37 people dead, 125 injured, they say. The third attack in less than 6 months in Ankara. This time, the car carrying the bomb exploded in the heart of our city. In the middle of everything. At the bus stop that we used every week. At the metro station that I entered two days ago. At the park where we normally meet our friends. At a place full of people waiting for the bus, relaxing in the park and living their life.
The victims were not soldiers, not politicians, not even activists of any kind. They were just humans. Civilians. Just like anybody, just like us. Students – many students. I cannot imagine the pain of their families and their friends. And my friends. Maybe that’s why it’s too hard to hold back my tears today. It could have been me, it could’ve been any of us. We were lucky that we did not decide to go there at that time. But then again, life is already a lottery. Any safety that we have is by luck. It could always be any of us. I suppose we tend to forget about it until reality slaps us in the face.
I wonder what can make a human do such a thing to innocent people around them. I wonder, what pushed them to this point, what is their goal? This attack feels scarier in some way as it was completely indiscriminate towards the civilians, and due to its manifest location. Maybe also because it seems to suggest an unpleasant pattern and an undesirable development in the region. I can no longer say that life here looks and feels like normal, even though we still do the normal things – whatever normal means.
In spite of this, I’m not feeling afraid. I just… don’t even know what I’m feeling at the moment, or if I’m feeling anything. The darkness sometimes seems overwhelming. I see that there are acts of retaliation. More people will suffer. Reading that some 14’000 people are stuck at the Greek-Macedonian border, trying to find safety in Europe. One thousand people trekking across a river, three of them drowning. And the wars, in the countries already so much torn by war that we have almost forgotten about them. Still going on. A friend once told me to not read the news, maybe that is a good advice.
Today, my thoughts are with the victims of this attack. The injured, the deceased, their families and relatives. Please pray for them if you pray. For the whole society, for all of humanity. for the misfortunate people who see no better way than violence. And then, we have to do something. Anything. You don’t have to be Ankara, you don’t have to feel with us. But now, every action is needed. When the morning comes, I will also look ahead. We can be broken, we can be demoralised and scared. But in the end I am certain that we will stand strong – because we don’t have much choice. I do have the option of leaving the country, as opposed to most citizens. However, I would rather stand here. This is our world, and we have to stand together.