Double Standards and Je Suis Istanbul

We like Turkey. We love to spend our holidays there, the people are nice and friendly. They’ve got yummy food and amazing weather.

Oh, did an attack happen and lots of people died? Yeah well, we are sorry but we will write a status on it on Facebook and we’ll be over it by tomorrow. It’s enough for a night to pass and we are back to out normal day-to-day life. Changed profile pictures and hashtag support were only for Paris and Brussels, you can’t compare the two. Why would we? It’s not like we haven’t got double standards. terrorist attack brussels paris istanbul turkey ataturk airport double standards

Photo: world wide web, found on Twitter (I think).

Ataturk attack was a few days ago and the count is at more than 40 dead and around 250 injured. ISIS confirms it’s their attack the one that had 3 people shoot others and then blow themselves up. And the fact that it’s Europe’s third most important airport only provided them the right opportunity. Even with the high security from what I’ve seen when being there, that wasn’t enough.

I read that night with the horrible attack – I think it was on Twitter – that turks didn’t find the security too high and they were complaining about how there is no control for what you’ve got inside your car. And, on the contrary, I thought that was one of the most secured airport, since you weren’t allowed to enter through the doors free and you had to be searched right there at the entrance, no matter the fact that you’re just dropping someone and you’re not actually traveling. And still, with all this, one of the terrorists managed to get past the security with a gun and start shooting people in the departures area.

After Brussels, Paris had the Eiffel Tower turn into the colors of the Belgian flag – that meant their support and mourning for what Brussels what going through. Same thing happened with the Fontana di Trevi in Rome and The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Same actions of solidarity. And so you see and feel the difference. Anybody can see it and only those involved one way or another, can feel it. People died there, people like you and me, people like our families, like the French and Belgian people and their families. But this didn’t bring any sign of solidarity and no landmark was colored in Turkey’s flag. And it will never actually happen, no matter how many attacks Turkey will suffer and no matter how many people will die.

And this is where we show our double standards. Somehow, a life or many lives taken in Turkey value much less than the ones in Eastern Europe. Even if terrorism is the same, same reasons, same attacker – ISIS, but the media gets over it much easier. The only problem is that people don’t.

That night, I received a text from a Turkish friend who lives in Istanbul. It was right after the attack and at first, I didn’t think of the amplitude of the happening. Then I spoke to him and he told me what was there as he was living close to the airport. Ambulances, helicopters, news crews, people screaming and shouting. Apparently, they had already found one of the recording tapes with the exact moment when the guy in the departures blew himself up. Of course, he shouted about Allah before doing that and my friend says to me, both in Turkish and English: ‘How can that motherf*cker talk about Allah and use his name in some thing like, when murdering people?!’.

Istanbul-noIstanbul, we are talking about people, no matter where in this world. People that’ve got feelings and emotions. The event was already too much so I didn’t go any further, but my friend’s last words got me thinking. He is supposed to fly today from Ataturk, no matter if the flight’s gonna be delayed or not. So I told him I am worried about this situation and I pray for his safety, but his answer came quickly: ‘I am more worried about my nephews and all the children in this world. I don’t know what we can do…’.

And my mind went like: ‘I don’t know either…’



Later Edit: Apparently, the Germans did show the same support and solidarity towards Turkey like they did to Belgium, so they colored the Brandenburg Gate again 🙂 The impressive images – here.