Istanbul (Turkey). It was a sad day, today. A kind of “day after” feeling is all over Istanbul, as well as pervades medias and social networks, which are populated of hastags such as #PrayForIstabul or #JeSuisIstanbul (why in French, by the way?). However, the city slowly tries to find its new equilibrium, but probably nothing will be the same anymore (or at least for a long time).
The word “violence” comes from from Latin “violentia”, which is the combination of the two words “vis” (strength) and “-ulentus”, adjective-forming suffix meaning “abounding in, full of”. And this is what is hurting me, and I guess million of people like me, from citizens to expats to just Istanbul lovers: the idea that Istanbul, and more specifically Sultanahmet, has been targeted for a violence or, in this case, has been the place chosen to demonstrate an excess of strength.
By who? This is not a blog about geopolitics: it does not matter “by who” – not here at least. As everybody, I’m following news to understand more and, of course, I hope that the all those behind this terrorist attack will pay for their responsibilities. However, what counts is that what happened yesterday – 12th of January, 2016 – is really shocking. And not because “I was there many times” or “it could have happened to me”. No, this honestly does not make sense, at all. But because, hurting Istanbul – and more specifically its heart, Sultanahmet – meant hurting a city that was founded in 660 B.C., which since its foundation has been teaching to the entire world what is “being an eternal bridge between continents, cultures and religions”; hurting Istanbul is hurting all of us – violently.
Napoleon once said: “If the world was only one country, Istanbul would be its capital!”. This is not the world I want: I hope from here now – from Istanbul today – we can start changing the world and make of it a better place for everybody.