Lily Bahramipour's blog

2011 in review

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At the eve of the new year I look back on a summer of absolute inspiration, growth and unusual experiences. Thank you so much for all the support – here’s to a new year of health, happiness and adventure!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Written by lilybahramipour

January 1, 2012 at 1:38 am

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Cappadocia for the weekend…

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My eyes are still blurry from just waking up. I’m off to Cappadocia and will post again when I return…hopefully with some great pictures!

L

Written by lilybahramipour

June 10, 2011 at 2:00 am

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AK Parti Rally

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Yesterday was one of the coolest, most exciting experiences I’ve had on this trip. Allow me to explain.

For those of you who don’t know, Turkey has it’s upcoming elections on Monday the 13th. Currently, the AK Parti, or the Justice and Development Party, is in power and expected to win for a third time next week. The AK Parti defines themselves as ‘conservative democrats’ and are against the exploitation of religion. Just to set the record straight, Turkey is a secular country. The AK Parti, however, is often accused of having a hidden Islamist agenda. The secular fear in Turkey is that the AK Parti is just using the idea of democracy to come to power and make their own changes.

After the 1980’s the economic policies of the left and right converged and left an absence of an alternative to crony capitalism. The inability of center-right to deal with economic problems effectively worked to the advantage of the radical right (i.e. pro-Islamic parties). The absence of social democratic rhetoric allowed criticism of the system to take on an Islamic posture. So simply put, because the economy was so bad Islamic parties were able to show themselves as an alternative. The AK Parti is one of these Islamist parties, who believes that western cultures are ‘immoral’, as Dr. Civelekoglu explained. On a whim, I decided to go with Kimber and Kaleigh to a rally for the AK Parti, not knowing what I was getting myself into. Maybe a couple hundred people? I figured, and hopped the subway to a part of Istanbul our Professor Itir told us you have to have ‘some serious balls’ to visit. Nervousness ensued.

After the long subway ride we emptied into a large parking lot, expecting to see the rally. We instead had to take a bus (I’ve learned traveling in Istanbul usually takes 2 or 3 types of transportation to get you where you want to go, note my commute to school at Dogus University requires a subway ride, a boat ride, and a bus ride before the quick walk to class) Anyway, we boarded a bus overflowing with supporters of the AK Parti (I didn’t take note of any women on the bus). It felt like we were en route to something revolutionary, something big.

Suddenly, we all piled out of the bus like hundreds of clowns stuffed into a tiny little car, with amused looks of excitement and pure relief. Rounding the corner, the scene exploded before my eyes, as hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets. Blue, orange and white flags attacked the sky in support of the AK Parti.

 

 

As I lost myself in the masses of devoted voters I was suddenly submerged in a sea of white flowing above my head. The hint of the orange light bulb (the signature AK Parti symbol) made me realize it was a AK Parti flag being carried by a group of excited supporters. For a few seconds, I was completely consumed under this giant blanket, and it made me wonder if thats how the people felt about their party. A big pure white blanket surrounding them, protecting them, comforting them. The people held it up. It’s a curious thing when you find yourself living a metaphor.

The sound of the President echoed through the crowd and though I couldn’t understand a word, I heard the noises of approval bouncing from body to body, piercing through the tiny alley ways of the remains of personal space. Kimber, Kaleigh and I mingled with the crowd and desperately tried to extract any english speakers we could find to do some reporting. Here just a few pictures I took to help illustrate the scene.

L

Written by lilybahramipour

June 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm

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Prayer at the Blue Mosque

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June 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm

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June 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm

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June 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm

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Sometimes here I just wish I was faceless.

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Just like these faceless statues at the Museum of Archaeology

Written by lilybahramipour

June 6, 2011 at 6:35 pm

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