Collective data compiling and mapping on the relations of capital and power in Turkey

Networks of Dispossession Version II, a collective data compiling and mapping project dedicated to pursue the relations between capital and power in Turkey has been released on July 14th, 2014. The first version of the project was published in September 2013 right after the Gezi resistance. Today after a year long collective work, the second version in total contains 393 projects, 433 corporations and 45 governmental institutions, along with thousands of connections between actors of dispossession, that are made possible through legal concessions. In this version, the interface powered by Graph Commons network mapping tool has also been updated with functions like advanced search, filter and share in social media.

Networks of Dispossession project consists of three maps; projects of dispossession, partnerships of dispossession and dispossessed minorities. ‘Projects of Dispossession’ exposes partnerships of private corporations and governmental institutions in Turkey via projects such as the third airport that will annihilate North Forests of Istanbul, urban transformation projects that displaced inhabitants of Tarlabaşı and Sulukule, Ilısu hydroelectric power plant project that will inundate Hasankeyf under dam reservoir, the Grand Pera project which caused Emek theater to be demolished and many others. The second map, ‘Partnerships of Dispossession’ reveals the partnerships that are established through members partaking in the boards of companies who undertake these projects, whereas the third map ‘Dispossessed Minorities’ point finger to the reallocation paths of properties of minorities confiscated by governmental organizations.

Every bits of data used to generate the maps are referenced to sources open to the public, such as the web pages of corporations, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce database and Trade Registry Gazette and secondary resources like newspaper articles. The budgets, the dates, and the location of the projects and if any the information on labor crimes are stated in the Information Box of each node along with their references.

Updated, Elaborated Open-Access Database in Today’s Tense Political Atmosphere

The freedom of the media in Turkey is shrinking with each day. The press is being censored directly by the government. What’s more, the partnerships that are established through legal concessions between media oligarchs and the governmental institutions render press a mere marketing tool and us uninformed about the processes, that in fact dispossess us of our air, our water, our soil and our public spaces.

Turkey, like all other market oriented states keeps the information exclusive to itself, and enhances its capacity to process and analyze the big data. The governmental institutions use this intelligence for establishing and maintaining mega and long-term projects at the cost of our habitat. Data and the intelligence is not transparent or open access. Yet, it is a global construct that we, the common people, have no access to data. We CAN collectively compile bits and pieces of data from resources that are open to public use; archive, correlate and map these data and see the big picture. With this idea, we gathered in Gezi Park during the resistance, channelled our energy to pursue the relations that dispossess us of our commons, and compiled public data in order to make the relations between the capital and power in Turkey visible.

For instance, you can navigate in the maps and find out that Agaoglu construction firm carried out the project Maslak 1453, and TOKI (Housing Development Administration of Turkey) and Emlak Konut (real estate investment trust) were the governmental partners, which provided the legal concessions that made this project possible. You may discover that the urban transformation projects such as Tarlabasi and Fener-Balat were conducted by Gap Construction which is owned by Calik Holding that also owns newspapers like Sabah and Takvim and TV channel ATV via Turkuaz Media Group. As in these examples, you can follow the pathways where the power reside, and pursue the partnerships of interest and create your own selection and share it on social media.

New Network Map Interface

Through the self-organizing software map, the names naturally find their position through connecting forces, revealing the central actors, indirect links, and organic clusters. This way, the central corporations, governmental institutions and persons on Networks of Dispossession maps come to the fore and the names who have multiple connections appear as dense organic clusters.

In the second version of Networks of Dispossession, there are new features to enhance the experience of traversal in the maps. You can use advanced search for finding persons, corporations and institutions instantly, jump from one node to the other and create your own pathways, or use the filtering feature by city and county and see for instance the projects conducted only in Beyoglu district.

What is more, you may click each node and find information such as the budget, the date, the image of the project, the connections of the given node, and if any, narratives of the labour crimes and references for each bits of these information on the Information box. You can also either take a screenshot of your path of traversal as jpeg or share the unique URL of your selected pathway by clicking the share button on the information box. This way, you will contribute in making these relations visible to the public.

Networks of Dispossession is open to participation and will continue issuing new versions. If you would like to join us, or you have public information on our nodes and relations, you may contact us by email mulksuzlestirme@gmail.com.

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