People,  Places

The Magic of Turks

One of the things I vowed never to do on this blog was a rant. While I believe in an open and democratic internet, despite some of the dangers and pitfalls attached, I also feel there is far too much anger and hatred being voiced.

That’s why I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about something that’s really touches me powerfully and positively on a daily basis.

I don’t have to live in Turkey. I choose to. A large part of the reason I stay is the magic of this place. Yes, there are many difficulties in this land, and life is incredibly hard for a considerable portion of the population. Still, I count myself lucky to be here. That’s largely because of the mix of people who surround me, be they Muslim, Christian, Jewish, atheist, Turkish, Turkish-Kurdish, Turkish-Armenian, Turkish-Greek …  I could go on, but you get the point.

Since becoming a parent, I’m reminded on a daily basis of the fantastic kindness shown by the overwhelming majority of people in this country, be they rich or poor, minority or mainstream. This is especially true when I’m with my daughter.  Acts of kindness everywhere, in cafes, and on street corners, on the metro and the minibus. The generosity I’ve witnessed, and the love I feel here, especially for children, really moves me.

One of the reasons I started this website was to share, however insignificant it may seem, my great appreciation for the many kinds of light and warmth I’ve experienced since moving to this enchanted land almost seven years (light years, it often seems) ago.

I work hard to share that appreciation with everyone. The only person I ever intend to mock, or make a joke of on this blog, is myself.

However, I do interview people who sometimes hold strong opinions that may or may not agree with everyone else’s. I hope to continue to do so, in the interest of sharing ideas, and leaving my daughter a personal record of my respect for the difficult work, different personalities, attitudes and cultures required to expand that open, magical society we all dream of and want to share in, where I hope she will one day choose to raise her children, in both safety and peace.

Long live the magic of the Turks.