The Junk Plaza

Once, their art teacher had asked them to draw their home… The house Fırat had drawn was like this: An assortment of iron piping, a slope that resembled a car bonnet. Car and truck tires, piled on top of each other, some barrels and a bicycle wheel, next to them a misshapen couch and behind it rows of bricks. Heaped on top of the bricks, various beams, arches, numerous indeterminate shapes, pieces of tin, stacks upon stacks of paper, huge sacks and other bits of trash layered upon pieces of junk…”

Junk Plaza and Elite City. Two totally different worlds in a town, a poor favela among garbage mountains and a luxurious, isolated settlement, stand side by side, separated by thick walls and security measures. Fırat, a little boy and his family life in “Junk Plaza” and support themselves by collecting and re-selling what everybody else throws away: Crap paper, broken toys, tin objects… Life is hard, but it goes on.

In the luminous Elite City next door, there is trouble. Everything is so sterile and people are so well-cared, children’s immune system finally crushes down and they get constantly sick. A money-hungry private clinic decides to take the issue in hand and plots a dirty plan: Using the children of Junk Plaza as blood donors and transfusing their blood to the children of Elite City.

This story of those who are at the very bottom versus those on top is a bitter one indeed. However, it reflects much of the real world and makes us all aware of who is actually holding the system together.


“Junk Plaza features a beautifully flowing narrative. With her artist’s sensibility, Miyase Sertbarut transforms poverty into the very air we breathe while we read, without turning it into emotional exploitation. She questions, and leads us to question, income inequality, the ethics of capitalism and the endemic problems of the system without ever becoming didactic. Junk Plaza is a book that will grab you with its exciting story and tension of a thriller.” Burhanettin Düzcay,  İYİ KİTAP, March 2012

Novel, Tudem, 2012, 152 pages

Themes: Consumption, clash of classes,

abuse of science, friendship, family

Age: 10+



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