Claudia from Fenerbahce
Thanks to Claudia Turgut for sharing her views with mymerhaba members.
- Tell us about yourself:
I have lived in Turkey for more than thirty years which is a long time. I suppose I can say I am retired now but it sounds strange to say that as I am never idle. I am a trained teacher and taught English in a variety of institutions ranging from university through to school. But my last job was great as I was the representative of one of the UK’s top universities which meant that I visited schools and universities not only here but in Ankara, Izmir, and N Cyprus, and met the most lovely students. I did this for 12 years. I started my blog this past August with my older daughter’s support and encouragement. It was a steep learning curve for me but here I am and the blog is doing great! www.seasonalcookinturkey.blogspot.com .Do stop by and visit.
- What made you come to Turkey?
In the early seventies, my father was at the British Embassy in Ankara, so I decided I would come and spend the Christmas holidays with the family as I had been working in South Africa. And that’s when I met my husband-to-be! I changed all my plans and got my first teaching job and the rest is history!
- What do you do in your daily life?
These days I try to go to the gym every morning. If it doesn’t happen in the morning, then probably it won’t happen. I tend to be very busy what with the house, friends and family, and of course, writing my blog!
My husband is Turkish and we have 3 grown-up children, 2 of whom are here, and our son who lives and works in London. My husband’s family is wonderful and from the word go, have always shown me nothing but love and acceptance.
- Can you compare your first days here with today?
Night and day. Turkey in the 70s was like the Dark Ages compared with now. But it was a huge adventure at the same time. The progress that I have witnessed at first hand is unbelievable.
- Has living in Turkey influenced your approach to life?
I would say yes. I am very up for things as here there is never a dull moment. I love that, my life is full of colour and interest.
- Turkish language?
Unfortunately, it’s a difficult one for us to learn. I have given it my best shot and am not bad.
- Let's talk about the region you are living in?
Does this mean around Fenerbahce? Well, it offers a lot in terms of feeling in the middle of things and easy access to shops and also the sea. A visit to the Islands from Bostanci is always fun. Getting around the city from here is really easy. It’s a good area in which to live.
- Have you traveled in Turkey? Tell us your discoveries
We are lucky enough to have a house in the amazing 4th Century BC village of Assos which is down past Canakkale towards Troy. This village is very special for us. We love this area, we love the Aegean and its people.
- What is your preferred characteristic trait of Turks?
Of course, their friendliness and amazing hospitality.
- What was the annoying one?
Hmmm let’s see! I think the fact that they can never admit they are wrong or say they are sorry.
- Turkish Cuisine?
It’s delicious. I love the fact it is all based on fresh and seasonal. In fact this is why I started my blog which is all about the amazing fruit and veg we get here especially in the local markets, which I love. However, I do think that Turkish cooks could be a bit more adventurous with these ingredients. They are not open to different ways of doing things, I find. And I do miss pork! There are still certain things we can’t get here so I bring them back from the UK.
- Any suggestion to new comers to Turkey?
Not very original, I’m afraid. Try to learn a bit of the language if possible. Read up about it. Really, you have to live it to know it.
- Any suggestion to people planning to visit your region?
Make sure you take a walk by the seaside as there is a lovely promenade which goes for miles. Strolling down Bagdat Caddesi is also fun: you can stop and have a coffee or lunch at any of the great cafes which more or less line it as well as do great shopping.
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