June 4, 2013

Impressions - Oh Istanbul

As many of you know, I am a total mud. I grew up knowing two cultures, two belief-systems, and two mentalities. I don't consider myself an expert in both but I do know both. I believe looking at both sides makes my horizon automatically wider and my thinking bigger and quite more interesting. I am very okay with that. Even if this wasn't the case, I think I'd be okay with it too. 
However, there's a slight disadvantage to my background, too. It involves being torn every time I leave one place and move to another, or just visit another place. It also involves emotions I thought I'd never had or would have under control, and it definitely involves feelings of concern when you call three places in this world home and see one of those places in total chaos.

If you haven't heard or read it...my lovely Istanbul is going crazy!!! 

If you've been following me you know how much Istanbul means to me. You know the feelings I share for this giant metropolis with history older and more glorious than you could imagine. You also know that I always visit what's left of friends and family every summer. And now, you know it's in chaos. For legit reasons I may have to add, but this is my personal opinion. 

And...yes, I'm going to visit my city again. Next week. 

HERE is a link I'd like to share with you I found through one of my friends in Istanbul. It's something that will help you see and maybe understand what's going on. Let me know if it works. You never know...

My mom said the last time Istanbul saw/experienced something as direct and brutal like that was decades ago. My aunt said it's all okay and that where we live nothing has happened yet. Since Istanbul is so huge you may never know what's going on unless you live right around the corner from where everything is happening.


To know that friends and even my cousin joined the crowds this week doesn't make it any easier. It makes me smile (yes it does) but it doesn't make it easier.

I know why they are doing it and I agree. Enough is enough.
What started as something peaceful has now grown into a horrible scenario of blood, gas bombs, and hurt people. Two are apparently dead. Who knows why. Maybe we will never know. It's nothing compared to what countries like Egypt, Lybia and Tunisia went through because the reasons behind it in Turkey are different. However, then again, and that's the most interesting part...it is still very similar. 

What started as a protest against yet another shopping mall (and Istanbul has many; many more than Los Angeles and Orange County combined! - I am not kidding!!) has now become a protest against a Prime Minister with stubborn, greedy and religious visions. Visisons that finally made modern folks like my friends, cousins and therelike come forth and say NO to. 

Protests have escalated. They are all over in Turkey. It's no longer about the mall industry and greedy businesses, it's about much much more. It was a friendly protest until the police was called in to "take control of the situation". That control involved violence. "And when you hit me I hit back" is a normal reaction...and that just led to drama. Drama we now witness.

The photo below is taken on the same street the above picture is from...just go figure.

Am I proud? Not really, and yet I am.

What we see on CNN, very few Turkish channels, the Internet, Social Media (unless it's blocked for some people), is just half the story. And what I share is also just half. However, it's better than nothing. 
It is history. Not just Turkey's history but yours as well. You may think you live far away in the US, in Asia or in Europe even, but whatever happens in the world, and we all should know this by now, influences us somehow.

We shall see what happens...but all I know is I will be in that beautiful city next week, and I will keep you posted.


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Unknown said...

I'm so glad that you posted about this. I didn't know much about what was going on before reading that website you posted. it's really cool to hear from your perspective as someone who has such tight bonds to the city. Be safe if you go there!

Kathrin@shopschoolsleep said...

wow that sucks. I'm from El Salvador and the stories I hear from my aunts about the gangs make me want to never visit, as sad as that is. be careful when you go!!


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