As you all know, on Sunday, March 13th, Ankara suffered its 3rd bombing in 5 months. 37 more innocent lives were lost. Most of whom were very young.
Following that, Turks and foreigners living in Turkey, pled for support. The big question was why did no one else seem to care? Then came the now viral FB posting from James Taylor: “You were Charlie, you were Paris. Will you be Ankara?”
The explosion occurred at approximately 6:43 p.m. Shortly thereafter, my feed on Facebook indicated expats commenting on a recently posted recipe in a private group. I was annoyed, but I didn’t think much of it.
Then I got pissed!!!
7:18 pm, from Istanbul:
Hi guys. I wondered if anyone knows about a good chinese take away? We have been using Sushi&co but the food has been so disappointing and tasteless lately that we are looking for an alternative.
and this, also posted at 7:18 pm, 35 minutes after the blast, from İçmeler (a tourist resort near Marmaris):
Sorry if this seems a dumb question but how do I roast a chicken in a roasting bag? Do I add liquid? Can I put veg inside the bag too? How do I seal the bag? How long and what temp’ do I roast it for? Does it brown? Many thanks for any tips and advice as I’ve never used one before and I want to do a good job.
I kept my cool for a couple of days. On Wednesday morning I posted this on the group page:
Although I had worded it as carefully as possible, I expected my post to be removed and it was. But in addition, I also received private messages from the new admin of the group. Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t this message also insulting and narrow minded?
I just deleted your post as it is of a political nature and not appropriate for the cooking group. While I can certainly understand your feelings, we do not allow any non-cooking related posts, especially political or religious discussions. Scolding others for cooking or posting recipes doesn’t count as a cooking related post… It’s not for anyone else to decide how, when and to what degree people handle traumatic events… Assuming that others aren’t feeling something is insulting and a very narrow minded way of viewing the world..as if only your way of grieving is acceptable. Some people actually seek out/need some normalcy in their lives or seek out something comforting when they feel overwhelmed with tragedies…especially when we may feel powerless. There are plenty of community/expat groups on Facebook already for this type of general or political posting or your own timeline. Thanks for your understanding… Peace (Emphasis added.)
Sure. I could have put it somewhere else, but that would not make any sense. The post was about this particular group. The message was not political in any way. Sure, people grieve differently. But then again, some don’t grieve at all.
The messages continued. In a gentle yet very condescending tone, the admin attempted to “educate and encourage,” and went so far as to suggest that I “may have gone about (my) day when the bombings were happening in Istanbul.” Come on. You all know me better than that! I get on social media and send the news out. I call friends and family to check on there whereabouts and well-being. I stare at the news, or lack thereof. I’m a little nutty like that, even though it happened in Istanbul and not here in Ankara.
I accept that the admin was doing what they felt needed to be done. The additional verbiage was completely unnecessary, no matter how kindly they tried to “scold” me. The suggestion to post my opinion somewhere else was heard. Perhaps she didn’t know I have a blog?!
My point? How can we sit here asking others to show their support of Ankara, of Turkey, when our fellow expats in Turkey won’t do the same? Sure, posting a flag over your FB profile photo isn’t doing much. But it’s a start. Not asking how to get food delivered by a Turk who is probably peeled in terror to his TV at the time . . . well that would be really good.
So then there’s that.
If you are interested in an overlap of the Turkish flag for your social media photos, I used this link rather easily: