Yesterday evening, at about 6:30 pm, I was standing in the middle of my living room. The weather had been gorgeous; my balcony door was wide open, the window ajar. Suddenly, there was a loud boom. My mother-in-law and I shook. “Kesinlikle bomba.” Certainly, a bomb.
I was struck with fear. I had just spoken on the phone with my husband. He was on his way home from work. He had stopped at a market. To me, the sound came from that direction, towards the Russian Embassy. But I knew it was hard to tell because my neighborhood is low among the hills of Ankara, and sounds ricochet from the walls.
Less than two minutes later, he pulled up in front of our home. He was safe. But Ankara was not.
From my living room window, I could see smoke pouring into the evening sky behind the buildings across the street. The explosion was close, that much I knew.
The news channels confirmed the explosion about 500 meters from Parliament, about a mile from my home. Ambulances with lights and sirens rushed down my street with the injured towards the hospital. One, two, three.
As the evening progressed, a small crowd of family members of the injured, news people, police, security guards, and passers-by gathered in front of the hospital. Messages came pouring in. Telephone calls. Facebook and Twitter access slowed to a crawl. I am safe. We are safe. Ankara is not.
We felt so helpless. None of us are able to donate blood. So one-by-one, the three of us checked with the crowd to see if anyone needed a place to sit, to sleep, tea. I left my contact info with the hospital.
“These people are not human.” I understand those feelings. I want to say that myself. But in fact, they are. If you are a practicing Christian, you are required to see them as “Children of God.” I have no idea what the Muslims believe in this area, but I do know they believe all people to have been created by Allah.
These are horrible things that are happening. And while things can and do happen every where, I get a little disturbed when someone tells me that right after a bomb went off near my home. “No, this is not everywhere.” This is Ankara, and it’s happening here more and more.
I don’t see the answer coming any time soon. All I can do is be extra careful. Watch over my loved ones. Pray. I will pray for the 28 who lost their lives last night. I will pray for their friends and families. I will pray for Ankara. I will pray for Turkey.
Like most followers of any religion, I pick and choose what I believe. I am not a creationist per se. But I do believe in a higher force. I call that force God, sometimes Mother Nature. I believe that force to have provided the gases that led to the Big Bang. But I do call myself Christian. As such I will also pray for those who are killing each other. For those who prefer to use violence instead of their words. For cowards who kill others . . . and themselves. If you are religious, then you should be praying for all people too.
I will pray for world peace.