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We will send regular newsletters to our members who have signed up for receiving it during the registration. In 'mymerhaba' newsletter, our editorial staff provides updates, with regard to any information related to places worth visiting, viewing, or otherwise worth knowing, for those who care to know more....

Andy from Izmir

 Untitled Document Thanks to Andy Riem for sharing his experience in Turkey with us.

Tell us about yourself
1,86m, 79 kg, 41 years of age, blond.....

What made you come to Turkey?
Since 1989 I'm working for a big German company, namely BOSCH, which is operating as well in Turkey. I got the offer for the position as production and planning director in the plant in Manisa and due to the fact that I was before already working in Worcester (UK) and Paris and I like other mentalities as well as other working styles I agreed to take over the job in the beginning of 2000.

What do you do in your daily life?
Mainly working but at the weekends, especially in summer, I love to go Scuba Diving mainly to Bodrum because I have a lot of friends there and, to be totally honest, I love that little piece of earth very much! In summertime I love to sit with friends at the Kordon in Izmir, having a nice dinner, some drinks and nice communication....

Family?
I´m (still) married but my wife and my two daughters live in Germany which makes me a bit sad but I try to compensate....

Can you compare your first days here with today?
Oh yeah, certainly I can ;-)..it was an adventure to come here, because I didn't know anything about life here. I did not even spend any holiday in Turkey before (shame on me!). Due to the fact that in Germany many Turkish citizens are working in the factories, I certainly had the same cliché thinking as 99% of all Germans about Turkey. But I realized very quickly that this was a different thing and the people living here are completely different than the people having left and work now in any country in Europe. Certainly I know that Izmir is not representing Turkey and if I'd go only 50km inside the land it already looks completely different and that's what I tell all my friends visiting me here as well. I'm feeling very, very comfortable and I'm happy that I took the chance to come here!

Has living in Turkey influenced your approach to life?
Offf, what a question! Turkey has changed my approach to life in a way I was not even able to dream about before I came here! The way of living, the surrounding, the weather, the people, the friends I found here...I'm feeling so comfortable that some of my Turkish friends told me they believe I must have been living here in a former life...;-)) I really cannot explain it with rational or logical arguments or words, it's just that I'm feeling like "home"..

Turkish language?
Certainly I speak Turkish and not too bad, due to the fact that in the factory my workers are simple people and they certainly only speak Turkish. I must and I want communicate with them so I had to learn it. But sometimes I still have problems, mainly with the grammar and then one of my planning engineers supports me with translation. With this strategy, everyday I still learn more words and expressions. Especially the Turkish sayings for any kind of situation I love very much because they are so wonderful figurative. and I love it if the Turkish citizens appreciate it when they discover that a ´yabanci´ speaks their language not too bad - that's mostly at least worth a cay (tea) and the guarantee for a better price in any shop.. :-)

Let's talk about the region you are living in?
What shall I say? Living in a paradise in Aegean Region. Come and see!!

Have you traveled in Turkey? Tell us your discoveries
I always wanted to go more to the East, at least to Cappadocia or to the Black Sea but my travels were mainly concentrated to the South West of Turkey. Side, Antalya, Marmaris, Datca, Bodrum (certainly!), Pamukkale and as well a bit to the North like Bursa, Istanbul, Canakkale... That's it.. I plan to make a tour with the motorbike with friends from the Black Sea to the Van Gölüand back over Mersin, Alanya next year, let's see whether it works..

What is your preferred characteristic trait of Turks?
The friendly hospitality, the curiosity about everything and everybody which makes it very easy to get contacts. I'm not looking very Turkish with blond hair and blue eyes and if somebody discovers that I speak Turkish they are immediately very interested why. One question follows the other and immediately a nice communication has started which most of the times ends up with an invitation to lunch, dinner or whatever.. The ability to be so much excited about even small things the people from Europe have even forgotten to recognize, the ability to be happy from one day to the other, the ability to celebrate...and so on and so on - there are so many things...

What was the annoying one?
Certainly the traffic - it seems that every Turk ( I'm speaking about men..!) metamorphoses when he's behind the steering wheel of his car and the friendly, hospitable person changes to a beast of prey. In the beginning it was a bit difficult but now it's no problem anymore - I think I've developed the 7th sense for Turkish traffic and in fact it's easy - one has to know that red traffic lights and any traffic signs are only recommendations and the rear mirrors on the cars are only decoration. Bu kadar kolay!(That's so easy)

What I don't like so much as well is the partly exaggerated nationalism but maybe that's because I'm German and the Germans have been taught since the 2nd World War that nationalism is a negative thing.

And last but not least the inability to admit if they don't know something. If you ask somebody for the way to a certain place and he doesn't know, he anyway tells you something which is certainly not correct. I made that experience mainly in the beginning as I knew Izmir not that good and got lost a lot of times… The positive thing out of that is, that I got into areas of the city I would never have gone :-)

Turkish Cuisine?
Inanilmaz lezzetli! (Incredibly delicious) I love nearly everything and I try everything... The only thing I don't eat is Kelle and Kokorec... The best is always being invited to friends and they are making home-cooked food. Meanwhile I'm as well able to cook some Turkish dishes and my friends say that my Karides Güvec (shrimp in casserole) is really very good...but maybe that's only their normal friendliness why they say it :-)

Any suggestion to new comers to Turkey?
Stay cool, be patient and slow down your life.. Everything works - maybe not as you are used to, surely a bit slower but it works! Take everything as a new experience!

Any suggestion to people planning to visit your region?
Oh my god, there is so much to see! Historical places, touristic places, nice bars, restaurants, nightlife...I´m afraid that the place to write everything down is not enough! Izmir and it's surroundings surely is the pearl of the Aegean region - so, if you come to Izmir, give me buzz and I'll tell you!




Lisa from Kadıköy
Aaron from Çekmeköy
Adrian from Istanbul
Agnes from Gümüşlük
Aida from Nisantaşı
Aisha from Istanbul
Amanda from Bursa
Andy from Izmir
Anke from Kemerburgaz
Antonina from Bulgaria
Arlene's Secret Paradise
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Borahan from Taksim
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Carole from Kalkan
Caroline from Kuzguncuk
Claire from Izmir
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David from Van
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Filiz from Beyoğlu
Fred from Adana
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Iben from Alanya
Ingrid from Tesvikiye
Isa from Istanbul
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Kayla from Bostancı
Kenya from Beyoğlu
Leela from Nisantasi
Lisa from Sydney
Marc from Kosuyolu
Maria from Moda
Maya from Izmir
Michelle from Göztepe
Molly from Galata
Nilgün from Suadiye
Omar from Ankara
Omar from Umraniye
Paolo from Beşiktaş
Pat from Göreme
Pat from Yaniklar
Patricia from Kartal
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Rosalind from Alanya
Russ from Gebze
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Latest comments about this article

 By Corsa  15.12.2004

Well done job! I am amazed with the details of Turkey part in your life ”journey”. As somebody (who is Turk) that has lived little bit out of the country, I am the most impressed with your comments about traffic in Turkey. You are not alone in that comment, yet I think that things are changing little bit (even though slowly). To live in Turkey requires being open to other cultures, you gotta be open to be multi-cultural. your experience gives that implication too. it was quite a different experience for me to read your comments. whether people like your comments or not, almost 100% is true. thanks for sharing. E.D.

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