Lacy MacAuley

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a home for my pen, projects, and passions

missing and not missing from Turkey

Home from Turkey for seven hours now, back in the Washington DC area. What I’m not missing and missing…

NOT MISSING
~ Right-wing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
~ Being asked why Americans like Donald Trump
~ Getting detained by police for simply trying to attend a free, open-to-the-public political speech
~ Sexism. Misogyny. Everywhere. All the time.
~ No toilet paper in bathrooms
~ Turkish Law, Article 301, which says that it is illegal to criticize “the Turkish Nation, the State of the Turkish Republic or the Grand Assembly of Turkey”
~ Witnessing the tired bodies of the math teachers, poets, and everyday people of Syria now living on the margins, doing the trash collecting and underpaid farm labor

MISSING
~ Beautiful, amazing Turkish friends
~ Activists who are committed to struggle and free speech under a government that suppresses dissent and centralizes control
~ The clever, bright eyes of the Syrian refugee children
~ Friendships that mean something, and last a lifetime
~ Neighbors who know their neighbors, visit regularly, and ask if there is something they can get for you at the market
~ The best food from one of the earliest “breadbaskets” in history
~ Fresh-squeezed orange juice, with oranges from the family grove, from a wandering street vendor
~ The feeling of being in an ancient trade nexus, where the descendants of the ancestors still practice their craft
~ Cobblestone streets
~ Sunset over the endless blue Mediterranean

In recorded history, there has always been, and shall always be, Turkey

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