On Gratitude

I do not know what will happen.

I hope I will be back within the year.

If I am not, however, I want everyone I met in Turkey to have some approximation of how much I esteem them, how very honored I have been to meet you all.

Rachel- thank you for sticking with me in the face of great ridiculousness. I could not have done this last year without you, full stop. You are still kind of a bitch for clouding every issue with your precious facts, though.

Katie- new friend- I am so sorry we can’t pursue this friendship. Keep finding good people. Stay away from mean girls! Call me if you need anything.

Julia and Barry- There is something about a friendship that never had a chance that’s so much harder than leaving people you’ve known for years. I am gutted that I don’t have a fighting chance to ruin your marathon. Gutted. Worst case scenario though, I’ll be on your couch in three years. Promise and threat.

Steev, Ben, Nese, Feliz, Becky, Nick, Harvey, Sean- I think we all know why I haven’t been around in a bit, but I’m sorry I never got the chance to say goodbye, and thank you for taking me in to your family.

Ezgi, Ariaan, Ali, Ceren- my best students, and my friends as well. If you need anything holler. It was my privilege to teach you.

Hande, Zeki, Robert, Michael, even the cranky Celtic fucks Paulie and Bigs- you made me a better teacher, and you all talked me down when I was about to commit hari-kari over the photocopier. Thank you. Who will light my cigarettes now?

Joseph- I’ve said everything I need to say privately. But know that you and M are dear to my heart, and I thank you for everything you’ve done.

Aysegul and Derya- Thank you and I’m sorry.

To all the people that I was privileged to protest with- save some for me, and you’re awesome.

To all the people I was arrested with, particularly Murat and Mert- you kept me sane when I was about to go over the edge. You are all remarkable men. Thank you in particular to the Red Shoulder, whose name I never quite caught. You may have saved my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

To people on the internet who I never got to meet- Alan, Koo, lookin at you- I hope one day our paths may cross. Thank you for your support.

To Turkey- my last glimpse of you was through a police van window. I saw Sultanahmet and was craning to see Kadikoy, but didn’t. Turkey- I love you. I want to fight for you. I will be back.


Sarah Elizabeth Perrich





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10 Responses to On Gratitude

  1. You’ll be back Sarah Elizabeth Perrich! No doubts there. xxx

  2. Jack Scott says:

    I’m so sorry about what happened to you and what’s happening to my former foster land. It’s a tragedy for everyone, even those in power who think that democracy is just about winning elections. I really hope that your next glimpse of Istanbul will be from the window of the flight bring you back.

  3. Jack Scott says:

    Of course I meant ‘bringing’ you back. Forgive my slippery fingers 😦

  4. You never forget people like this! I’m returning next week for a visit and I wonder what I’ll be walking into. I still love Istanbul, but I’m devastated by what is happening to the country!

  5. Alan says:

    Well, you’ve gone and let me down! J and I are in Istanbul for a family meet up in just over a week (he’s doing a solo gig at the jazz Festival and always has something public to say like ‘Savaşı Hayır etc) and were hoping to fix up a coffee and have a good ‘gas’ with you. As we’re staying in Cihangir we’ll no doubt get a taste of it all just sorry that your ‘balls’ got in the way and you were freighted out.
    Just remember, ‘In every misfortune lies the seeds of an equal or greater benefit!’ and similar positive crap! You can always keep in training by pissing off the elites and their militarised police over there.

  6. Chris says:

    I found you late but have shared your adventures with my friends, You’re gutsy and have got balls and I admire you for standing up for what you think is right. I wish you all the best in your new adventure (I’m sure you’ve got a few ideas). Like Alan I’d love to have met with you. Don’t give up blogging though wherever you may be x

  7. carihoca says:

    First, I would like to say for my friends and neighbors in Turkey, that my grandfather (ex-police chief), my uncle (police/task force), and my cousin (police) — three generations of cops — have never shot anyone. You made me cry Sarah Liz! The process you are about to face will probably be quite difficult as well. Don’t give up.

  8. Big Mama says:

    Turkey does not need anarchist foreginers. Do not come agian, you are not wellcome.

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