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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....

Carmel from Bursa

 Untitled Document Interview with Carmel ENGIN

Tell us about yourself. What made you come to Turkey?
My husband, Ferhat and I lived in Oxford, England for most of our married life, but the hectic pace of everyday living meant that we didn't see enough of each other, or our young daughter, Elise. So we decided to downshift and make a move towards a better work-life balance.

How did you decide to settle in Bursa?
Well, it's my husband's home city and where we first met - 18 years ago! Family were here, now lots of friends and we like it!

What do you do in your daily life?
I am a co-director of The Lake School of English in Oxford. I telework from my office in Bursa via internet and email so I spend quite a large part of the day at my computer. My work involves marketing and remote management. I am also responsible for our website (www.englishinoxford.com) and co-ordinating programmes for our overseas students, who come from all over the world to learn English in this famous university city. I return to the UK often, for meetings and to "touch base" with my colleagues.

Of course, I am also a teacher of English and a teacher trainer. Recently, it has been a great pleasure for me to help a large number of Turkish teachers of English from Bursa with EU funding grants for teacher training in the UK.

Here in Turkey, I am one of the Bursa editors for the My Merhaba website, (www.mymerhaba.com) which involves writing features and a weekly "What's On in Bursa" guide for foreigners living in the city. The articles and features appear in English, French and German on the site. It's great to be involved with something local as well as something distant, so that I really feel rooted here. And it's a great way to discover everything that the city has to offer to its residents.

In my free time I enjoy sport, using the great facilties at my daughter's school and have recently taken up yoga there. My classmates are largely male (yes, Turkish males!) and serious stretching followed by relaxation with candles and music at the end of a busy day, is a great way to unwind. My husband says I'm a fresh air freak - so I am always looking for outdoor escape - clambering up waterfalls is my idea of a good time, so Uludag nearby is a real bonus - not to mention the skiing!

I love spending time with my daughter and husband too - which, after all, is the reason we came back. So we try to have lots of quality time: cinema, theatre, horse-riding and eating out together. In the evenings, we try to avoid watching too much TV with our daughter, so until she goes to bed, we play board games, make models and read stories.

It's a rich and fulfilled life and we are very lucky.

Family?
It's great to have my husband's family around much more. My daughter could barely communicate with them a year ago, and now they are an integral part of our lives. And Elise's Turkish is now streets ahead of mine - of course! My family and friends in England come to visit often, and we go back often too.

Has living in Turkey influenced your approach to life?
I like being busy, and it has helped me slow down and take life at a slower pace (er, slightly). I am also confronted with how hard some people work in order to make a living, and this has affected me. I try to appreciate what I have, and do what I can to help others less fortunate. I have some ideas for various projects to develop this, but all in good time . . .

Turkish language?
As I work in English, and speak English at home, it's quite hard to practise as much as I would like. But I have some wonderful Turkish friends, who let me say as much as I can and reply in careful Turkish so that I understand more easily. I've taken some lessons, which were very valuable and I try to do as I tell my students - keep language learning personal, meaningful and fun! Also, research for My Merhaba has definitely helped and I can read some of the newspaper now - not just look at the pictures!

Have you traveled in Turkey?
Yes, quite widely although some places quite a long time ago - Assos, Pamukkale, Olu Deniz and Side were favourites though I suspect tourism has changed them since we were last there. We know Istanbul pretty well and we've travelled down most of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts and have been east to Konya and Cappadocia. A long overdue trip of the Black Sea coast is on the essential "to do list" though - as my husband's family originally comes from that region. And I'd love to go further east ... there is so much to explore. Now that we are living here, everyone has their own recommendations for us!

What is your preferred characteristic trait of Turks?
Their open, easy friendship and their kindness. Can I have one more? I really like their genuine love and understanding of children.

What was the annoying one?
Saying what they think you want to hear. In social circumstances, this is fine. In business, less so. I find some business ethics and business practices here rather less than ideal, burocracy stifling and tea not always the answer to the matter at hand!

Turkish Cuisine?
Fresh and fab. I love eating and cooking seasonally and trying out some of the great recipes on the My Merhaba site, especially soups and vegetable dishes.

Any suggestion to people planning to visit Bursa?
Go to the My Merhaba pages and have a look! But in the meantime, here's a sample - have a hamam, rummage in the antique shops around Yesil, have brunch at Cumalikizik, ski or walk and "Et mangal" on Uludag, visit the vibrant Kent Museum, drink coffee in the Pirinc or Koza Hans, chill in the walled garden at Kitap Evi . . . and the rest you'll have to read about!




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
Ashley from Kadıköy
Borahan from Taksim
Bruno from Datça
Brandts from Holland
Carmel from Bursa
Carole from Kalkan
Caroline from Kuzguncuk
Claire from Izmir
Claudia from Fenerbahce
Cornelia from Florya
Cumali from Adana
Cyrus from Istanbul
Dace from Ankara
David from Van
Dmitri from Beşiktaş
Filiz from Beyoğlu
Fred from Adana
Frederic from Ankara
Hana from Istanbul
Harry from Antalya
Iben from Alanya
Ingrid from Tesvikiye
Isa from Istanbul
Jan from Kuşadası
Jane from Manavgat
Janine from Izmir
Jennifer from Istanbul
Jennifer from Sultanahmet
John from the Bosphorus
Kathy from Izmit
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
Patrick from Bodrum
Paul from Antalya
Pennie from Çengelköy
René from Izmit
Robbi from Dalyan
Rosalind from Alanya
Russ from Gebze
Ruth from Cappadocia
Sarah from Gundogan
Sarah from Sarıyer
Sarah from Sisli
Sophie from Istanbul
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Latest comments about this article

 By AliSF  13.4.2005

It is wonderful to read about Carmel´s perspective on moving from the UK to Bursa, her career and balancing it with family life. I visited Bursa last summer and enjoyed it´s ”slower” pace and lots of green all around. I know some lovely people from Bursa and Istanbul and my experiences in visiting Turkey have been a very positive so far! I have spent part of my summer in Turkey for the last 4 years. Since Carmel is a teacher and a teacher-trainer in the English laguage to aspiring English speakers, I wonder if she could give pointers to other who want to follow in her footstep. I do want to be able to teach English too but I don´t know which courses to take to be able to qualify to teach in Turkey. Lastly, thank you. Carmel´s story is pleasant and inspiring. The whole website is a treasure trove for me since Turkey is close to my heart. Tesekkurler.

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Interviews with Members
Lisa from Kadıköy
Aaron from Çekmeköy
Adrian from Istanbul
Agnes from Gümüşlük
Aida from Nisantaşı
Aisha from Istanbul
Amanda from Bursa
Andy from Izmir
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Arlene's Secret Paradise
Ashley from Kadıköy
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Carmel from Bursa
Carole from Kalkan
Caroline from Kuzguncuk
Claire from Izmir
Claudia from Fenerbahce
Cornelia from Florya
Cumali from Adana
Cyrus from Istanbul
Dace from Ankara
David from Van
Dmitri from Beşiktaş
Filiz from Beyoğlu
Fred from Adana
Frederic from Ankara
Hana from Istanbul
Harry from Antalya
Iben from Alanya
Ingrid from Tesvikiye
Isa from Istanbul
Jan from Kuşadası
Jane from Manavgat
Janine from Izmir
Jennifer from Istanbul
Jennifer from Sultanahmet
John from the Bosphorus
Kathy from Izmit
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
Patrick from Bodrum
Paul from Antalya
Pennie from Çengelköy
René from Izmit
Robbi from Dalyan
Rosalind from Alanya
Russ from Gebze
Ruth from Cappadocia
Sarah from Gundogan
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Sophie from Istanbul
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Steve from Tarabya
Tara from Cengelköy
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Winter from Australia

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