Aaron from Çekmeköy
Photo: WOW Turkey
Tell us about yourself
My name is Aaron Myers and I am a rural born and raised American still trying to adjust to life in Istanbul. I was a high school English and middle school ESL teacher before moving to Turkey and now help others learn Turkish and English. I currently work as a language coach and consultant and run The Turkish Listening Library website as well as Ingilizce Ogrenmek, a site dedicated helping Turks tap into the English language learning opportunities of the internet.
What made you come to Turkey?
My wife and I had always wanted to live, work and to serve others overseas. When some friends our ours invited us to consider coming to Turkey, we decided (after much prayer and thought) that we would give it a try. We love it.
What do you do in your daily life?
I am a language coach now, helping others learn languages well. But really, I have a lot of different projects that I am working on. I write. I have created a website that I am still developing for Turks wanting to learn English. I am working to develop a short term exchange program.
I am happily married and have two wonderful kids age six and four.
Can you compare your first days here with today?
No! I can't compare them. Those days were hard but exciting. These days are much more settled and exciting in new ways. Knowing the language opens the doors to discover who Turkey and her people really are.
Has living in Turkey influenced your approach to life?
I think that we have become much less hurried and more in tune to slowing down for relationships.
I love the language really and the fact that I get to spend the rest of my life (or at least as long as I remain in Turkey) working to build a better relationship with the language. Its like marriage really, a journey to which their is no end to learning
Let's talk about the region you are living in?
We live in Cekmekoy just north of Umraniye on the Asian side of Istanbul and on the edge of the great forests that stretch to the Black Sea.
Have you traveled in Turkey? Tell us your discoveries
A bit and more each year we are here. We loved renting a car and exploring the Peninsula between Antalya and Fetiye. We love exploring the off the beaten path places around Istanbul as well.
What is your preferred characteristic trait of Turks?
The Turks love of children. There is nothing crazier than watching an entire minibus full of passengers jump into action to make sure my wife got a seat with our daughter, to see elderly men dig through his pockets to give candy to my kids or to have store owners take stuff off their shelves to give to my kids - just because they are cute.
What was the annoying one?
The Turks love of children. My daughter is still going through post traumatic stress syndrome from the constant invasion of her privacy, the pinching of her cheeks, the teyzes picking her up despite her screams and protest.
Everything. The best in the world. Is this heaven?
Any suggestion to new comers to Turkey?
Make the commitment to learn the language and to keep learning the language. There is no end point in language learning - just more to learn. And the more you learn the more you get to enjoy everything about Turkey.
Any suggestion to people planning to visit your region?
Istanbul is great, but it is big - very big. See all the main sites, but try and get out into the neighborhoods and across to the Asian side too.
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