The President made me late
Istanbul is not the capital of Turkey (that belongs to Ankara, thanks to the loss in World War 1). However, it’s the largest city by millions of people, making it the most important metropolitan area in Turkey. And where important things happen, important people must go, including this country’s president Erdogan. Before becoming Prime Minister (the title he held before his Presidency), Erdogan served as mayor of Istanbul, which means that not only is this place important, this is also his home, and therefore Erdogan is here a lot.
This would only be of minor interest, except for the fact that Erdogan’s home sits between our home and our school, and his offices are just a few blocks over from the University. The road is three lanes and usually contains a moderate amount of traffic 24/7.
When Erdogan is in Istanbul, it’s a nightmare for anyone trying to commute between the two neighborhoods. Not only are there lots of police, but his motorcade (as well as any visitors) shuts down the road, forcing traffic to the side as they fight their way to their destinations. For us students, that means the fastest way to class is on foot- which you might not realize before setting out on your journey. So the excuse “The President made me late to class” is a valid one.
I will admit that the motorcades are pretty cool and worth the hassle. Additionally, you know whether or not he’s here in advance because security gets really tight around the entrance to his palace and traffic slows to a crawl. Therefore, as long as you pay attention and know what to look for, it’s very difficult to be taken by surprise.