It’s July 1st and today we leave Istanbul for the coast. We’ve had the most amazing time in the city – even after the events of Tuesday evening. Once we had reassured everyone that we were miles away from the airport, the scale of the atrocity began to sink in. The people of Istanbul, and Turkey as a whole, are already suffering from hugely decreased tourism this year, and now it seems the industry may grind to a halt. Our hotel was practically empty, and we were treated like royalty wherever we went. The Grand Bazaar was empty yesterday morning. I truly feel so sad for these wonderful people who are being hit hardest – the terrorists are unfortunately achieving one of their goals.
As I write this I am sitting in the domestic terminal in awe at how ‘normal’ it all feels. I’ve had 2 pat downs, which is reassuring, and for some reason my mentality has firmly remained ‘sod the bastards, I’m not bending’, rather than giving into fear. We’ve also managed to keep the kids blissfully unaware of specific events and their main concern remains when they will get their next cheese pide!
So the world still turns and we will still travel – the greatest education for all is to accept and embrace the other cultures of the world. With deeper acceptance and awareness, we may all still hope for peace.