500 Startups is deeply saddened to hear of the terrifying Ankara attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the people of Turkey. 500 also has a deep connection to Turkey, with a team and founders in Istanbul and Ankara, as well as many other countries around the world.
Although this sad news may seem to cast a cloud on our recent efforts in the region, 500 continues to believe strongly in the future of Turkey. Eren Bali of Udemy, one of our Turkish portfolio companies shared with us today: “They wounded us deeply, but they won’t be able to break our commitment to peace.” 500 has been fortunate to support the work of great Turkish startups over the years, and we will continue to move forward with our new microfund plans to invest in over 100 startups in the region.
We also hope that social media channels remain open, so that both the Turkish people and the world can communicate freely about what is happening in the country — whether it be a happy or sad story, free and open access to communication is both a moral and economic imperative for healing and growth, as well as for innovation and progress.
We are happy to have the support of local investors, startups, and other local Turkish and global organizations along with us. Together, we shall overcome.
As the poet Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Let us look forward to a brighter future for Turkey.
Erhan Erdogan, General Partner, 500 Istanbul
Erbil Karaman, Advisor, 500 Istanbul
The 500 Family