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Seven Episodes from our
Turkey Mission and Trip
Episode 2
by Joseph Patrick Meissner


This was my second trip to Turkey, a country and people I very much admire and appreciate. Of course, on my second trip I learn how much I have not learned about Istanbul and Ephesus and Mary's place and Ottoman history.

It is impossible to relate all that happened on this trip. So I have picked out seven specific episodes and hope these may be thought-provoking as well as encourage you to plan a trip to Turkey, the home of Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet.

Epsiode 2

Aghhh. Help! Ahhhh! It is the wail of a poor hurt animal.

Oh, My Lord, I think. What have I done?

I turn from my front right seat on the van and I see my roommate's hand filled with blood.

They tell me always, Close the front van door. Do not block others with the open door.

So I had climbed up into the van, plumped into my seat, and slammed the front door. But Harry, my great roommate, had been climbing through the back sliding door. He had put his hand on the van support which put his hand directly in the path of the closing door. His hand had been caught in it. And now he was suffering intense pain and it was all my fault.

I think stupid things. We have just started the Gallipoli part of the trip and begun to explore the old forts and trenches. Will we have to call this off? Will Harry's hand have to be amputated? Where can we get medical care? Will he sue me? Why did I ever come on this trip?

Others in our party rush over and try to help Harry and stop the bleeding. It is his baby finger on his right hand. It is gushing out rich red blood. We cannot stop the flow despite putting towels and tissues on it. Another silly question crowds my brain: Who would ever think that such an aged individual could bleed so profusely?

We must get Harry to a hospital, somebody says.

But, I worry, Where do we find that in this remote area? Our whole trip is ruined, I think, and all because of me.

Murat talks to our driver. The latter knows where the hospital-clinic is in Gallipoli itself.

So we rush off, down various streets, and a few minutes later, the driver pulls up in front of the white hospital door of a modern building. Murat rushes in dragging poor Harry. I follow closely behind.

We step into the emergency room where there are two nurses at one table and another by the desk.

The two young nurses quickly wash Harry's hand. He seems so calm through all of this. No crying out. No words cursing his stupid roommate. I worry that Harry may have gone into shock and Gallipoli will welcome another casualty and son.

The one nurse touches Harry's finger. Can you move the finger? she asks, as Murat translates.

Harry moves it back and forth. Thank God, I pray to the saints, it is not broken.

They clean it up and put on the ointment. Soon they have bandaged it up and put on a nice soft dressing with a soft finger splint to protect the wounded member. Harry smiles. He is all right. Then he glances at his two nurses with that devilish Weller calculation.

Do you want a photograph? I remark.

Of course, Harry replies.

Okay, everybody, I wave the two nurses in closer to Harry. I think he wants them to hold his hand, but I pull myself back from asking. I snap several photos, with Harry smiling, and now he has two more to add to his collection of beautiful women of Turkey.

The doctor has come in the room and has checked out Harry's finger and the bandages. He judges everything is okay.

How much will all this cost? I whisper to Murat. In the USA, this could be a few hundred dollars. Murat asks. Then they all speak to Murat when he asks about the bill. Nothing, Murat assures me after conversing with them.

I cannot complain about Turkish medical care nor the bill.

We return to the van, report back, and we return to our battle pilgrimage.


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