The bloodiest mass massacre in the history of Republic took place on 10 October 2015 by the Ankara Train Station.

Tens of thousands of citizens from all over the country met by the Ankara Train Station in order to participate in the Labor, Peace and Democracy rally called for by Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (Devrimci İşçi Sendikaları Konfederasyonu – DISK), Confederation of Public Employees’ Trade Unions (Kamu Emekçileri Sendikaları Konfederasyonu – KESK), Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (Türk Mühendis ve Mimar Odaları Birliği – TMMOB) and Turkish Medical Association (Türk Tabipleri Birliği – TTB). 103 people lost their lives and over 400 people were injured in the massacre, which took place when two ISIS-member suicide bombers blew themselves up at 10.04, just when the rally was about to start.

Ankara Massacre of 10 October has gone down in history as a crime committed against humanity.

After the massacre, Ankara Train Station and environs have become associated with the subject matter of the rally calling for a struggle for Labor, Peace and Democracy.

As DISK, KESK, TMMOB, TTB and 10 Ekim-Der, we have organized an “International Ideas and Design Project Competition for Labor, Peace and Democracy Memorial Square and Place” so that the place, where massacre took place, will be rearranged as a memorial square.

Competition aims to make sure that 10 October is not to be forgotten on a social level; to honor the memories of the individuals, who lost their lives, and the individuals, who survived; and to reproduce the memory in space and everyday life. The objective is to reproduce Ankara Train Station and the Square as a public space, where citizens will come together, dedicated to our common values of labor, peace and democracy for generations.

Remembrance is a significant practice that carries social memory towards the future. Reproducing memory in space through practices enables us to perceive the city as a common ground that is alive with its all elements, wherein social consciousness and awareness are reproduced along the generations. In order to commemorate those who lost their lives in the massacre, to remember and remind the crime of humanity that was suffered, this square where social deprivation took place requires reconsideration through a holistic approach and a configuration of “memorial/monument square”.

Increased labor exploitation as opposed to equal wage for equal labor; seize of habiting spaces for capital accumulation by means of production of the built environment; destruction of cultural and natural assets instead of protecting and nurturing; not implemented legal rules; disregard of the requirements for democracy; drive of conflicts and violence forward all make it struggle for right to labor, democracy and peace as an outstanding issue. The date of October 10th therefore symbolizes peace and unity, and struggle against the war. 10 October aims to stand by the worker class for resolution of the contradiction of labor and capital, to prevent our environment, urban and rural areas from being plundered, to stop worker deaths, to resist any form of violence against women, and to defend freedom and democracy against oppression and tyranny.

In this context, the competition aims to reconceptualize Ankara Train Station and its close environs, the place where the tragic attack took place, as a memorial space with the main themes of the meeting ‘labor, peace and democracy’, in question. Besides, we hope to emancipate our urban public spaces, which have become forbidden since 10 October, through use; to keep historical meeting and gathering places of our organizations alive. In reinterpretation and design of Ankara Train Station Square, aftermath of 10 October Massacre, main goals are as follows:

  • To enable designing and a change for Ankara Train Station Square as a city square that can be perceived within the scope of wholeness of the city in line with the importance of the happening in social memory;
  • To ensure a common understanding of the square as the square of labor, democracy and peace and to pave the way for a change of the square through a comprehensive urban space aimed at strengthening public awareness with respect to the massacre;
  • To interpret memorial of 10 October as a fundamental design dimension of the cultural memory space of Ankara Train Station Square;
  • To develop designs in order to carry Train Station Square as an important constituent of the urban setting/configuration since the foundation of the Republic and public and social space into the future;
  • To put forward an urban quality, with options, in which differences can coexist within the framework of respect and dialogue on the basis of peace and democracy;
  • To contribute to the preservation of memory of 10 October, conveying it to next generations, the formation of collective memory and the development of social conscience;
  • To pave the way for the remembrance of crimes against humanity in similar areas where terrorist attacks are committed throughout the city of Ankara, and for developing ideas, perspectives and model proposals for the reinterpretation and design of such areas;
  • To emphasize the process of social production of public space against the dominant space production practices;
  • To strengthen the value of the urban image by reconsidering the square in an integrated approach.

Process for International Ideas and Design Project Competition for Labor, Peace and Democracy Memorial Square and Place started on November 23, 2019 and the schedule will be as follows:

Deadline for questions: December 6, 2019

Announcement of answers: December 13, 2019

Site visit: December 21, 2019

Submission deadline: February 24, 2020

Evaluation: February 29, – March 1, 2020

Evaluation Conference:  March 3, 2020

Announcement of the winners of the competition:  March 5, 2020

We invite all professional groups especially including landscape architects, architects and urban planners, and also professions of sculptors, painters and graphic designers, to participate in competition.

We invite all the responsive members of the society to be with us and to contribute in this historical process.

We bow respectfully to the memory of our 103 citizens, who lost their lives in the massacre.

We shall neither forget Ankara Massacre of 10 October, nor let it be forgotten.

DİSK – KESK – TMMOB – TTB – 10 Ekim Der