National Tragedies

The Soccer

Last night Latvia drew 2-2 against Turkey in Istanbul. Following their 1-0 win on Wednesday, Latvia are through to the 2004 European Soccer Championships, knocking Turkey out in the process. This is a shock result as it is the 1st time that Latvia have made it to a major competition and Turkey was 3rd at last year’s World Cup!

The Bombings

However, the tragedy of last night matters nothing compared to Saturday’s and today’s sequences of bombings in Istanbul. Today’s bombings were aimed at the HSBC headquarters in Levent and the British Consulate in Beyoglu. As well as the loss of life and physical damage, these incidents will cause huge economic and social damage to the whole of Turkey. Tourists are less likely to visit and economic confidence will be shaken. Trading on the Istanbul Stock Exchange was suspended today.

I am extremely satisfied with my safety and have no qualms whatsoever about remaining in Turkey. Istanbul and Turkey are very safe and the biggest danger for any foreigner is still the traffic!