Istanbul’s Isolated

September 4, 2013 10:03 pm

There’s something to be said about sitting on a couch weeks on end, waiting for something exciting to happen. I have a tendency to put others before myself. Maybe it’s not the right move, but it’s a brave one! For the average Joe, going on summer break is like a trip to Disneyland.

Not for me. For those that know me well enough, already know I was born in Istanbul. As much as I love my home town, I can only say that I’m in love with what’s on the surface, and not what’s lurking behind the beautiful and historical buildings, which sit on a landmark that was once known as Constantinople.

Living in a beautiful city is one thing, and visiting it is another. However, when it comes to matters of disability, countries like Turkey and Italy become a third world country. I’d like to say that I know my hometown like the back of my hand, but that would be understatement. It’s not an exaggeration, when I say disabled people who live in such a beautiful country as Turkey are forced into isolation. Is this how the Turkish government plan to be a part of the European Union?

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Disabled people stay in confinement for two reasons; due to knowledge being overwritten by ignorance. Or it’s a matter of self-esteem, no one in their right mind would want to attempt to socialise.

It’s just not possible. It’s obvious just how far behind Turkey are when it comes to being disabled friendly. I’m speaking from personal experience. When you’ve spent most of your life living in London, your disability becomes a faded shadow, almost invisible. Istanbul, in comparison, reminds one of their struggles all over again. When you see a street poll strategically placed right in the middle of a flat curve, your world turns upside down. You begin to realise you’re no longer welcomed to the place you once called home. Immense strain takes place, when you spend hours on end sitting in one place, almost feeling paralysed. However, on the other hand, you build character and strength!

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