Just under a year ago, Chris and I wandered into Taksim Square when we knew that riots were brewing. Granted, it was a crazy idea, but I loved the area before it was taken over by a mob. It was trendy and hip. The best restaurants with a real local flavor rather than the touristy Sultanahmet were all there.
I posted a picture of a graffitied message which referenced Game of Thrones: Tayip, Winter is coming.
I thought it was amusing at the time as I was strolling away from Taksim Square and down to the tram. Interestingly, moments later, the tear gas cloud had floated to that area, and my eyes achingly burned. The logical side of me kicked in. I wasn’t panicked, mostly annoyed. Nobody around me was angry, no fear, just focused as we rode the tram in silence. Someone gave me a lemon and said in hasty English, “Squeeze in eye.”
I posted the photo later that night, satisfied that the only casualty of that experience was 45 minutes in teary eye pain and the contacts that I had to throw out. A friend commented hours later, “Don’t be a dead journo.”
All I could think was “don’t be stupid”.