FORBIDDEN ZONE, 1985

500 stickers affixed to public places across Turkey during a trip

1980 marks the last of a series of military coups in modern Turkey. Military regime did not only rule the government but public landscape as well with so many military sites and buildings. These barbed wired sites are protected by patrolling soldiers and signs that read “YASAK BOLGE-FORBIDDEN ZONE”.

Vahap went on a cross country trip from Izmir to Van visiting all major cities and archeological sites in Anatolia marking them with 500 “FORBIDDEN ZONE” stickers. These stickers stood out in the pristine public spaces where any kind of graphity was strictly forbidden and illegal. He affixed the other 500 stickers on postcards and sent them to artists, journalists and writers alike as a warning.

FORBIDDEN ZONE, 1985

500 postcards mailed to artists

FORBIDDEN ZONE, 1985

500 postcards mailed to artists

5000 liRA GIFT, 1986

100 postcards mailed to artists

Early 1980’s witnessed the decline of income and prosperity after the military coup. Turgut Ozal, who was electedas prime minister in a landslide victory against the generals will, quickly unrolled a series of economic and social reforms. He allowed foreign goods in the local market to compete with the stale products made mostly by the state monopolies. “Kose donme” meaning “turning the corner” became a catch phrase and the zeitgeist of the times. Everyone needed more cash to purchase the new and attractive products for the betterment of their lives. This prompted the artist to print 100 of 5000 LIRA postcards and mail to the artists, friends and family.

5000 LIRA GIFT, 1986

100 postcards mailed to artists