(Supporters of the ongoing protests regarding the planned destruction of the Taksim Gezi Park in Turkey staged a rally in San Francisco)
I would like to thank Bulent for introducing me to Turkey and as I have watched events unfold there over the last week through the media, but more importantly through social media, I am reminded of the pivotal role that Turkey has historically played in the region, and in providing many insights into recent Turkish history, Bulent has allowed me to follow these events with fresh eyes. Also, it is remarkable how intimate the pictures of Taksim Square and Izmir seem to my memories of visiting there. On this side of the Pond, the situation in Turkey has drawn keen interest, with several demonstrations in sympathy for the protests, in part because many of the progressive activists here are of the same age and secular character of the protesters. In at least one instance, a park in San Fransicso has been renamed Taksim Park as a gesture of solidarity, which is something of a San Francisco tradition as the international community that it is. Remembering the many earnest students with whom I had endlessly interesting conversations in Istanbul and Izmir, I wish them well and good health.
Best regards, Darrell Whitman