Nilgün from Suadiye
Thanks to Nilgün Güresin for sharing her views with mymerhaba members.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in İstanbul; graduated from Robert College, a renown American institution dating back to the 19th century. I studied marketing communications and public relations in Canada at the University of Toronto. I believe I was the fist Turkish female undergraduate.I lived 6 years in Canada.
What made you come to Turkey?
I am Turkish, so I will have to ask this question differently: What made me live in Europe? Well, after having completed my university education in Toronto, I came back to İstanbul and started working first for Eczacıbaşı Holding and then for Goodyear Tire Co. as their Public Affairs Manager. I met my Dutch husband during a business luncheon at the İstanbul Hilton; we got married. Meanwhile I established my own company in public relations and events organizing. However, as he was an expatriate, we were transferred to Holland. That was the beginning of my life as an expatriate. Having experienced that made me go into the Expat Relocation and Coaching Sector which I did for several years in Amsterdam, Holland and then in Paris, France, where I lived and worked for 6 years. Moreover, I did train expats, diplomats and their spouses who were moving to live and/or work in Turkey.
What do you do in your daily life?
I returned to İstanbul in 2006. I have 2 jobs. I am working as free-lance journalist where I interview interesting people for the exclusive portal called Teksatır. I am also a Career Coach representing an American company.
Married to a wonderful man who teaches at the university.
Can you compare your first days here with today?
I should do that comparison for Europe, where I lived for a total of 18 years. In fact I lived 22 years abroad! As I was a career woman, in the beginning it was not so easy to live in Europe because I did not have a job. But I believe in "carrying your career in your suitcase" and I did just that. I learned the language and created my own job, and network.
Has living abroad influenced your approach to life?
Living in Canada and then in Europe has definitely influenced my outlook to life. I have become much more realistic and learned to view things in perspective. I have come to analyze my own country better, too, günahıyla, sevabıyla...
I think anyone having to live abroad should try to learn the language of the "host" country asap. That is the first step to communications and building a bridge of understanding.
Let's talk about the region you are living in?
In İstanbul I chose to live on the Anatolian side as after having lived in the green of Europe, the European side of İstanbul did not attract me at all. Unfortunately over the years, it has become too concrete.
Have you traveled in Turkey? Tell us your discoveries
At Goodyear I was responsible for the Dealer Magazine which gave me the opportunity to discover my own country. I went up to Nemrut Mountain already in the late '80s, when noone even dared. As for traveling in Europe, I've done that extensively as well.
What is your preferred characteristic trait of Turks?
When you have a problem, there is always someone to listen. However I must say I've had similar experiences in Holland.
What was the annoying one?
I think Turkişh people have become too selfish; that you can easily see in the way they drive.
One of my favorite cuisines, next to Thai and French.
Any suggestion to new comers to Turkey?
Learn the language; do not compare with back home; network with locals who have had similar experiences.
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