How to Live

The days were long in Istanbul, money was short and emotions ran high.

These were unprecedented times. He and Şura, along with millions of others were misplaced, lived in a city not their own, a city that belonged to no one, that was occupied by perfect strangers. Why should he back down to these unwelcome guests? Who ravished, who destroyed, and who hurt? The English with their poor army skills and their lack of respect aggravated him and scared Şura. During those early days, he loved protecting her.

During those early days he wanted to do everything so she could continue living her life like she had in Russia. Even he could not do that for her. In order for her to live as she had, she needed her family by her side and he could not bring them to her, Russian citizens were scattered all around Europe, or worse some had never left Russia and laid dead in the soil.

What he loved most about her was her strength and optimism. At times he could not help but notice the sadness in her eyes when she did not receive information about her family from the Russian embassy. Time after time her face deflated at the lack of news but she'd quickly forge on a smile. She'd walk forward with her small hand wrapped around his arm.

He could not help but think it was he who had put her in this dangerous predicament.

He begins to think they should have listened to their families. Their many reasons to part made sense under the Istanbul sky, when each of them took up one corner of their small hotel room.

But if she wasn't the one for him, then how come they had lived through what they had?

He knew he had to stop listening to his demons and had to listen to his heart. He wanted her to be his wife. He wanted a future together.

But they were homeless, stateless, without a family and without a compass.

They say a man's conscience is his compass and his conscience was confused. It was riddled with conflicting voices, conflicting thoughts, and pain. Pain, that no amount of love could heal. It was unrealistic to expect her to heal him and he to heal her.

It was unbelievable the things they went through. It had gotten to the point were to release the pain they hurt each other.

Author's Note: Hello! I hope if there are any readers that you are enjoying this. I just wanted to give some background information because I am a history major and I got into the show because of the historical premise. Şura and Seyit are in Istanbul.

From November 1918 to October 1923 British, Italian and French forces occupied the city after the end of the Ottoman Empire's involvement in WWI. According to an article I read, Istanbul was a city of "poverty and refugees." The Allied Forces (in WWI they were Britain, France, Russia, Italy and the US) divided the city by nationalities. The show depicts the British forces occupying Istanbul, they are not the brightest according the Seyit. In later chapters I will also mention the Turkish revolutionaries that arise in Anatolia. Historically the British wanted to provide aid to the local agencies in Anatolia in order to help suppress the Turkish revolutionaries. There are reports of the British underestimating the Turks and their need for independence.

.edu/2015/04/ottoman

900/istanbul-under-allied-occupation-1918-1923

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