The Role of Civil Society on Turkish and American Democracy:
What We Can Learn from Each Other’s Struggles
By Emily Rodriguez
The most shocking part of stepping foot on Turkish soil for the first time what how natural it felt to be there. Certainly, the language undulated heavily through the air, forming a puzzle of çs and üs I could not decipher; regardless, the air itself felt eerily familiar. Perhaps it was because I had already spent the months leading up to my trip traveling through Istanbul, Kars, and several small villages with writers like Orhan Pamuk and stepping through the country’s past with journalists like Stephen Kinzer. The romantic in me would like to believe that the land did not feel foreign because so many bloodlines have passed through here, because maybe at some point a distant ancestor gazed upon the Bosphorus, feeling connected to the past and the future, the east and the west, peace and war, and every human emotion, just as I was now.