T Minus 19 Days: The Turkey Conundrum

Conundrum seems like an appropriate word here.

It’s a busy time of year for me, what with writing report cards and a variety of family events coming up.  At this point, reports are all over but the proofreading, which usually means that I get into the meat and potatoes part of trip planning.

This year, there’s a pretty obvious asterisk hanging next to the destination.

Having heard reports from international media and seen the “on-the-ground” reports coming from protesters in Turkey, it’s obvious the country is in a bit of a mess.  Not a collapse like Tunisia, or the amount of violence seen in Syria, but it’s troubling to say the least.  Obviously, there’s bigger issues at play than just a vacation. 

That being said, 19 days and we’re touching down into Istanbul.  So there you go.

Broken bank window in Puno, Peru, July 2011

The closest thing to this that we’ve experienced in our travels was two years ago in South America, where we just barely missed a series of protest and blockades around Puno near Lake Titicaca.  Those were all cleared up by the time we got there, though there were some obvious signs of damage from the protests.  I imagine we’ll see some of the same in Istanbul when we get there.

That being said, that was a mostly localized demonstration that was sparked due to a mining conflict.  This is a national movement piggybacking off the Arab Spring.

So, we may be touching down to a protest.   Hard to say.

Istanbul, Ankara, Bodrum, Marmaris and Fethiye are all spots on our agenda.  All of them have seen protests, from the violent (Ankara) to the relatively peaceful (Fethiye). 

Who knows what might happen within 19 days.  Everything could clear up and it’s smooth sailing, or our connecting flight through Rome may end up being our start and stop point for our trip.  As is the case with all things protest related, more as it develops.

Obviously, our trip is the least important thing in this whole situation.  A country is in some turmoil and people feel they aren’t being heard, so our hot air balloon ride falls to the bottom of the “What Really Matters” list.  Whatever the result, we’ll be far less affected than anybody in Turkey right now.

So we watch, we wait, we see.

In the meantime, those report cards won’t proofread themselves.

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