#gezipark

There is finally some attention being paid to the massive protests currently being staged across Turkey. I’ve got my opinions on the ruling government (just flip through some of my old posts), and I’m so excited to see a populace standing for their democratic rights.

In my hiatus, I’ve worked a bit at a little college you may or may not have heard of, but I’ve also been volunteering with an advocacy group here in Cambridge that works to promote safer streets and civic engagement with the city planning process. I’ll be starting grad school at UC Berkeley this fall (as a FLAS Fellow studying Turkish!!) pursuing my Master of City Planning degree.

I have the city of Istanbul to thank for helping me realize my passion for city planning, transportation planning to be precise. This blog’s title, Dolmus, has become a flaming passion of mine. I’m fascinated with the way in which these little vans connect communities in ways that the myopic city government simply can’t comprehend.  Just one more anthill of activity that many overlook.

These protests came out of nowhere for the central government, but for the rest of Turkey, for the rest of us, those who love Turkey and who have called Istanbul home, they seem like a logical progression of events. The tighter the government squeezes, the bigger the explosion.

Turkey is not coming apart at the seams. This is a democracy functioning. The reactions of many members of the central government simply illustrate how out of touch they are with the wants and needs of the people.  I am so proud of my students, my friends, and my community for standing up for their beliefs.

 

Advertisements