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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....

Dmitri from Beşiktaş

Ayşe & Dmitri
 Untitled Document

Thanks to Dmitri Jajich for sharing his experience in Turkey with us.

Tell us about yourself
I'm 30 years old, American, grew up in Michigan, lived most recently in NYC, but have also lived in Chicago, London, Detroit, & rural Northern Michigan. I work as a structural engineer. I enjoy photography, cooking, and travel in my spare time.

What made you come to Turkey?
I was recently married to a Turkish woman, whom I met while she was pursuing her Ph.D in the US. She's been out of Turkey for 9 years and we thought it would be nice to live here (Istanbul) for a year while she writes her dissertation.

What do you do in your daily life?
I am still working part-time for my employer in Chicago, remotely from home via the internet. I am a structural engineer. Working like this is possible because I can remotely access and share data via my internet connection with all my colleagues in Chicago. When not working, we enjoy going out with friends, eating, drinking, and making the most of Istanbul's fantastic night life.

Family?
My wife's family lives in Istanbul and we see them often.

Can you compare your first days here with today?
I've begun smoking, am never without a tea glass in my hands, honk at everyone all the time when I'm driving, and hang out on the street with all the other men in my neighborhood so as to be available to direct traffic or offer advice to anyone making repairs to their storefront, car or apartment. The actual transformation's been less drastic. I have a much better geographic sense of the city. Unfortunately, my Turkish skills are still minimal, at best just a few greetings and numbers. That I began to hear of and learn about Turkey through my wife meant that there were few shocks or surprises. I've been lucky enough to have always been in the hands of native Istanbulites, so there weren't really any misconceptions I had to overcome

Has living in Turkey influenced your approach to life?
Turks are more comfortable with financial insecurity. Most don't have home equity or a big retirement fund the sort of financial security that many Americans are terrified without. I'm less worried about job security and will be more inclined to take risks in terms of moving to new places, and not necessarily knowing if and how it would be feasible.

Turkish language?
I have unfortunately not picked much up and have been too busy to yet seriously pursue courses. It's part laziness and part that all Turks I know speak excellent English. I think it's a bit harder to start picking up Turkish for and English speaker than most other languages.

Let's talk about the region you are living in?
We live in Dikilitaş, just up the hill for Beşiktaş. The neighborhood is predominately middle-class, but seems to have a nice cross section of society. It is neither overly hip and overpriced, nor backward. It's the perfect balance. We're close to everything, a 10 min walk from Beşiktaş, and have a fantastic view from our 12th floor apartment.

Have you traveled in Turkey? Tell us your discoveries
Yes. Have hiked all over Capadocia (fantastic). And taken a road-trip to Çorum, and Amasya to see ancient Hittite sites. Aside from fuel prices, traveling by car is a great way to see Turkey and get a real sense of what a vast country it is. Also spent a week on an Aegean 'Blue-Cruise' out of Bodrum that was close to the best week of my life.

What is your preferred characteristic trait of Turks?
Open, friendly, creatively entrepreneurial, polite (when not behind the wheel).

What was the annoying one?
Unnecessarily insecure about their place and status in the world. At worst, they exhibit a bi-polar view of themselves, vacillating between feelings of nationalistic and cultural pride and a self-loathing inferiority to Europe and the US. Also, The Turkish cultural elite seems to look down on their less-educated countrymen in a manner that's not entirely justified.

Turkish Cuisine?
Native Turkish Cuisine and the eating and drinking culture is fantastic. So good, in fact, that more international cuisine has had a hard time making a foothold (that's my theory, anyway). It's much harder (though certainly possible) to find good and affordable fusion, Mexican, Asian, or Indian restaurants in Istanbul than in other world-cities of it's size and stature.

Any suggestion to new comers to Turkey?
Bring your own coffee. Though the world knows Turkey for its coffee, it's actually really difficult to find a decent, strong, cup of filtered coffee. And fresh beans are expensive and even harder to come by. Bring a suitcase full of your own and put it in the freezer. Also, electronics (cameras, computers, etc.) are overpriced; again, bring your own.

Any suggestion to people planning to visit your region?
Though the famous tourist attractions are not to be missed, I'd spend at least as much time out of the old city as in it. Dining is a great way to get to know a place. Pick up a copy of Time Out and try a variety of Restaurants that don't typically cater to Tourists. Tom Brosnahan's Turkey Travel Planner is probably the best recourse available. Check it out on the web.




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
Susanne from Fethiye
Steve from Tarabya
Tara from Cengelköy
Trevor from Side
Winter from Australia
Birsen's Horizons
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Latest comments about this article

 By usenerta  28.5.2007

Hi if you got bored and want to look around you can contact me [email protected]

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Interviews with Members
Lisa from Kadıköy
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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
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Jennifer from Istanbul
Jennifer from Sultanahmet
John from the Bosphorus
Kathy from Izmit
Kayla from Bostancı
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Marc from Kosuyolu
Maria from Moda
Maya from Izmir
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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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Paul from Antalya
Pennie from Çengelköy
René from Izmit
Robbi from Dalyan
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Russ from Gebze
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