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Roma Lose in Urban Development In Turkey

A massive urban redevelopment drive in Turkey victimizes already disadvantaged communities, especially the Roma.
Turkish gypsies stand next to a fire during the celebration of the annual Spring Festival "Hidirellez", on May 5, 2013, 2013, in Edirne, south-western Turkey. Gypsies celebrate the beginning of the spring season according to their calendar. Hidirellez is celebrated as the day on which Prophets Hizir (Al-Khidr) and Ilyas (Elijah) met on earth.  AFP PHOTO/GURCAN OZTURK        (Photo credit should read GURCAN OZTURK/AFP/Getty Images)
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One day in the future, the Roma may be telling a story like this: “All of a sudden, the white man in Turkey came along, holding a law called ‘urban transformation.’ When we opened our eyes, our homes had disappeared and the white man’s plazas were rising in their place.”

A feverish process of redevelopment and construction has been underway in Turkey in recent years. The shanty towns in big cities are being evacuated, with their residents moving to cluster housing complexes that are being erected for them.

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