Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010 - No comments

The Shadow that Obscured the Istanbul Sun

Me, a Starbucks mug (full, ironically, of Nescafe - gasp!), a shady grapevine and the seagull-speckled Marmara Sea. The sunshine sets the ferries agleam, the autumn colours climb the city walls, and birds and cats and car horns compete for airtime....It's a proper Istanbul afternoon.

Too proper, perhaps - complete with a morning explosion in Taksim Square. We saw the news just after landing in the airport and were as horrified as the rest of the crowd pressing in to read the headlines. A suicide bomber blew himself up in front of a police stand, killing himself and wounding upwards of twenty. The swarms of police and ambulances as we passed by the scene two hours later on the bus stood out in cruel contrast to the otherwise gorgeous sunny Sunday.

There is much in my heart, but not much I can write here. Riots and violence in Taksim aren't so uncommon. But a suicide bomber? As eastern wounds appear to bleed westward with greater intensity, maybe I have too rosy a view of my enchanted city. I'd like to think of this as an aberration, not a growing trend....