Wednesday, April 21, 2010

IFF Day 12: Save Emek!

No movies on Day 12. Instead, I went to a town-hall type meeting about an old movie theater (Emek) that is planned to be torn down - sorry, "moved to the eighth floor of a multiplex without being torn down." Whatever. Until the meeting (which had a representative from the company that's planning the deed, someone from the Architects' Council, Director of IFF and a representative from Istanbul 2010 Agency), I wasn't against the project just for the sake of protest, and I was ready to listen to the guy from the company. He, however, spent about an hour saying nothing, lying to our faces, and grinning shamelessly. There was a lot of (mostly pointless) shouting, but in the end, it was god to show that there was a strong group of people against the project. One of the major points for me was that the theater has already been declared a cultural protection site, and is not supposed to be torn, changed or moved anywhere. We actually should not even be having this discussion. Another was that it's owned by Social Security Institution, so it's public. Why is it then being handed to some people so that they can make a profit off of it, without even a competitive bidding? Who are these people? And my favorite: 'the guy' tried to convince the audience that his company had good intentions to protect the cultural integrity of the building. The bottom three floors of the complex will be occupied by a museum: Madame Tussaud.

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