Aug 19th shooting in Beyoglu

September 5, 2013

I sit there drinking tea. I’m thinking of the show coming up tonight, we were to meet at 7:30, then 8:00 then 8:30 and now 9… I made my way so I could be close, now it’s going to be a bunch of waiting around. I have the guitar, the amp and a bag full of stuff so I don’t really want to walk around carrying all this. I am in a back street of Beyoglu. A hairdresser across, a few restaurants, there is a mother cat and one baby across the street sitting together.


Voices rise. A fight. I look down the street, it’s pretty crowded. I see a man fighting another man. They are yelling, and of course, I don’t understand anything they say. But the violence is incredible. A woman inserts herself in the melee, she is literally thrown away, skittering on the cobble stones. One man is so angry, he hits the other man repeatedly with all his might. It is pure rage. At one point he kicks the other man who is down at this point with such ardor that he lifts himself off the ground, lands on his ass with a painfully audible thump and gets back up as if spring loaded to keep hitting the other man.


There is a bit of a crowd around. The scuffle moves close to a black motorcycle parked there, they push it over. I see the bike slowly toppling down slowly to that very moment in time where gravity wins, takes a hold of the bike and throws it to the ground. I see it lightly bouncing off it’s plastic fairing.


Back to the men, the very angry one has his right arm up. Something black in it. Is it what I think it is? I keep staring incredulously as he waves the thing around with one hand and fights with the other. Yes. It is. It is a hand gun. This feels so unreal, yet part of me sees how real it is. I see the hand waving and registers that this thing could be fired at anytime, in any direction. I look around, there is a doorway open, right next to my street seat, I start to make a move. Four shots are fired. The sound is deafening. It feels like my head swells from the inside in reaction to this sound. Hanging the doorway two more young guys are already there, watching the scene ready to duck. A child comes in running full tilt up the stairs, as if he is running for his life, totally terrified. I think of this for a second. Why am I not running? I was actually craning my neck along the two young guys to try to see what was going on. Then I thought of how stupid we were doing this… I moved in, thinking I was safe, only to stare ahead and see that it is a frosted glass window… this is not going to protect me. I move behind the marble door frame. I realize that this is a death trap if this guy ever was to come in as there is nowhere to go…


Outside, I think there might have been more shots but honestly I don’t know. The guy runs up the street. I came out swiftly as I suddenly remember that I left my guitar, my amp and my bag right there on the street. I am stunned. Everyone around is. We look at each other and don’t say a word. I couldn’t tell anyone what I think anyways so I sit there, my body rigid, my mind reeling over such violence that happened so close, so quickly.


People gather around the place where bullet shells fell. My head hurts in a strange psychological way. Such violence, the sound of the gun the aural depiction of that violence. How can one get so angry…


People start to talk. I can’t say anything… it is strange to sit in silence… My phone rings, Pery,


“I need a favor from you? Could you buy strings for tonight?…”


“…Yeah… for sure…”

I’m thinking how close this was.  I’m thinking I could have filmed the whole thing…   I’m thinking why did I stay there immobile?  I’m thinking how can one be so angry?  I’m thinking that I could not even describe the man if I had to.  I’m thinking that it is strange the way my body reacted to this sound.

A little boy grabs his little sister smiling. Cars come down the street, honking their horns, life goes on.


One Response to “Aug 19th shooting in Beyoglu”

  1. Danielle Liard Says:

    Nasty jolt, I agree. My advice to you: never ever ever film such occurrences. You are in a foreign country and could easily have things turn very sour if you start filming this sort of thing. Like a not so stray bullet. Be safe honey.

    Much love


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