Turkey, Once More

20130517_224115Everything is packed and I’m ready to go. It has been a year since I left, and I know a lot has changed within Turkey and within myself. Angry protesters dominate the world news in the week leading up to my departure. My mother sends me YouTube videos of riots in Izmir; concerned friends ask if I’ve seen the latest clashes of civilians and militant police officers brandishing tear gas against the masses. Mustafa reassures me that everything is fine in Izmir a few days before, and from his even tone I know that I will not be in any danger. Any sparks of doubt in me are extinguished, and immediately replaced with the strong feeling of familiarity and comfort that Izmir evokes. I’m ready.