Torn since time immemorial: between Europe and Asia, Islam and secularity, tradition and modernity, today Turkey is at the crossroads again. The legacy of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the father of the nation reigning Turkish hearts until recently, is being taken over by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He’s compared by many to a bad father-in-law who wastes his predecessors’ achievements by ruthlessly fighting his political opponents. Or, as others believe, he brings back the wonderful Osman tradition and the essence of the Turkish spirit which would be empty without religion and family.
But Turkey isn’t only about politics. It’s also a producer of TV shows that gained popularity all over the world; a home to thousands of Syrian refugees; a place where LGBT community can proudly raise their flag; a favourite place to seek for the sun and love; and perhaps even a new tycoon of religious tourism. After all, this is where Christianity germinated, and saints, the Apostles, and even Virgin Mary lived.
Following in the author’s footsteps, we should reject stereotypes and look at the face of real Turkey that still both attracts and repels, upsets and fascinates.