The Omen in the poem of Kavafis has lost the possibility of realization. Because, roads where we lived our childhood were destroyed and instead, an apartment block, which is highly secured, with swimming pool, next to the city but away from its all noises, has been constructed. So, when we felt sad, felt that we lost touch with the whole world, felt that we had no history and future, so all in all when we felt that we were completely lonely, the chance of returning to those roads, of hearing laughters of children that were able to remain on a wall which was able to stand still were taken from our hands. Urban Renewal killed our memories and erected a cold idol god. The capital “destroyed all those knightly feelings and put selfish and icy waters of rough calculation” instead. In these roads, which are not in the new 1/1000-development plan any more, we only are able to be cold.
How can a city be described? I think the population-based description we learned from Geography lessons is not singly enough to understand what a city can be. It can be understood with a short journey from big cities to small cities in Turkey. When visiting Republic Cities founded after 1923, it is easy for us to be filled with ideas that this is actually not a city against structured plans where a single road was taken as a center. It is very obvious that Atatürk Statues and Republic and Independence Streets are not enough for them to be cities.
Because a city needs an accumulated history to be able to be a city. It is needed to transform the population living within the city gradually into urbanites. An “Urban Renewal” that may realize within this sense will be a real renewal.
Even if Manisa and Bursa have lost most of their historical heritages, that’s because they are cities. Izmir, which has lost nearly whole its identity with a huge fire, has managed to be able to become a specific city, thanks to its culture passed on during the history. But unfortunately, Turkish People, whose connection with their own histories have been ripped, live the same fate once more with the name of Urban Renewal now. Operation, from the table of which we will be able to stand half-alive, still continues. Urban Renewal covers us with tons of metal, concrete and composite material.
Constantly, as the life of a person who is intentionally prevented from remembering a day before, is a life, so the life becomes a life together with the renewal of our lives and cities. The roads where we spent your childhood were destroyed. All the walls on which you sit and babbled with your friends in the evenings were destroyed. And Your History? That has already been buried into the history and it will never be yours again.
Really, now, who are you, while all the roads you lived in the past are leaving their places one by one to other development plans? Who will you be transformed into at the end of this black tale?