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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....

Ingrid from Tesvikiye

Photo: WOW Turkey
 Untitled Document

Thanks to Ingrid Lonsdale for sharing her experience in Turkey with us.

Tell us about yourself
My name is Ingrid Lonsdale and I'm 38 years old. I am from Britain and lived in the UK all my life ...... until 2 years ago.

What made you come to Turkey?
I married my Turkish husband 17 years ago, and we decided to move to Istanbul from the UK after the death of his father. We met when I was 18 years old and he had just turned 20. He was studying English in London and I had just moved to the city from the countryside. I knew nothing about Turkey, so I was terribly upset to learn that after a year my first love had to return to Istanbul to do his military service, and didn't have much thought for the danger he could be in. But two years later after two short trips to Istanbul, a few sad phone calls, and many letters, he safely left the Navy and arrived in the UK to meet my parents for the first time! A few months later we were married in Istanbul followed by a move to the UK where we lived for the next 15 years.

What do you do in your daily life?
In the UK I first worked as a development officer for people with disabilities, helping them to move into the community from long stay hospitals, and to then live independently. At the 'mature' age of 26 I went to University and got a degree in Information Studies, I went on to become manager of the local Public Library. Finally, six years ago, together with my husband I opened a hair salon and entered the world of small business. The salon was very successful in a short space of time, mostly due to the huge amount of time and effort we put into it; it was truly exhausting! We sold this business just before moving out to Turkey with absolutely no regrets. We've found time to have fun and enjoy life again. In the past, when Turkish property was a lot cheaper, we had bought a number of apartments in Istanbul, which during the last two years we have been renovating to be sold. Recently we have found the perfect apartment for ourselves to settle into, so our property business has turned into a labour of love!

Family?
We don't have any children at the moment. I have a Mother, Father and an older sister in the UK, as well as five nieces and nephews. My husbands Mother lives very close by in Tesvikiye and we see her most days when we are in Istanbul. I also have two brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law living in the city.

Can you compare your first days here with today?
Coming to Istanbul on holiday is so different to living here. The area where we live in Sisli is so much more cosmopolitan than it was 10-15 years ago, there is so much more available. When I first started coming here Nescafe instant coffee was a luxury, Migros had only just started to open branches in Istanbul, and comfy coffee shops with their dazzling array of coffee types were not in existence. On a more personal level both my husband and I have got to know his mother much better – for Mufit there was a 20 years to make up for and they had both changed a lot. The family politics were also a minefield, we realized everyone had been on very good behaviour when we had visited for our holidays in the past; we're still grappling with undercurrents of age old jealousies and arguments.

Has living in Turkey influenced your approach to life?
My pace of life has slowed down a lot, partly due to the change in our working lifestyle, partly the influence of the Turks around me, and just now I'd say it was just too hot to get very frazzled by much. I have less expectation of people – I don't expect someone to come on the hour, nor in fact the day that they promise. But I have an increasing confidence that things do get done! I live more for day to day than plan my life ahead with precision.

Turkish language?
I first learnt to speak some Turkish when I got married. We stayed here for three months and I would spend my days trying to talk to my husband's family with the use of a pocket dictionary. In the evenings Mufit would try to explain the complexities of Turkish grammer to me. My basic conservation remained at the same level for a number of years, but was helpful to have on our regular holidays here. Since moving here I took a month intensive course which helped me to improve a lot, especially my grammer. Since then I have fallen back into a number of bad habits - Tarzan Turkish as Mufit calls it. It's my resolution after the summer to take some more courses to become more fluent – until I do I will continue to feel like an expatriate on the fringes of Turkish society, rather than fully a part of it.

Let's talk about the region you are living in?
I live in Istanbul and feel spoilt for choice. Yes, it can be crowded and dirty and noisy. But as a city it has everything, old and new, historical and ugly, good and bad. If ever the crowds of the city become too much we have the Bosphorous to explore, or the Belgrade Forest to lose ourselves in. And after a short drive we have the beaches of Kilyos which are perfectly deserted out of season – but awful in the peak season.

Our apartment is in Tesvikiye ... and I love it. There is a real mix of people living here and you sense the buzz of city life. The fashionable folk pose in the cafes alongside the gypsy flower sellers. The business people rush by the worshippers at the mosque, and behind the main shopping areas is a mass of residential streets to explore.

Have you traveled in Turkey? Tell us your discoveries.
Over the years we have travelled a vast amount seeing more of Turkey than the UK. During our vacations from the UK we would often head to the south coast along with swarms of others, crossing over to Northern Cyprus on one occasion. Since living here we have explored the less crowded region of the Black Sea Coast. A number of years ago we travelled to a village near Malatya where Mufit's mother was born. It entailed a 2 hour drive up a mountain, chasing rats during the night, passing wild dogs to go to the communal toilet (hole in the ground), and being dressed in traditional clothes to visit nearby neighbours (a three hour walk across a mountain range). I'm told they have now modernized – they have a fridge!

What is your preferred characteristic trait of Turks?
Their ability to shrug their shoulders and to let things pass – Boş Ver!

What was the annoying one?
Their ability to shrug their shoulders and to let things pass, when what I actually want is someone to do something ……. quickly!

Turkish Cuisine?
I'm a vegetarian and could happily eat a selection of the varied mezze night after night. And there is nothing like a good lentil soup in a traditional Kebab Lokanta.

Any suggestion to new comers to Turkey?
Have no expectations. The country is so big, the people so diverse and the culture changing so rapidly that it cannot be easily defined.

Any suggestion to people planning to visit your region?
Don't just stick to Sultan Ahmet or the glitzy shopping quarters. Explore the residential area of Besiktas, Fatih Camii and the Kariye Museum, and delve into the excitement of Ortakoy, treating yourself to one of the best value Bosphorous boat trips while you are there.




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
Fred's Trip Logs
Bahar's Views on...
Business World
From Members' Pen
Interviews with Members
Moms & Kids Corner
Pets with Dr. Demirel
The archives of The Guide
The Archives of Turkishtime
Teen's world

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Lisa from Kadıköy
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Agnes from Gümüşlük
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Aisha from Istanbul
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Carole from Kalkan
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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
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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
Patrick from Bodrum
Paul from Antalya
Pennie from Çengelköy
René from Izmit
Robbi from Dalyan
Rosalind from Alanya
Russ from Gebze
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