This weekend has been emotionally draining to the point that nobody knows what to say anymore. Everyone’s tired, everyone’s angry. TVs have been turned to news programs alternating between live feeds of funerals for lives lost, and images of the chaos and violence that’s occurred. Thousands attended the funerals, thousands more gathered on the streets, grieving together and showing continuing solidarity to their nation. Collective grief is a regular feeling. It’s a country so accustomed to grieving, especially the past six months, that it could be forgiven for being numbed to terror. But it’s not a country used to newly-discharged-from-national-service civilians being shot by the military meant to protect its citizens. This weekends events were not a terror attack by ISIS or the PKK but an event with the potential to have started a civil war. The suggestions of it having been an elaborate act of theater to be used for political gains are so absurd they’re actually believable: the surrealness of the tanks on the bridge, the sound of the planes in the sky and the goodbumps-on-your-skin fear was akin to theater. If only.
As more information comes out there’s a collective shock as people try to process the events and the tragic violence on both a human, emotional basis and also absorb the political implications of what happened. Even here, where we were totally unaffected by any of the ‘action’, it still feels like waking from a vivid nightmare. We watched the events unfold live on numerous streams over 12 hours and for those hours everyone’s life in Turkey was paused. This is a defining moment in Turkish history. The country is in mourning, and the country is relieved and nobody understands what’s just happened. There are literally thousands of people on the streets across Turkey, yet it’s almost unrecogniseable from the country which escalated trees into political-based clashes with the police which lasted weeks. It gives me hope for future of this country.
It’s been a heavy weekend. The more we learn, the less I want to know because what could have been is simply terrifying, everything you read questions what you think you know about what happened and what’s coming and I can’t shake the idea that anything that has the power to unite, also has the power to divide.
Social media during events like this is a vital network and communication. Among the heaviness of posts this evening was a response – to a suggestion foreigners have been advised to leave the country (we haven’t) – that made me chuckle almost as much as “I’m just waiting for Boris to turn up to smooth things over.”
‘”Who said foreigners should leave?”
“..maybe a pokemon!”‘
sometimes you’ve got to laugh so as not to cry (and to switch off to try to go to sleep).