Sun, beaches, pallaces, sultans, empire, princeses,, rich history, exotic land. The bridge between Europe and Asia. The capital of the world… all the words describe Turkey. Many tourist which visit Turkey every year really like this country, some even that much, that after a holiday here decide to stay in find a job in Turkey. Turkey for sure is a nice place to visit and a nice place to discover. It’s very big country so it can offer different experience for different tastes.
Turkey is too big and too diverse country to describe it correctly in a single blog post. Even after a year or two living in Turkey isn’t enough to understand completely this country. Its position in the world map, as well as its rich history are probably main reasons why Turkey is what it is today: a extremly diverse and complex country. We cannot speak about one Turkey. You also cannot speak about Turkey if you’ve only known Turkish living abroad. You must experince living in the country in order to discover it. While living in Istanbul, of course, you cannot get to know all Turkey and Turks, beacuse this country and its society is too complex, however Istanbul’s diversity makes you understand that Turkey is more diverse and complex country as one might expect.
If you would like to know, how it’s to live in Turkey, you can read my two posts about it (What I’ve learned about Turkey and Turkish people after living here for a year – part 1 and part 2).
There are many different minorities living in what is today Turkey. About 15% of them are Kurdish. The Kurdish people, which are also known as the largest stateless nation in the world, are only one of the problems of modern Turkey. Of course it’s rude to call a nation ”a problem”. Of course they are not a problem or the problem, but that is how they seem to be seen… In my opinion, Kurdish are not the biggest problem that modern Turkey is facing or will need to face soon in order to protect stability and peace in the country. One only needs to watch TV news for a few minutes in order to realize that one of the darkest sides of a sunny Turkey is growing violence. Domestic, gender and other types of violence is being reported daily on TV news. Many domestic violence still isn’t reported.
|Stop gender violence!|
In past week, media was overflown with news about violence and violent death victims. It has started with #ÖzgecanAslan, a 20-years-old student who was raped and than burnt by 3 men. She was victim of a dolmuş (group taxi) driver and his 2 friends. After this shocking news overflood the media, many protests and solidarity walks were organized all over Turkey. During hew funeral, women refused to let men near to her casket and instead of men (as is tradition), women carried the casket. (The post with more background has already been published on Wikipedia.)
|Men protest murder of #OzgecanAslan, wearing miniskirts, Turkey (CNN)|
Unfortunately, while citizens were protesting and marching against gender violence, Turkey has witnessed more gender and domestic violence victims. In the past week, unfortunately, there haven’t been only gender and domestic violence victims….
Istanbul was covered with snow and snow holiday was anounced for students. People went out to the streets to enjoy the snow, playing snowballs, etc. An innocent snowball game was a reason that turkish journalist #NuhKöklü was stabbed to death. His murderer, a shopkeeper, stabbed #NuhKöklü to death, after a snowball hit a shop’s window.
Naturally, sfter all this terrible news, many citizens were shocked, however one more shock came after Turkish government released new ”internal security packge” laws. According to the new law, carrying pepper spray will be illegal, one can even get 2 – 3 years prison punishment. This news is far from being calming or relaxing after all the reports about gender violence, that are being reported lately.