I woke up this morning with a broken heart again and I’m tired of it. I’m too old for this crap. People of Earth, I’m tried of citizens acting like a bunch of unruly toddlers, (And God knows I’m clear on the behaviors of unruly toddlers- even unruly toddlers with anesthesia hang-overs this week). This world is in desperate need of a swift kick in the ass and a good grounding with no electronics for at least a month. I mean, people WTF?
My mature response to the world’s current state is a burning desirer to jump on my bicycle and ride far, far away with my handlebar streamers flowing in the wind and my banana seat cutting into my thigh-chub. But as adulthood took away my damn banana seat and replaced my handlebar basket with a fat kid in a bike trailer behind me, riding off into the sunset is not an option. So instead I will do what I know how to do and keep pushing for understanding.
Yesterday, after a fun family outing, something was tugging at me. I knew something was wrong but had no idea what. I flipped on NPR but nothing. An hour later as I was talking to my neighbor, the Turk yelled – “Honey get in here! Something big happening!” A coup. Though the Turk had been though one before, this was my first coup and I was quickly wishing I hadn’t dropped out of Turkish school before we got to the “big news words” lessons. Within minutes we had English news on the TV, Turkish news on the laptop, Twitter on the tablets and were texting with his sister in Turkey. God bless technology.
Last night’s events in Turkey left many people confused. My favorite Tweet was from a British woman who Tweeted, “Can Turkish people please just Tweet in English so the rest of us can understand what’s happening?” I hear ya girl but I speak both languages, had a Turk at my side and I was still confused. Turkey, like most countries, has a complex political history and if you’re really interested I can suggest a slew of reading materials (because I’m an uber-nerd and that’s how I roll.) But if you’re not interested in a PhD in Turkish politics, here’s some important things to know:
- There is good reason for the unrest and these are not just a bunch of hot-tempered Muslims. (Because if you watch the American news, that’s the image projected.)
- The true origins of the coup will never be known. Was it orchestrated by a small faction of the military? Was it organized by the entire military? Was it staged by the Prime Minister in an attempt to garner further power? (I know where my vote goes, but I’ve been in a Turkish jail once (long story) and I’m not going back in the next time I go to Turkey so I’ll remain silent) We will never know as the government has been silencing, censoring and jailing the media in Turkey for some time now. Any journalist found to be exposing anything that shows the PM in a bad light is immediately jailed. (Chew on that.)
- Turkey’s leadership has become increasingly more corrupted in recent years. When I lived there it was bad- it’s far worse now. The leadership has long pitted the uneducated poor against the educated middle class, using religion as a springboard. This divisive governing is what you saw exploding on your television screen last night. Sound familiar America? Dividing the people by exploiting the poor and uneducated through anger and religion? Trump has taken his lessons from some of the best in the world and if you look at Syria, Iraq and now Turkey, you’ll see how it ends.
- These are people. These are my people. When you marry someone, you take on their family. When you marry someone from another culture, you take on that culture. When you marry someone, move to their country, learn their language and are embraced by their entire culture for years, even after you leave, you become one of them. Watching my adopted home bleed as it has in recent months has been gut wrenching. Waiting for social media check-ins after bombings to make sure family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and former students are safe is a terrible feeling and it just keeps happening. Turkey took me in when I was a scared expat. Turkey taught me how to be a mother. Turkey showed me how adaptable I am. Turkey gave me a new language and culture and Turkey will always be mine. When you watch these images, do not disregard this as an angry nation. This is my adopted home.
People of the world, educate your children. Put away your guns. Change things now, before it’s too late. Our children are counting on us.
Gecmis Olsun Turkiye
Ne Mutlu Turk’um Diyene