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.

Being Turkish

‘I wanna go back’ – the first words that came out of my mouth as soon as I arrived from Istanbul.

First thing – God, they’ve got so many shopping malls! I got there in the evening, around 18h, so there wasn’t much to do besides dinner and a walk – after all, I was on holiday 🙂

Aqua Florya – shopping mall near the sea. Perfect place to relax… blog post turcia turkey istanbul aqua florya pelit priveliste wonderful view

…and for something delicious (and sweet, ofc)…

Wet Heart-Shaped Chocolate Cake @ Pelit

Wet Heart-Shaped Chocolate Cake @ Pelit

…and for watching the incredible sunset. blog post turcia turkey istanbul aqua florya pelit apus de soare sunset

The traffic in Istanbul sucks. What it’s like in Bucharest, oh well – there it’s like dying bit by bit! And I was told I shouldn’t be too surprised, it was holiday – Kurban Bayramı – and everybody’s was out of town so the traffic was like 1/3 of the usual. I was that close to driving in Istanbul, but apparently I had a fairy who made me think twice. As soon as we left the parking, going on a narrow-one-lane-for-every-direction-up-hill-street, there comes this crazy taxi driver. I really don’t know how I made it out of there alive, I jut closed my eyes and hoped for the best, and I thanked God I wasn’t the driving and that had this great driver!

Oh, and don’t get me started about taxi drivers! Again, Bucharest is crazy but these guys are loonatics! Yeah, they’ve got great infrastructure, lots of highways to make the traffic better, but really, you just can’t keep calm when driving. At some point, we were close to having an accident at 120km/h, just because one taxi driver thought of racing when changing the lanes, and hitting the brake every 5m.

About pedestrians, yeah, well there’s not smarter either. Why use the effin’ zebra crossing when it’s so much easier to just jump in front of the car and ask for priority?!

But, one thing that I appreciated was the special lane in the middle of the highway – for buses. It looked so well thought of and……………useful! blog post turcia turkey istanbul highway bus traffic autobuz pe autostrada trafic infernal

Istanbul is a city of cats – like you see stray dogs in Bucharest and maybe other cities, they’ve got stray cats. It’s not a problem for them to find a place, even if it’s a store, restaurant, art gallery or car. blog post turcia turkey istanbul stray cat blog post turcia turkey istanbul stray cat blog post turcia turkey stray cat blog post turcia turkey istanbul stray cat blog post turcia turkey istanbul stray cat 2I was looking at their registration plates and I was asking myself why do they use that number – 34 – and what’s the connection with the city. blog post turcia turkey istanbul parcare placute inregistrare registration plate

And I found out that Istanbul is the 34th city of Turkey, in alphabetical order. The other numbers and letter are random or they can be personalized.

Oh, I almost forgot. The most delicious thing ever: it’s called Oreo Magnolia and it’s vanilla pudding and Oreo, from CookShop. It looks like this. blog post turcia turkey istanbul budinca oreo mangolia pudding cookshop

When it comes to sightseeing, well I’m not much into that. It’s not my style to stay in a line. And yes, Istanbul’s got a mosque everywhere you look. And honestly, they all kinda look the same to me. blog post turcia turkey istanbul suleyman mosque

Sultan Ahmet Mosque

But what really got my attention was Basilica Cistern, the largest covered cistern in the city, that dates back to the old Constantinople, built by Emperor Justinian in 537. blog post turcia turkey istanbul basilica cistern

And there I took advantage of the tourists corner and I got dressed up in this Turkish costume, letting myself be photographed 😀 blog post turcia turkey istanbul basilica cistern turkish costume

And if you are there, you really have to try this thing – Uludağ, I’m only gonna mention it tastes like bubblegum! blog post turcia turkey istanbul uludag drink bubblegum aroma

In the end, here is a tiny dictionary with the words that I learned in my 5 days there:

Yakamoz (iacamoz) – Moon reflection on the surface of the sea

Harika (haarica) – Wonderful

Așk (ashc) – Love

Çok yaşa (cioc iasha) – Bless you

Teşekkürler (teshechiurler) – Thank you

Rica ederim (rija ederim) – You’re welcome

Merhaba (meraba) – Hello

Günaydın (ghiunaidîn) – Good morning

Iyi günler (iii ghiunler) – Good day

Iyi geceler (iii gejeler) – Good night

Afiyet olsun (afiet olsun) – Enjoy your meal

Evet (evet) – Yes

Hayır (haiîr) – No

Efendim (efendim) – What? What did you say?

Yavaș (iavash) – Slow

Yıldız (iîldîz) – Star

Șerefe (sherefe) – Cheers

Su (su) – Water

Pasta (pasta) – Cake

Makarna (macarna) – Pasta

Satılık (satîlîc) – For sale

Kiralık (chiralîc) – For rent

Salak (salac) – Stupid

Havalimanı (havalimanî) – Airport

Canım (janîm) – My dear

And, because all of us wanna learn this stuff:

Sikecem (sichejem) – Fuck 🙂

Overall, it is a beautiful city, I’m gonna be back.

P.S.: You can find nicer and edited pics on my Instagram account.