I’m not sure if anyone’s going to read this pretty long and possibly boring post, but as a person who lives in a country that faces terrorism every single day (Turkey), i have things to say.

I was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. I remember my childhood, which was not so long ago. I remember that my school had this trip to a book fair. You know, a place you can buy cheap books and stuff. I remember my mom not letting me go there because of some bombings that happened in Istanbul a week or so ago. I wasn’t allowed to go out without my mom, except for school, for months. I remember not understanding what’s happening, and i remember crying.

Now i study in Ankara, the capital. You may remember, some bombings happened in Ankara in the last few months. Just a few months ago i was about to leave my dorm room for a walk. I really like walking in evenings. As i opened the door of my room, i heard a terrible noise. The first thing i thought was, “Oh, is it raining!? Come on, please don’t be a thunder!”. I went back to the window, and saw that it was not a thunder at all. I was confused. Then my mom called. She was terrified. She was crying on the phone. I kept asking her what was the matter but she kept crying. This went on for a couple of minutes. Then she stopped and said, “I’m so glad that you’re safe.”. When we hung up, i was devastated. Nope, it wasn’t a thunder. It was a bomb. I now wish that what i heard that very evening WAS a thunder.

I remember calling and being called by friends to make sure each of us are okay. I remember foreign friends sending messages, asking if i’m safe. 

If you haven’t been through this, you may not understand how hard it is to go through all of this. And now imagine. This is just me. Imagine the terror millions of people faced on those damned days. All over the world. Imagine the pain, the fear, the tears and the losses. Stop for a while and think about all the innocent lifes that has been lost to us. 

This has been happening here for so long. This has been happening all over the world for so long. Now i see posts like “Pray for Nice!”, “Pray for France!”, “Pray for Istanbul!”, “Pray for XXX!” But it doesn’t work that way, you know. No matter if you have or don’t have a religious belief, deep down inside, you know that it doesn’t work that way. Don’t just sit there and pray for people. You know that terrorism is a plague that can not be cured with prayers, even if the prayers come from the purest of hearts. 

Now i know, i know that we can not make this plague vanish overnight, but we can fight it. We can fight it until the very end. 

We can fight it with education. 

We can fight it with equality. 

We can fight it, and we CAN defeat it. 

So, no matter what cultural background you have and your ethnicity, don’t teach your future children to stay away from people who are different then themselves. Teach them to accept everyone as they are, and to love everyone as they are.

Don’t teach them to just sit and pray. Teach them to act.

Teach them to care.

Teach them to help.

Teach them to love, not hate.

Teach them to make this world a better place. 

Siempre me decías que si tenia miedo o me sentía triste, sólo debía cerrar mis ojos e imaginar que estabas conmigo, que tomarías mi mano y todo estaría bien. Y aunque ya no hablemos, confieso que aun sigo tu consejo.