If you look at the ‘About’ page I created back in 2014, you will automatically get to know a few random facts about me. I remember when I created that page. I didn’t spend ages trying to make it perfect, or overthink the facts the way I had overthought the name of my blog. Instead, I quickly typed a list, clicked save, and secretly hoped that you would want to visit my little unknown blog again. Since then, my blog name has changed, and my following has increased, but that page has remained entirely the same.
The truth is, those facts have never sparked or inspired any other posts, nor has that page been viewed as particularly important by me. Yet, as I reflect on the events that unfolded yesterday, I cannot ignore the most important fact of all. The fact that I am both English and Turkish. It’s the very reason that my name is viewed as unusual in the UK, and unfortunately, the reason why yesterday’s tragic events in Istanbul have had a profound effect on me.
Over the years, I’ve learnt how to deal with the language barriers, culture differences and saying goodbye to family after two weeks spent in the sun. I’ve also learnt to grieve the amazing lady that my grandmother was, whilst completing my exams, having narrowly missed my opportunity to say goodbye. Even so, when I discovered that there had been an attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport, I suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of disconnect. As the news broadcasted David Cameron’s live EU speech, my family were marking themselves as safe on Facebook. It suddenly dawned on me that I was in a different country and I was disconnected from some of the people that I care about most dearly. Disconnected from the family members who live in Istanbul and disconnected from the country which is a part of who I am.
Similar to many other people in the UK, I’ve spent the past few days discussing the EU referendum and the fears I have for my future, and the country that I have always called home. However, after hearing about the awful events that happened yesterday, whether that be the increase in racial attacks and xenophobia in the UK, or the attack in Istanbul, everything has once again been put into perspective. We have the technology to be more connected than ever, yet we are still so far apart.
The modern world used to feel like such a blessing, but the negative stream of daily news is making it seem more like a curse. Every time we get closer to equality, another group of people are unfairly targeted, and the cycle of suffering begins once again. The cycle of suffering which happens everyday, and sometimes becomes headline news, but is often wrongfully overlooked. The previous sentence may seem irrelevant to those who choose to ignore the hurting of those they do not know, but the sad reality is that it’s the truth.
I am heartbroken for Turkey and the families of the innocent people who were taken too soon. I am heartbroken for Britain and the people who are now being subjected to unlawful racial and xenophobic attacks. I am heartbroken for the rest of the world, for those with a voice that is being ignored and for those who are yet to be given a voice at all. This is not the modern world that our ancestors fought for. This is not the modern world that we should accept.
Until next time keep dreaming x