September 20th, 2011. The PKK sets off a car bomb in Ankara near a high school. 
My class crowds the window 
as we watch the smoke rise some streets away
and the sirens echo ricochets off the walls 
of the school for the next six hours. 
October 18th, 2011 some members of the PKK attempt to bomb Ankara's city center, Kızılay. 
I watch it on the news the next morning and realize
I was there just last night
where those two handcuffed middle aged men stand now,
there image flicking back and forth on the TV screen.
October 19th, 2011 24 Turkish soliders die.  That same day, Turkey launches an incursion into Iraq. 
The following weeks were a ballet of red flags and slogans
Martyrs never die
their voices marching up and down the streets. 
October 23rd, 2011 a 7.1 level earthquake hits Vann Turkey.
Then came the vendors crawling through the mid-day traffic 
they say. 
they say. 
Peddling flags and nationalism 
as I walk by with my head down. 
October 29th, 2011 Cumhuriyet Bayramı.
A plane flew over the school. 
but the noise sounded wrong. 
Too loud, too close - 
blocking out the call to worship 
projected from the speakers of the mosques outside
my classroom window
and in that istant, 
I really thought it was all over. 
But we laughed about it 
at lunch over köfte and ayran
because the plane was just practicing for Baraym.

I've never been this close to terror
to history
to war.

But then again, I've never felt so far.
And I wonder if it's the same for those in 
Pakistan, Iraq or Iran. 
If terror is a word used in headlines,
or only on television or just by politicians.
If a bomb explodes in your city
and the next morning you find out at breakfast.
If you keep living your life
even though the rest of the world is praying for you
even though your town is in the headlines
I wonder if they just let it be and move on.

And today - 
November 8th, 2011.  Life is back to normal.

11/8/2011 03:09:13 am

Normal seems to have a completely different connation on 11/8/11 than it did on 11/8/10. Turkey is working on you - you, with your spirit. Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights with us. I remain incredibly proud. Please stay safe.


11/9/2011 08:26:44 am

I miss you!!! I can't even imagine what you are going through! I guess it just shows that we need to put the "major issues" in our lives in perspective!

Nervous in the Servis
11/9/2011 09:35:19 am

Your words are beautiful. You're beautiful. Many times, I think that people on this continent are so far removed physically from the real problems that we become mentally removed from them as well. We focus on traffic, crappy cell service and what's on tv, which makes us forget that things are rumbling all across the world. It seems you have stepped through the veil, so to speak. And it's kind of amazing.

I love reading your posts and I hope you keep writing. Can't wait until you get back so we can hear about all of the good things as well. Stay safe.


~ B
11/10/2011 05:54:08 am

Love you lots and lots and lots and lots!!!!!! OH, and I miss ya too.

11/12/2011 01:13:29 pm

You're the strongest person I know.


Leave a Reply.