Ferhat Özgür

Today is Sun/Monday
Video, 2004, 7 min

Ferhat Özgür concentrates on exploring social-political phenomena of Turkey, combining them with subjective reference-systems.

In his video “Today is Sund/Monday? Ferhat Özgür shows the Maltepe market, which was once a Russian bazaar, right in the centre of Ankara. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early ‚90s, refugees from the former communist countries came to Ankara to sell their goods at this bazaar, which later became the Maltepe market, named after the district where it was situated. All the goods were sold, without invoices or value-added tax, under the management of local businessmen. Later, a fruit-and-vegetable street market was held here every Monday. The Maltepe stalls were transportable, so that on Sunday nights, they were pulled on to the nearby car park to make room for the street market. During the video recording in 2005, Ferhat Özgür learned from the traders that the city council was planning to do away with the market and to build in its place a new shopping mall. In 2007, there was only a building site to be seen.

Parallel markets can emerge through socio-political circumstances; as the result of processes of change, they may set in motion migration or transnational trading. When economic necessity gives rise to the sale of a market on transportable private property, it may expand into a black market. Local traders are organising themselves around the site of the Russian traders to carry on their tax-free business. In accordance with principles of fair distribution, this market is shared with the vegetable vendors in order to make best use of the site.