists’ employment (arkeolog istihdamı için eylem çağrısı). Archaeologists in Turkey will meet outside the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Ankara at 2pm on the 5th of May.

call for action for archaeologists' employment (arkeolog istihdamı için eylem çağrısı)

call for action for archaeologists’ employment (arkeolog istihdamı için eylem çağrısı)

In other news, the Archaeologists’ Union has applied to the Interior Ministry for funding for a Project to Find Ways to Solve the Problem of Employment for Unemployed Archaeologists and to Increase Public Awareness of Our Cultural Heritage (İşsiz Arkeologların İstihdam Sorununa Çözüm Yolları Bulmak ve Toplumda Kültür Varlıklarımızın Farkındalığının Artırılması Projesi).

Last year, Kayıp Kültür Varlıkları (Looted Heritage) wrote a post about Ataturk and archaeologists’ employment (Atatürk ve Arkeolog İstihdamı), which addressed the problems faced by the profession in Turkey in the early Twentieth Century and in the early Twenty-First Century…

The Police Department of Denizli Province has run an archaeological programme for unemployed youths. Unfortunately, it may be a model for professionals’ exclusion from work rather than youths’ experience of work…

When I started Conflict Antiquities, I occasionally went “off-topic” and discussed Turkish state restrictions on freedom of expression and access to information, or deep state ultra-nationalist propaganda (including the pollution of the public domain with false information in order to trick other authorities into blocking visas for international work). Now, there is public evidence for secret anti-academic and un-academic action against research and teaching.

Archaeologist Çağrı Yağar’s first blog post is about the problem of free archaeology (in Turkish). He begins by describing the strange pleasure of spending your summers working from 5am to 2pm under the sun in forty-degree heat, then working late into the night in the office. And he ends by confronting the reality for archaeology graduates in Turkey.

I’ve written a readable summary of my recent work on illegal development on cultural heritage sites (and/or illegal non-employment of cultural heritage workers) in Turkey, which contributed to archaeological resistance during Occupy Gezi. The International State Crime Initiative posted it on their blog; this is a pre-print.