Day 14-B


Let me first clear up something about these journal entries real quick. I’ve been trying really hard to disguise the fact that I actually write them the morning after they’re dated either because I’m too tired to write or because I’m too drunk – usually it’s that last one. And it’s not that I’m ever really drunk – just pretty good and buzzed because of good times in great company. Anyways, after another stress-free hike-free morning during which Morgan and I worked on a monologue together, we received news of the riots occurring in Istanbul right now. So here’s a short modern history of Turkey so that all this makes sense. After defeating Britain’s Gallipoli campaign at Anzac Cove, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk went about reforming Turkey radically after setting it free from the Ottoman Empire. He made the nation extremely secular by outlawing certain religious clothing, ending the sultanate, and switching the written language to Latin characters rather than Arabic script [he did a lot more, too. I suggest reading the book Ataturk by Andrew Mango for the whole story behind the legend]. Business boomed, and suddenly Turkey held a presence on the world stage. Everyone was on board with it and life was good. Even today every building and house in Turkey – even our boat – has a portrait of Ataturk by choice. Very recently, though, there was been a movement in the government to de-secularize the nation…and it isn’t going over well at all. The current prime minister is cutting funding all over the place, insulting Ataturk’s changes left and right, and revoking freedoms. Another important aspect of Ataturk’s government was that the military always had the power and right to overthrow a bad ruler. This new guy, though, has imprisoned all the most powerful commanders and put his weak puppets of friends in their place to prevent an uprising against him. So the other day, the government announced plans of cutting down the Istanbul equivalent of Central Park to put up a shopping mall instead. In a valiant desperate attempt to save the trees, a large group of college students stood between the trees and bulldozers. The police started using brute force to remove them and resorting to 

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