We Arrived in Istanbul!

After overcoming a few hurdles in JFK Airport, we have all arrived safely in Istanbul, eaten our first meal of kofte (Turkish-style lamb meatballs), and experimented with strong Turkish coffee while exploring the area around the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

Outside the Blue Mosque/credit: Raisa Bruner

We’ve also started our reporting: some members of our group went to a meeting with the vice president of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, an organization that owned and operated three of the ships involved in last year’s Gaza flotilla raid, while others visited a local TV station that produces one of Turkey’s biggest soap operas.

We’re a little jet lagged now, but we’re looking forward to tomorrow’s full schedule of meetings with a group of university professors, several journalists, and the Kurdish Institute of Istanbul.

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