Words can’t fully encompass the amount of pain I am feeling regarding this evening’s bombings at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport.
Ode to those Precious Lives Lost,
You magnificent residents of Istanbul– I’m numb with you.
There is a sort of disbelief that hits me every time my phone buzzes with a new notification about a Turkish tragedy. With each one I think to myself, “Why Turkey? Of all places why there?”
And while I recognize that this sentiment is partially influenced by modern associations and personal fondness, I think it is important to honor Turkey and its citizens for the critical and unique role that they play in the world.
To some, Turkey is “just another country” in Asia. But to those who know, Turkey is the center at which the cultures of the world meet, mingle, and thrive.
Turkey is the indisputably the Mecca of our world. It is the central meeting place of all which is beautiful, cultural, ethnic, developed, and free.
In this heavily divided world, Turkey stands as a tangible representation of human and national intersectionality. It is a beaming representation that there exists a space where 2 worlds not only collide– but actively better one another.
Why would anyone want to damage this?
Don’t these people know what they are destroying? Don’t these people know that to attack Istanbul is to literally attack one of the last remaining tangible links between the Majority World and the West?
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for an unified international fight against terrorism, saying: “Make no mistake: For terrorist organizations, there is no difference between Istanbul and London, Ankara and Berlin, Izmir and Chicago or Antalya and Rome. Unless all governments and the entire mankind join forces in the fight against terrorism, much worse things than what we fear to imagine today will come true.”-CNN
Turkey, I not only grieve you, but I revere you.
3 men with arms, explosives, and an irreverent cause have trihandedly ripped away dozens of brilliant lives from our world.
I grieve the loss of your 37 patriots and the wounds of the hundreds of others. I grieve the defilement of your amazing nation and in my very limited realm of influence, I rebuke all negativity which might come to you in the future.
In many ways I wish I was with you now in order that I might physically contribute in any way that I could. From afar, however, I pledge to be as active as possible in your avocation. I pledge to bring further awareness to the injustice in this world and to fight both in word and in action for your protection.
In a brief aside, I think that it is important to dedicate a portion of this post to my friends and family who are concerned about me studying abroad in Istanbul this Fall:
I see the danger.
I see it, I know it, & I recognize it.
“So Why Are You Still Going?!” -all of you
I want to defy the oppressive will of these evil forces. A huge part of me believes that the action of following through with my study abroad is a metaphorically screamed “screw you” to the extremists of our society.
In some ways it feels as though allowing these attacks to discourage me from traveling would be me tacitly consenting to their will.
It would be letting them win.
But, my well-intended signs of solidarity can only go so far.
I recognize that as it relates to my safety, this is not a matter of what I morally should do, it’s a matter of accepting the limitations of what I realistically can do, and at the end of the day there is only so much that I am capable of.
Even still, I’m very optimistic. I do not intend to call off my study abroad until the administrators in my department advise me to do so.
Truly, I just wanted to inform my family and friends that I am aware of the dangers, and am taking them very seriously.