I remember Istanbul. Just two years ago – wandering around lost, random people took extraordinary trouble to help me sort it all out – looking up their phones, ringing the hotel, buying a bus ticket, walking with me through the maze of narrow streets.
Walking home in the dark through the old city, I never felt in danger. Once a guy sitting on his porch with a couple of friends stopped me with the usual ‘Speak English? Where you from?’. I patted his cat, chatted to the friends (male and female), got invited to a party.
Turkey is not the Middle East. No looming men in white robes and black beards looking down their noses. No scary laws against holding hands or drinking beer. No autocratic, theocratic government breathing down the necks of its people. And yet….
The Turkish government has just squashed a peaceful protest in Istanbul with horrific force, killing several people and critically injuring hundreds. Gas bombs in locked metro subways. People blinded by tear gas. Apparently, no Turkish news outlet has been allowed to report it. For more details, see Neil Garman’s moving post.
So please share if you can and if you want to.