Istanbul Explosion

Wherever you stand,

Be the soul of that place

-Rumi

there-is-hope
There is Hope. 

12 January 2016

The first weeks of the new year. Our heads are swinging to the blues beat of our heavy hearts as we say farewell to ten souls who passed away from this world. The mainstream media news and the governments pointed to ISIS terrorist attack again.

Ten souls were in the Sultanahmet Square, Istanbul, where all cultures combine and who you are, where you come from, what language you speak, what religion you believe or not believe would not matter. All it matter is you stand in awe in front of the monuments our ancestors built in the past. Our shared past. Our shared cultural heritage. Historical areas of Istanbul is in the list of World Heritages of UNESCO. The definition of monuments as world heritages by UNESCO’s words is that, they are architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of features, which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science. 

Sultanahmet Mosque was ordered to be built by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I. between 1609 and 1616. The architect was Sedefkâr Mehmet Ağa, the initial name meaning, a mother-of-pearl expert. It is also called Blue Mosque for its İznik style blue, green and white ceramic tiled dome. Sultanahmet is one of four mosques that has six minarets. The mosque was built across Hagia Sophia as an architectural skill competition to build a better monument. (picture source: http://listelist.com/sultanahmet-meydani/)

Ten souls were there to admire what our ancestors accomplished, what beauty they created with love for this world and people, and live through those periods in such an amazing combination of Christian, Muslim, and ancient Egyptian cultures. As they stood, they baceme the soul of that place. Timeless, filled with love, understanding, respect and appreciation. It did not matter who they were.

Hagia Sophia.

(photo source: http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=67199)

Dome of the Hagia Sophia. Virgin Mary receiving offerings from Emperor Constantine (Constantinople) and Justinian (St.Sophia basilica)

(photo source: http://www.orderofconstantinethegreat.com/istanbul1.htm)

Hagia Sophia (from the Greek: “Holy Wisdom”, Turkish: Ayasofya), built between 532 – 537 AD by Byzantine Emperor Justinien I, is a former Orthodox cathedral , later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture, and it was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years. (source: wikipedia)

The explosion was set off at approximately 10:20 a.m. local time, according to the Hurriyet newspaper. “It was difficult to say who was alive or dead,” the reporter said. “Buildings rattled from the force of the explosion.” The suicide bomber blew himself up killing at least 10 people – nine German, one Peruvian- and wounding at least 15 others who were Norwegian, Peruvian, Turkish, South Korean and German. All coming from different corners of the world to be amazed with our common past.

meydana-tepeden-bakan-tepeler-listelist

(Photo source: http://listelist.com/sultanahmet-meydani/)

Obelisks. The Serpent Column (Ancient Greek: Τρικάρηνος Ὄφις Τrikarenos Οphis “Three-headed Snake”; Turkish: Yılanlı Sütun“Serpentine Column”), also known as the Serpentine Column, Delphi Tripod, or Plataean Tripod, is an ancient bronze column at the Hippodrome of Constantinople (known as Atmeydanı “Horse Square” in the Ottoman period) in what is now Istanbul, Turkey. It is part of an ancient Greek sacrificial tripod, originally in Delphi and relocated to Constantinople by Constantine I the Great in 324. It was built to commemorate the Greeks who fought and defeated the Persian Empire at the Battle of Plataea (479 BC). The serpent heads of the 8-metre (26 ft) high column remained intact until the end of the 17th century (one is on display at the nearby Istanbul Archaeology Museums).

The Obelisk of Theodosius (Turkish: Dikilitaş) is the Ancient Egyptian obelisk of Pharaoh Thutmose III re-erected in the Hippodrome of Constantinople (known today as At Meydanı or Sultanahmet Meydanı, in the modern city of Istanbul, Turkey) by the Roman emperor Theodosius I in the 4th century AD. The Obelisk of Theodosius is of red granite from Aswan (today’s Egypt) and was originally 30m tall, like the Lateran Obelisk. Each of its four faces has a single central column of inscription, celebrating Thutmose III’s victory over the Mitanni which took place on the banks of the Euphrates in about 1450 BC.

After Thutmose III had taken control of the Syrian cities, the obvious target for his eighth campaign was the state of Mitanni, a Hurrian country with an Indo-Aryan ruling class. However, to reach Mitanni, he had to cross the Euphrates river. Therefore, Thutmose III enacted the following strategy. He sailed directly to Byblos and then made boats which he took with him over land on what appeared to otherwise be just another tour of Syria, and he proceeded with the usual raiding and pillaging as he moved north through the lands he had already taken. However, here he continued north through the territory belonging to the still unconquered cities of Aleppo and Carchemish, and then quickly crossed the Euphrates in his boats, taking the Mitannian king entirely by surprise.

It appears that Mitanni was not expecting an invasion, so they had no army of any kind ready to defend against Thutmose, although their ships on the Euphrates did try to defend against the Egyptian crossing. Thutmose III then went freely from city to city and pillaged them while the nobles hid in caves (or at least this is the typically ignoble way Egyptian records chose to record it). During this period of no opposition, Thutmose put up a second stele commemorating his crossing of the Euphrates, next to the one his grandfather Thutmose I had put up several decades earlier. Eventually a militia was raised to fight the invaders, but it fared very poorly. Thutmose III then returned to Syria by way of Niy, where he records that he engaged in an elephant hunt. He then collected tribute from foreign powers and returned to Egypt in victory. (source: wikipedia)

Following the attack of the suicide bomber, the Turkish government imposed a broadcast ban on news about the bombing. Police officers blocked journalists from entering the square and asked them to refrain from taking photographs and video because of a nationwide broadcast ban.

Despite the fact that perpetrators of the attack are unknown yet, Turkish government announced the suicide bomber who also died was a 28-year-old Saudi Arabia born, Syrian national, Nabil Fadli, who was not on Turkey’s terror watch list. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said “Turkey won’t backtrack in its struggle against Daesh by even one step. This terror organization, the assailants and all of their connections will be found and they will receive the punishments they deserve.”

The US said, “We stand together with Turkey, a NATO ally, a strong partner and a valued member of the Counter-ISIL coalition, in the face of this attack and pledge our ongoing cooperation and support in the fight against terrorism.”

The last major attack on Sultanahmet Square occurred on 6 January 2015, when a suicide bomber detonated herself at a police station. The DHKP-C initially took responsibility for the attack but later retracted this claim. It was later revealed that the suicide bomber was Diana Ramazanova, a Russian national of Chechen origin with links to the Islamic State.

Photo source: todayszaman.com

This attack happened following two combined sucide bomber attacks in Ankara in October and over 100 people (mostly left-wing Kurds) were dead. Despite the fact that Turkish government showed ISIS as the perpetrator back then also, ISIS never claimed the attack.

Veterans Today reminds a secret meeting that was taped between Erdogan’s Intelligence Chief Hakan Fidan and PM Davutoglu, who was Foreign Minister at the time, along with top Military personnel surfaced. Fidan speaks of “having his people send rockets” from Northern Syria to provide an opportunity for Turkey to move military force into Syria. Veterans Today asks; who would believe anything these people say anymore?

From Veterans Today:

ISIS has openly stated that all other Turkish cities except Istanbul is fair game for the full scope of its activities. “God has bestowed Islamic State with kilometres of land with war and guns, and we ask Him to open the gates of Constantinople (Istanbul) without war and blood-shed” states the foreword of a pro-ISIS magazine Konstantiniyye in its first issue focusing on the conquest of Istanbul.

The delusional idea is that the “believers” will simply take over Istanbul and make it the capital of the Islamic world. It is important to note that Rome and the Vatican, which is the prime target of ISIS in Europe, “will not be spared and women/children will be raped and made into slaves”.

Furthermore, this latest terrorist attack will undoubtedly be another blow for Turkish tourism after the debacle of downing the Russian SU-24, which resulted in Turkey facing huge cancellations from Russian travel agencies. Preliminary reports suggest that there are German nationals among the deceased and this will surely impact visitors from Germany, which is the top tourism provider for Turkey.

The chaos continues and however difficult it may be, we need to see beyond the carnage, get past the fear and find the real source of this evil. Rest assured that the people who are ultimately behind this attack and others like it do not give a moment of thought to the value of human life, it’s all part of their plan.

In Dan Brown’s book Inferno, referring to Heaven and Hell written by Dante, a terrorist biohazard attack was happening beneath the Hagia Sophia, also bringing out the old fears of draught. According to the tales, the people were meeting every day in front of Hagia Sophia and starting to pray when the draught started. Usually at the end of one week or ten days, God was showing mercy to the people and were sending them water from the underneath sources. So the cistern lids in Hagia Sophia were opened and the people could use the water. Inferno, which has a subject matter of water sources and their connections underneath Hagia Sophia that was used to refer to the last circle of hell in Dante’s book, says that this water will be used not to put out a fire but to light the fire.

We need peace more than ever. It is time to stay stronger than ever and stand by each other during these chaotic days. Condolences to the families who lost their beloved ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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