Saturday, May 21, 2011

One last Turkey tale

Istanbul, Day 5.

Marieke and I were sitting in the small mosque on campus again, hoping to find a girl with a headscarf who was willing to be interviewed on camera.

My phone beeped. It was a text from Hugo:

"The prime minister is here i think!!!"

Our reaction was strangely calm. Maybe it was the silently serene atmosphere of the empty mosque where we were sitting shoeless. But we packed up the camera and start walking to meet him. He was about 20 minutes away from the campus, close to the mosque where we had been filming on Monday when we had our first real Turkish encounter.

As we got closer, we heard music.

There were flags.

We saw crowds of people in the middle of the street.

We started running.

Marieke had the camera bag, and I was running with the camera in my hands and the tripod on my shoulder. Was the prime minister actually HERE?? Were we too late???

Out of nowhere, Hugo appeared beside me.

He took the tripod bag from me: "I'LL TAKE THIS. YOU. GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


I didn't know what or why or who or where but the camera was on and I was deep in it.


My heart was beating SO fast and I laughed and loved it and felt like a journalist.

The prime minister had INDEED been there!!! I saw his car pull away from the mob of people...but the camera missed him. GRRRAHSDH!

Sometime I wish my eyes were the camera. They're always on, so the golden shot would never be missed, and the memory card would never fill up...


As we were filming the crowds of people at this AKP rally, a man appeared from the blur of people and asked Marieke and I inside the building. I thought he was just a random guy interested in our camera. But apparently some people wanted to meet us...

What resulted was Marieke and I sitting beside the AKP candidate himself and being by the surrounding crowd as they took pictures of us sitting beside him.

We were journalists in Turkey, but sometimes we weren't the only ones with questions.

And it was all so mind-bogglingly AWESOME.

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