Saturday, September 28, 2013


I try to stay positive in this blog, find the good parts of everywhere I visit and not dwell on the negative.  Every place has negative aspects (except Tavarua, I think). However, the experience with the dog at Lake Bafa got me focused on the problem of homeless animals in Turkey.  In the Cihangir district of Istanbul (where our hotel is) it seems to have gotten much worse in the 2 years since we rented flat here. There are 11.5 million people in Istanbul and an estimated 150,000 homeless dogs. Probably 10 times as many cats. Turks have a different attitude than that of Americans and Europeans about the animals, which is hard for us to understand and to see when we visit. It's become particularly hard for me, and I feel like I am retreating from a country I used to love to visit - I ranked it in my top 2 countries in the world. But now I don't know if I'll be coming back. I  just can't stand to see indifference to suffering (one reason I won't be going back to India), even if it is the cultural norm.

So farewell Turkey, and farewell Istanbul, with your opulent palaces and dazzling mosques. I hope someday that the European side catches you up.

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