The Protests in Turkey: Once a çapulcu

You must be wondering why I never wrote about the protests here on my blog.  The beginning of the protests directly coincided with a job offer here in Ankara.  This offer came as quite a surprise, and I had decided it was something I really wanted to do.  And so began the long process of applying for and waiting for a work permit.

As you know, many protesters were being arrested on a daily basis across the country.  Every day I wanted to join them.  Afterall, I was NOT afraid of being arrested, of the gas, of the water . . .  I wanted to get out there and show my support.  But I could not put myself in a position where I would be deported. This was the likely fate of foreign protesters who were caught “breaking the law” during the protests.

So, I wanted to do the next best thing, write about it and get the word out.  But every time I sat down to my computer, I became certain that I would be hunted down and sent back.  “Free trip home” crossed my mind more than once.  But no, I have a family here.

In addition, assuming my butt was going to stay on this land, I wanted to work. Getting that work permit was going to be difficult enough without me going off about the protests.  I knew I couldn’t just report it, without inserting my personal opinions.  And even if I could, I knew my writings would be misread, misconstrued, misunderstood.

The protests continue to some extent.  Just the other day, I read this post on Facebook, “So proud of my neighborhood, of Turkey. Pots and pans galore. Still.”  Simultaneously I heard helicopters flying overhead, heading towards that neighborhood.

And so I begin another journey of reporting to you what I saw, what happened, what others were thinking, and what’s going on now.
Once a çapulcu, ALWAYS A ÇAPULCU.
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