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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....

Jan from Kuşadası

Jan & Lara


Thanks to Jan McGready for sharing her views with us.

Tell us about yourself
I am a 43 (eek!) year old freelance travel photographer married to my Turkish husband. We have a 6 year old daughter and we live in the seaside resort of Kuşadası, where we have been for the last 12 years. Many years ago I was a photographer in the UK but took 'time off' to work abroad and do some budget travelling, ending up here. I have been freelance here for the past 9 years.

What made you come to Turkey?
I first came to Turkey with a couple of friends - we were doing the 'backpack' thing around Europe and were running short on funds, so we headed over in this direction as people said it was cheap. They were right and we ended up on a budget of £1.00 per day - that meant we could stay away from the UK for longer! I then returned a few years later as a rep for a large tour operator and have stayed here ever since.

What do you do in your daily life?
Our daily life revolves very much around the seasons - we both work in tourism so it means that summers are very busy and winters are very dull...We try to take trips away during the winter - perhaps the UK or our favourite place in Turkey - Uludag. Luckily I have converted my husband to skiing and my daughter is fast becoming a 'knarly dude'! During the summer we work most days (what's a weekend?) and I often have to stay away, sometimes for two weeks if I am sent abroad for a shoot. But it means we have lots of 'quality time' off season, but no income during that time. Can be difficult....

Family?
My family all live in the UK and occasionally visit during the summer. My husband's family are all in Istanbul, so we get to visit them during the winter usually, or they may visit us here during the summer.

Can you compare your first days here with today?
So many things have changed in Turkey during the last 12 years - difficult to know where to start. Money is one of the things - the rate was 3,500 (not million) when I was first here and I thought that was difficult! Thank goodness the zeros are gone now. Most obvious is the gradually increasing wealth that many people now enjoy and the range of goods available in shops. There are certainly less Şahins around than there used to be....

Has living in Turkey influenced your approach to life?
The influence of living here is a very gradual process and more noticeable when I return to Britain. I think the generosity of Turkish people 'rubs off' somewhat and you tend to help people more, even in just small ways. But being more laid back about life is a definite - even if it's not really your style! I find I have to take a few deep breaths and count to 10....Especially when the plumber or electrician calls - could do with a longer apprenticeship, I think! But a major change has been to my driving skills - thank you Turkey! I cover approximately 30.000 kms during the year and I now drive like a Turk but with more safety features built in - I actually DO use my mirrors and indicate for the correct direction.....I also use my handbrake which I understand they are taught NOT to do here. What's it for then? (sorry - small rant about driving...)

Turkish language?
My Turkish language could certainly do with improvement - I actually had my first lessons last year, but still my daughter puts me to shame! I have learnt a lot from watching kiddies programmes with her and I am able to understand most things and 'get by' in daily life. Give me politics though, and I will be lost. As in most tourist resorts, many people speak English which of course, makes a person lazy to learn.

Let's talk about the region you are living in?
Kuşadası is not the most attractive tourist resort due to unregulated building in the past - many blocks of tall apartments etc. But it does retain some charm because during the winter life goes on here, so it has the feel of a real town as opposed to many other resorts which completely close down. We have the advantage of living just an hour from Izmir so we can enjoy all the things a large city has to offer whilst living in a small town by the sea. Fresh air, sea views, beaches etc. There are also quite a lot of foreigners living in the area so a relatively normal social life is possible.

Have you traveled in Turkey? Tell us your discoveries.
As mentioned, I travel a lot and have seen most of Turkey. The only area not visited so far (I think) is the Black Sea coastline. I am always amazed by the diversity of the country and the people. There are many fantastic places to visit and take photographs of. My saying for living here has to be; ''expect the unexpected''.

What is your preferred characteristic trait of Turks?
The most common and widely spread positive trait of the Turks has to be the tradition of hospitality. I am constantly amazed at the generosity of people who hardly have any possessions of their own, insisting that you share whatever they may have. It's a very good thing to learn for all of us.

What was the annoying one?
The most annoying one - where shall I start! I don't think you want a list.... Possibly, it could be that they think everyone from Europe is rich. Well, we're not and it's all relative anyway.

Turkish Cuisine?
Turkish food is fabulous, depending on the area. For example, a tourist resort such as here is never known for it's great cuisine, especially when visitors just want an English breakfast. But there are some great fish restaurants around and the home cooking of many 'lokantas' is wonderful. I tend to cook European/British food at home while my husband is the expert on a certain few Turkish dishes. I find that a lot of the Turkish food is fiddly and time consuming to prepare so I don't often get to grips with it. Yummy though!

Any suggestion to new comers to Turkey?
For newcomers - don't believe everything you are told and keep an open mind.. Turks are very honourable people but when money is involved, things can change. Use common sense and do a little research into anything you are not sure about. Bring some smokey bacon too!

Any suggestion to people planning to visit your region?
For visitors to this region; of course the place not to miss is Ephesus. I gap there every year for a few photos (May is best) and it changes all the time with the constant excavations. The 'village' houses are extra to the entrance fee but well worth it (no photography inside). Nearby is the Church of St Mary and the Cave of the Seven Sleepers as well as the Basilica of St John. In the mountains behind Selcuk is the village of Şirince - and old Greek village and a bit 'touristy' now, but very pretty and famed for it's wine. Visit one of the tasting houses.....To the south of Kuşadası is the national park - full of wildlife and with the best beaches around. Take a picnic as tables under the trees are provided and fill up water bottles - pure mountain water from the taps.




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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Bahar's Views on...
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From Members' Pen
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