★ ISM - UK
Starbucks at Boğaziçi University occupied:
"Cheap and Healthy Food and Freedom!"
On December 5th hundreds of students gathered near campus of Boğaziçi Üniversitesi in Istanbul to protest the increasing commercialisation of spaces on campus as well as for affordable and healthy food for everyone. Following the rally about 100 students began to squat the Starbucks outlet on campus. The occupation still continues today (Dec. 11th).
The following e-mail was sent to the ISM (global) mailing list:
6. days ago more than 100 students occupied starbucks at Boğaziçi university .Occupation still has continued. students want cheap and healty food. there was no place where students share something in the campus but after occupation ''new designed starbucks'' is available to spend time with friends :D . now we are making our own food, cafe, and tea. there are a lot of activities during occupation. a lot of teachers, artists,writers and many groups have visited to support us.
here is more information about occupation...
One of students of boğaziçi university...
The following statement was released by the activists on December 6th:
We would like to take a closer look at the process of commercialization and gentrification our campus is undergoing that has gathered pace with the recent opening of a Starbucks, both to remember for ourselves and to make a contribution to Boğaziçi’s collective memory (after all, we have a 148-year-old university). You may not know it, but once there was a student canteen at this school, on the South Campus. It was a place where we could feed ourselves whether we had money or not, in which we could cheer each other up with conversation. It was a student-friendly space that we could call our own.
Although the phrase “process of commercialization and gentrification” sounds abstract, it is a reality that intersects with our story. The ongoing transformation of our campus can be seen in many recent incidents, such as the closure of Orta Kantin in 2008, the attempt to move the student clubs from the center of the university to GYM — which most of us can’t even find – and the opening of Teknopark with the participation of the prime minister and (naturally) the cops. Although the clubs were kept at their original location thanks to mass demonstrations against the proposed relocation, the gentrification and commercialization of the campus continue apace.
First Akbank, Garanti, Finansbank, Vodafone, İlly Coffee, Robert’s Coffee, and Dunkin’ Donuts … and now finally Starbucks is on our campus! With the introduction of these global firms, the university has become a market for the commercial activities of multinational corporations. There is enough space for everyone but us: From the CEOs who teach in our school to the employers that scout young employees for their companies. There is no affordable food, no place for having a real conversation, and nobody asks what we want.
We could tell them if they asked us. But, because they have no intention of asking, we must make ourselves heard. We have decided to reclaim our campus. We have simple demands such as cheap and healthy food and the freedom to be somewhere without being obligated to consume. We want free transportation within the campus and we don’t want to have to pay for a certificate to prove we are students. For these reasons, we recently chose to settle in at Starbucks and take a step toward reclaiming what we once had.
Many more pictures and the latest updates in Turkish are available here: starbuckssenligi.blogspot.com