My Shattered Istanbul
Selin Thomas

Dear Selin: Like Mehmet Turkel, I have lived in the US for many years. I came here for graduate school, then went back twice in between degrees to teach at METU. It was during the years when there was a strong anti-American sentiment and decided to return to the US. In the years since then (1971), I have gone back almost every year, even started a business importing Turkish marble for 10 years. Istanbul of today is still the enchanting cosmopolitan city I know, but given the present atmosphere, I will not do another trip this year. I worry about my sister and family there, and see the resignation you refer to. I tweet, FB and post against RTE, and hope that somehow, there will be another attempt at glorifying the country as a Turkish, and not an Ottoman, treasure. Your exquisitely written piece brought back memories, bittersweet as they are. I see parallells all over the world of groups of people, manipulated by dictator-wannabes using religion. Faith is a powerful factor, and I despair that there are many more years of this “regime” ahead in Turkey.

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