Beauty and Benefits of a Global
By Danica Taylor
semester two friends of mine studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain.
For spring break they traveled to Greece and Turkey.
They told me that I would be astonished by the beauty of Turkey, that there were no words to
describe the feeling that you get when you’re in Istanbul. When I thought of Turkey
I thought of sand and
deserted cities and Muslim women with their faces covered...but this
was far from what I was about to experience. The article, “Bridge
Between Europe and Asia” by Jenny B White describes the complex housing
situation in Turkey,
but also highlights the immense variety of beauty. White described
“Mythical…a city of jewels and jewel like colors, of passion and
city does seem to stretch like a sinous dragon along the side of the
Strait, sparkling with thousands of tiny diamonds, low-voltage house
sprinkled over the invisible hills” (pg. 21) After reflecting on the
conversation I had with my friends, and the reading I had the most
picture painted of what this mystical city would be like. I then
thought of all the places I’d seen thus far
on this journey, the Mekong Delta, Taj Mahl, The Great Pyramids, and
Wall of China….could Istanbul really surpass these great beauties?
stepped off the boat, it was
cold. A bittersweet reminder that the seasons were changing and that we
once and for all getting closer and closer to home. Knowing all the
city had to
offer I decided to for the first time on the entire voyage to stay in
around the port city, allow myself to get lost and become familiar with
area of a country instead of jet setting all over it.
Within two minutes of exiting the ship, I saw
my first Turkish Mosque. But right across the street from the Mosque
billboard for brand new luxury apartments, and next to that was a Citi
was an instant feeling of being in a more westernized city, one that
adapted to a transnational world. A friend of mine on the ship has a
from Turkey who
the States for a year, his name is Atesh. We met Atesh for dinner one
it was really interesting talking to him about life in Turkey.
asked if he was Muslim, both he and his friend kind of laughed, and
“so-called Muslims”. But what was even more interesting was talking to
about serving in the military. In Turkey, although the government still
requires men to serve three years of service, the more fortunate
benefited from loop-holes in the government that allow them to utilize
benefits. Atesh’s Mom is from the United States so he was
exempt. However his friend received an
the Canadian government to become a citizen, therefore exempting him
serving in the military. His family, bought a house in Canada,
which nobody lives in, and
that alone allows him to never have to serve in the Turkish military.
about this made me realize
what a global world we live in. Fifty years ago, people first of all
been proud to serve their countries because it was a way of life back
government wouldn’t have had the ability to communicate
those fortunate civilians to become a member of their country for the
benefit of Canada
increasing its population, thus suiting Turkish men who are evading
their country. The extent to which
our world has become transnational
influenced all aspects of the developed world’s daily lives.
allowed me to see the opportunities and doors that open when a nation
developed and global, like Atesh and his friend being able to avoid not
in the Turkish military by accessing transnational networks. In
have also experienced the simplicity and contentment of people living
non-developed nations also affected by transnational movements. But in
end, we all live our lives day to day,
whether it’s in a brand new high rise, a thatched roof house, or a nice
of cement on the sidewalk; nobody knows what will come next.