As someone who has traveled to Turkey and fallen in love with everything about the people and the culture, it has been unbelievably difficult for me to grasp hold of the horrific events currently taking place in a country I once felt so at home in. The Turkey I remember was a place full of fun and welcoming people, with some of the richest history in all of the world. It was a place filled to the brim with the most beautiful architecture I’ve ever witnessed, and the food… well that’s a whole different story. My time spent in this country was short, yet it was some of the most culturally satisfying few days I’ve ever lived.
Wrapping my head around the vision of Istanbul’s protester-packed cobblestone streets is tough. I’d rather envision them the way I experienced them, filled with families out for weekend strolls, women decked out in colorful scarves, children laughing and the call to prayer filling the air. If you have access to this blog, I’m sure the news of Turkey’s protests have reached you. Yet, most people have probably just “heard it through the grapevine.” Rather than me explaining it word for word, I’ve included a few links for some of the best news stories I’ve found on the topic. I encourage you to check them out and let me know what you think about these events. In my opinion, this is another country facing civil unrest on a list that is far too long, but the reasons behind the anti-government demonstrations vary from nation to nation.
Of course, the Turkey that I remember in these photographs is still there. The 2013 protests will be written about in Turkey’s history books. I can only hope that the true Turkish culture has a chance to reemerge sooner rather than later.