Roma in Küçükbakkalköy

What is affected
Housing Social/public
Housing private
Land Social/public
Land Private
Type of violation Forced eviction
Date 20 July 2006
Region MENA [ Middle East/North Africa ]
Country Turkey
Location Kadiköy, Istanbul

Affected persons

Total 600
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution

Effective particiaption of local community in determining their developmebnt needs and implementation plans, without forced eviction.

Details ُERRC-Turkey 0906.doc

Forced eviction
Housing losses
- Number of homes 120
- Total value €

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

Brief narrative

According to reports, on July 20, 2006, police and municipal officials demolished 120 houses of Roma in Küçükbakkalköy neighbourhood, in Kadiköy, Istanbul, as part of the Urban Transformation project of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Part of this neighbourhood used to be home to about 200 Romani families. As of July 26, 2006, nine Romani families had remained at the spot after the demolition due to lack of alternative housing provisions. The families were reportedly provided with monetary compensation from the municipality and were given a notice to vacate the area by August 15, 2006. As of July 26, around 30 Romani individuals were living in extremely substandard conditions in makeshift structures, amidst piles of rubble and trash. There was no running water and sanitary facilities.

According to the testimonies of Roma, in November 2005, municipal officials notified the inhabitants that they had to leave the area due to the forthcoming reconstruction project. At that time most of the Romani families who had legal documents for their houses sold the houses to a company which had obtained permission to construct apartment buildings in the area. A number of Roma did not agree to sell their houses because the houses were very small and the money received for them would not have been sufficient to buy another house or even rent a house for more than a very short period of time. The families who did not sell their houses remained in the area despite the eviction notice. Several Romani families who had no property and were tenants also remained in the area. Their houses were destroyed during an eviction operation on July 20, 2006.

A middle-aged Romani woman testified that during the July 20, 2006 eviction action, police entered the neighbourhood in the early morning hours, reportedly around 5 am, and ordered the Roma to leave their houses. The people were not allowed to take any belongings with them. Police then proceeded demolishing the houses, burying inside furniture, personal belongings and documents. Several persons testified that the police used pepper gas to force people out of their homes. The pepper gas had reportedly caused health problems for children in the days following the eviction. Several Roma also testified that police officers attempted to instigate Roma to violence against the police telling them, “Defend yourselves so that we can hit you!”

In the absence of adequate social support and/or alternative accommodation, the evicted families are faced with homelessness and severe deprivation of basic rights. It was reported that municipal officials visited the community after the July 20 eviction and offered compensation to the families whose houses were destroyed. According to the families that compensation was far from enough to buy or rent a new house. Some of the families who were tenants and who did not own any property reportedly did not receive any compensation.

Costs €   0