Monday, April 14, 2008

Murder in Gebze

An Italian woman making a mission of peace ended in violence. Pippa Bacca was hitchhiking from Italy to Tel Aviv in a wedding dress when was murdered in Gebze last week. Gebze is a town not far from İzmit and is the industrial center of Kocaeli, which is itself the industrial center of Turkey. A cityscape of the town from the main highway from here to İstanbul is comprised of an odd mix of minarets and smokestacks. I go there two times every week and I can honestly say it is one of the least attractive places I have ever seen in my life. This has absolutely nothing to do with the murder of this poor woman, but the event will no doubt solidify the idea of Gebze in my mind as a very unpleasant place. The event has saddened and embarrased many Turks and one woman commented to me today how unfortunate it is that the event might re-inforce negative attitudes toward the country in the minds of Europeans. Murders are very uncommon in Turkey, although violence against women is quite a large problem.

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