Ataturk established this spectacular and triumphant national holiday called Children and Youth Sports Day. If the band Survivor had existed back in the 30s when the holiday was instituted, I would say he was inspired by “Eye of the Tiger” or possibly the theme from Rocky (“Gonna Fly Now”). In modern times, today is an occasion to hear different versions of both songs over and over again. Here’s a link to my favorite version–although this is not the one they play every 5 or 10 minutes from all the football fields across Turkey.
I want to wrap myself in a flag and sprint through the oily, slick streets of Istanbul. I want to put on boxing gloves and run up and down the steps of Cihangir, sweating and jabbing. I want to strangle all the children screaming —- AAAAAHHHNAY! (Anne–mother) from the streets.
Instead, I will be hopping on a train to Bulgaria for a scouting mission for a festival performance I’m doing in June. Then two days later, I am flying to Poland to have a more personally spectacular and triumphant time with the Polish boy. A different kind of Youth Sports Day. . . .