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Monday, November 17, 2003

Message from Istanbul

"We are not really safe."

Emails from someone's friend in Turkey - via Little Green Footballs - please distribute widely.

Part 1
Hi, It is really hard to explain our sorrow and the situation we are in. first of all, I came from Israel a month ago but I could not send any e-mail to you because I was sick.

nevertheless, now there are things that are worse here. we all- I mean all jewish community - feel so bad right now. saturday, the biggest synagogue that is Neve Salom in Beyoglu and the other synogogue that is in Sisli was ruined by the bombs exploded on the tracks an the street. I mean the bombs exploded at the streets. first bomb exploded in a track at the morning in Sisli at 09.29 in the morning. the people at the streets died both Jews and others. and 5 people died because of the glasses that fell down with the power of the bombs inside the synogogue. at 09.30 second bomb exploded at the street of the Neve Salom synogogue and a guy who was the brother of my good friend aged 19 died when doing security for the community. we are Ok but there are lots of deaths and injuries.... we feel unsafe and do not know what to do right now.... most of my friends' families got injured and they are in surgery. most popular two synogogues were exploded and these were really crowded on Saturday because there were Bar-misva ceremonies in both of them... It is really like a second 11th september that you faced in USA for us. we are in great danger just because of the fact that we are jewish.

I really can not find any words to express my hate and anger. those people who died did not have any fault and they were there only to attend the ceremony.... the son of the rabbi injured too....I do not know what will happen next. I do not also trust Turkish polices... we are not really safe. they say that these attacks will increase. but life is going on here. we are all fine. some relatives who are not close injured but not so serious. thank you for asking..... but I do not know how the psychological damage of these attacks will end....please tell about you too and say all to your family that we are OK.

Part 2
Maybe I was so upset that I could not really express what I was feeling. first of all; Jews here have good relations with the rest of the Turkish people. we ( Jewish community ) do not blame Turks and we do not want to move of course. most of the Muslims died too. what I meant in that mail was, we really felt the terror inside our hearts and it was done because of our religion or Judaism. but I did not mean that we will not have good relations with the Non-jews. we accept each other, we are proud to live together and we respect each other. you felt this when you came here. and you can understand what I mean because you are married to a Turkish girl. most of the muslim police died when they were trying to protect the synogogues and we are getting sorry for them too... ( of course... ) most of our non-jew friends called us to ask how we were that is why we can not blame non-jews.

I said we do not feel safe because they can do it in every where. It is the fact about our situation. I mean that I do not trust to our government or country. Turkey does not have enough power to protect us ( not only Jews but all of us). this is my thought that I do not trust Turkey to protect its people. we felt it when the earthquake happened... ( sorry for my English again ). I do not trust to our security or hospitals. when something unusual happens, we are all in a panic and the government stays inadequate for the unusual event.

our rabbi said that if the security on that time was worse ; - both Jews and non jews were protecting the synogogues- there would be 800 deaths. none of the people who were inside the synogogue died. he says that the synogogues were really well protected. they died because of the crash, glass parts or if they were trying to enter the synogogue. mostly people who were walking on the street of the synogogue, or who was outside the synogogue for the security died. my friend died because he tried to stop the truck that had the bombs inside and then it exploded.

lastly; i should say we have hate for the international terror, and EL-Kaide of course. and I mean everyone is dying around the world and we are unsafe in everywhere. but we are united right now with both jews and non-jews in Turkey. also Jews inside themselves become more united too.

thank you for your concern and interest. tell me whatever you have in your mind and stay in touch. say hi to all your family and say that we will try to live our daily lives even if it seems harder......

Part 3
hello; these are just my views about the situation we are in. but I read and talk to people a lot that is why these issues are so deep... of course you can post my e-mails... I will be happy to tell to those people about our feelings, and thoughts.... thank you for asking... I will be really proud if you all read my e-mails and have better ideas about urkey ... these are my individual reflections and critisicsms but I live it like this and people will take these as personal experience....

there is also one more news. today, all the counselors and psychologists (jews) will come together to decide how we can do to help to our community, and families. people are psychologically hurt and there will be group threapies in a week or two. I will go to the meeting now and will join to the group.. we will learn how to behave for this crisis situations and help others... this will be a service for our community. that is all for now...

please take care and stay in contact....