30 tents in Yavuz Sultan Selim neighbourhood of Körfez district of Kocaeli (Marmara region, Turkey) were demolished by municipality officials. Roma families coming from various cities primarily Adana were living in the tents which had been pitched on the area which is used as a construction site by the Mass Housing Administration. It's unknown that where do the Roma families go after the demolition.
It's declared to Roma families by municipality officials that they had to demolish their tents and leave there on account of the fact that people living in the houses around the area complain the tents to the municipality. Soon, the tents which Roma, subsisting on paper and scrap collecting, live in were demolished by the municipality officials in company with riot police.
Some of the Roma families living in tents in Turkey leave their homes to work as seasonal agricultural workers in as much as they are not able to survive in their own cities. However some others have no house to live in and they are obligated to live in tents. Tent is the only hope especially for the Roma families whose houses were demolished without offering any other place to live in the context of wrong urban renewal policies. Authorities have to consider the special situation of Roma living in tents before demolishing their only hope. Otherwise, crowded homeless population will be an important question for our cities in the near future.
Source: Gerçek Kocaeli Photo: Kemal Elitaş