Jennifer Thalasinos is comforted by her pastor, Kathleen Dowell of Shiloh Messianic Congregation
Today the world’s news focused on new U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions concerning 7 highly volatile, Islamist countries. Money poured in from liberal sources like George Soros and CAIR (Committee for American-Islamic Relations, a group with ties to terrorist organizations like Hamas) to fund many of the people who protested at airports and government offices across America and across the world.
The “Los Angeles Times” covered anti-Trump protests at LAX airport in a completely biased manner and even asked readers to submit their “Immigrant Story.”
Well, here is my Minority Report immigration story. Let me clarify that not all Muslims are Islamists, a term that indicates an embracement of the extreme, violent, jihadist beliefs of Islam and Sharia Law. My Muslim Turkish mother-in-law, for example, would sooner give a stranger tea and homemade soup than assemble bomb parts, and she longs for world peace. Continue reading →
I lived and taught English in Turkey for 2.5 years. I fell in love with that beautiful country and even married a Turkish man. When the Gezi Park freedom protests began a year ago today, I covered them first-hand, writing articles, taking photos, and uploading videos. I even got attacked by the Turkish police, and my Turkish husband was tortured by them. We left Turkey days before police showed up at our old apartment near Istanbul to arrest me for a photo I’d published.
Of all the photos I took in Turkey, this one defined a turning point. I was in Antalya, watching some high school students march with the Turkish flag even though their Islamist Prime Minister had forbidden any parades. I stopped being just an American English teacher and became part of the Turkish people when I witnessed how much they want freedom.
Read my tribute to the Gezi Park protest anniversary here:
I lived in Turkey for 2.5 years and did photo essays about that beautiful country with its variety of landscapes, historical places, and people. Then I began to write about the freedom protests that began last spring because of Turkey’s oppressive government. That led to an article about censorship. Turkey has more journalists in prison than any other country. As I witnessed the freedom protests close-up, taking videos of peaceful people walking in unison for the right to speak freely in their own country, I felt a close bond with Turkey.
My Turkish husband, who had been tortured by the Turkish police, went with me to meet friends one Sunday afternoon for tea in Istanbul. We witnessed police attacking tourists with water canon and pepper spray. As we made our way home, the police chased us, and the pepper spray I was engulfed in made me sick for days. Ironically, I left Turkey just days before police showed up at my old apartment door to arrest me for a photo I had published.
See the photo here, minus the woman whose image used to be in it (she complained to the police). It shows the Kocaeli Book Fair building with a banner of Ataturk, founder of the secular, democratic Republic of Turkey next to its current ruler, the Islamist Prime Minister Erdogan, who makes his image as large as Ataturk’s. Notice the flag poles like bars in the foreground, layers of oppression.