August 30th is Victory Day in Turkey, commemorating the end of the 1922 War of Independence. While downtown yesterday, I noticed street vendors selling Turkish flags in a variety of sizes and many, many Turkish flags hanging proudly from buildings. There was to be a parade today at 11am, followed by a flyover by Turkish F-16s at noon.
I missed both parade and flyover because I was attending an event of a much different type–Catholic mass at the Apostolic Nunciature on the grounds of the Vatican Embassy. I am not Catholic but have been feeling the need for spirituality in my life recently so I went via bus, the Metro, and dolmuş with friends. The service was in English and two of the hymns were familiar from my days being raised in the Presbyterian and Methodist churches. I left feeling at peace and reinvigorated, two qualities that will help me tomorrow, the first day of school!