Attacks in Turkey impact lives in Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If you look at a map, the attack in Turkey seems like it happened a world away from Tampa, but for Martin Gunesh, the owner of Tazza Café and Grill in Tampa, they didn’t just hit close to home- they hit his heart directly.

“I almost collapsed,” Gunesh said. “I couldn’t function last night. It was terrifying.”

His wife, Sidka, along with his 10-year-old son, Calvin, are living in Istabul right now, along with most of his family members and loved ones.Sidika and Calvin, wife and son of Martin

“My niece works in the airport, my wife’s best friend works in the airport,” Gunesh said. “We were worrying about them, and through Facebook, we were checking on them to make sure they were okay.”

Thankfully, all of his friends and family members are safe, but Gunesh still wore all black to work at the restaurant on Wednesday to honor the lives lost in the attack.

“We lost people, we lost lives,” Gunesh said. “They don’t have to be my family members, they were innocent people.”

The attack in Istanbul frightened Ermelinda Mehhj for a very different reason.

As a Muslim woman living in Tampa Bay who wears a hijab, she worries that she and her young daughter will be targeted because of their faith.

“Sometimes, I just stay in my house, I’m afraid to go outside,” Mehhj said. “People look at me like I’m Muslim and I’m part of those bad people.”

In the midst of atrocity, hope for a better, kinder world still remains in the eyes of Mehhj’s young daughter and in the heart of Gunesh.

“Good will win against evil,” Gunesh said.

Get our hottest stories
delivered to your inbox
Sign up for News Channel 8’s Noon Newsletter to get
updates on the day’s top stories

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s