From the streets of Ankara

July 19, 2017 Europe , HUMAN RIGHTS , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Reuters photo


David R Mellor


Ankara, 16/07/2017

After sunbathing on the all-inclusive Turkish Riviera safe and secluded, one realizes that modern Turkey is a con. Consume all you like and enjoy the sights, no questions asked. From this we (me and my Turkish wife) flee, travelling further along the Mediterranean coast to a single room in which everything just about barely works. But the owners are so kind and warm that one feels guilty for even bothering that the shower comes out of the socket and air conditioning is a whisper, not the much needed blast.

Then on attempted coup anniversary night, we head to Ankara passing through Konya, where I found last time sells no alcohol and has one betting shop and welcomed us with horror. Not cosy to foreigners or my un-islamic wife.

On arriving in Ankara just around the time that Erdogan was, we were told by the taxi driver that it would be “unwise” to go anywhere near the centre. We guessed why. The same reason Konya had been so cold a year earlier. Here however, appeared “real” danger. People on cars, flags waving, looking like they wanted to shoot, coming to the infidel city from the surrounding areas.

Finally, in our “safe house” the wails of the mosques boomed out till dawn, mixing with speeches echoing from the city, creating a cacophony which even if you didn’t understand a word, left one knowing you were under one rule: Religion, TV, everything. My guests cowered or threw defiant bombs of messages onto Facebook.

In the morning we strolled through Ankara centre, resembling the tail end of the Weimar republic now. The youth chatted and drank, whilst around the corner the police and army, fully weaponized to stop anyone gathering around the Monument of Human Rights, a focus for those supporting the two people on hunger strike due to losing their jobs in the purge following the coup. No one was there.

“Should I take a picture?”

“No. You never know what will happen.”

And that is how many in Turkey live now. Unknown to those westerners soaking in the sun.





david r mellor

David R Mellor

Born 1964, (Liverpool, England) difficult birth, didn’t find my voice until my youth. Years of thinking I was nobody and treated as such. However, hit the paper papering over the scars. Found understanding and belief through words. I have been published and performed widely from the BBC, The Tate, galleries and pubs and everything in between.

My poems are autobiographical, others topical and several my take on life. Hope you enjoy reading as much as I have enjoyed writing. Please feel free to share your thoughts on links below.

Contact: David R Mellor  [email protected]

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