My brother e-mailed me as soon as he heard about the suicide bomb attack on Istiklal Caddesi to ask if I was okay. I wrote back that I was safe and sound and that I had spent the weekend in Tarsus, close to the Syrian border. How ironic that I felt safer when I was close to the Syrian border. His reply was swift: “Stay away from the Syrian border!”
I need to travel more locally, within Turkish borders, so I can fully experience all of Turkey. Gaziantep is on my list, mainly for its baklava, but based on an article in The New Yorker, I’ve decided not to risk my life for baklava, no matter how good it is.
Tarsus is a peaceful, slow-paced town, fragrant with flowers and flooded with biblical history. I made new friends at a teachers’ conference. We ate warm hummus and cezerye, which is the specialty dessert of that particular region.
News of terrorism has become frequent. Even without the occasional advance warnings, the attacks are easy to predict just because they are sadly inevitable. I feel uneasy about the future and wonder where the next attack might be. As that one overplayed Band of Horses song goes, “At every occasion, I’ll be ready for the funeral.” Just like the rampant massacres in America, this is too tragic an occurrence to become commonplace.
|Walking down a street in Tarsus|