So I have epic tales of awesome from my weekend in Helsinki, but it's worthwhile to start with the end of the weekend: the fifteen missed calls and text messages my phone accumulated during my flight from Frankfurt to Istanbul this morning. While we were still waiting for the cabin doors to open, I found out that there had been a suicide bombing in Taksim Square, the heart of Istanbul, a few hours earlier. Once I checked in with our security people at work, who wanted to make sure that we were all accounted for, I just continued home normally to watch the news, like everyone else. No official word yet on who did it; from all accounts it looks like it could have been much, much worse - it appears at least one device didn't detonate.
What can you do. After I got the message back to the States that I was fine (knowing that someone would wake up, see the news on CNN, and flip out), all I can really do is try not to let this impact my everyday life too much, because that's the point of terrorism - making people change their lives so much that in the end they defeat themselves. My heart goes out to the injured police officers and civilians, as well as their families, yet I'm so glad this wasn't worse that it already was.
With my morbid sense of humor, I found this guide to appropriate levels of panic for various crises in Turkey to be entirely valid. This was written a few weeks after our consulate was attacked in 2008. You'll note that today's event falls under panic level 5... really, unless the Marmara does split open in a catastrophic earthquake of Biblical proportions, a moderate level of concern until told otherwise is the best way to go for pretty much any event in Turkey.