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A Neighborhood Is Banding Together To Save This Family-Owned Grocery Store From Being Pushed Out

The community are doing everything they can to try to save one of their oldest family-owned stores.

Posted on June 23, 2015, at 7:36 a.m. ET

Bizim Bakkal is a Turkish grocery in the Wrangle area of Kreuzberg, Berlin. Its name means "Our Store" in Turkish.

It is the last privately owned grocery in the neighborhood. The Caliskan family have owned the business for 28 years and three generations.

Earlier this year, the family were informed the store was going to be turned into condos. Kreuzberg was once a poor area populated by many Turkish migrants. A lot of families can no longer afford the rent and are having to move.

The store is popular with local residents. For many, it represents the spirit of the area lost to redevelopment.

"This shop has been here 28 years. It is part of the street I grew up on and it is especially a part of Kreuzberg. Twenty-eight years of hard work are in this shop. And if you are going to close this shop, not only the owner and his existence is at stake — the local residents are also affected. This shop is part of so many stories, it is even part of a movie — when you shut down this shop, you are shutting down a part of Kreuzberg."

The local community has come together in an attempt to save the store from closure.

Drittes Mittwochtreffen #bizimkiez, die Menge wächst:

Third Wednesday meeting #BizimKiez, the size is growing:

The campaign is called #BizimKiez, a combination of German and Turkish that means "Our Neighborhood".

#BizimKiez here goes.

Every Wednesday evening, residents have gathered to demonstrate against gentrification. The group have created a website advising other residents and the media how best they can help the cause.

#BizimKiez part 4. #BizimBakkal :

Signs of solidarity with Bizim Bakkal can be seen everywhere.
Bizim Kiez — to maintain our neighborhood!
'Je Suis Bizim Bakkal'Unka Köfteburger Kreuzberg shows solidarity, keep it up!
Bizim Bakkal remain!

The family have been given until the end of September to vacate the premises. #BizimKiez suggests the Wrangel neighborhood has every intention of supporting the family in the coming months.
"Bizim Bakkal stays — us too! No gentrification in Wrangel-Neighborhood!"