Istanbul – What We Enjoyed Most

Mad About Children

About 98.8% of the Turkish population seemed to be mad about children – or at the very least, our little blond, smiley one. While this meant that Theo was given far more chocolate than we would have chosen, it was also an amazing gateway into conversations with random people, who would chat with Theo, chat with us adults, and pull out their phones to proudly display pictures of their own children or grandchildren.

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We spent a month in Istanbul last year.

I fell once while trying to get onto a bus while carrying Theo and a stroller, and half a dozen people rushed to help us.

We saw political marches, almost daily. Even though the government is often not kind to dissidents in Turkey, people are still willing to march.

Theo and Brian were once ushered into a bank to warm up, where Theo was provided with hot milk, chocolate, and a book. Unsatisfied that Theo was really warm enough, a bank employee went out to buy Theo soup.

If you sit between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, then you can hear the call to prayer echo between them.

I try to not dwell too much on terrorism, but after the recent airport bombing, my heart goes out to this welcoming, vibrant city, especially since it’s already struggling economically because of similar attacks.

The narrative of terrorism as “Muslims against the rest of the world,” fails to look widely enough to see who suffers the most because of terror.

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