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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....

Steve from Tarabya

 Untitled Document

Tell us about yourself?
I am 33 and from the UK but no one place in particular. I traveled around a lot and worked in Israel, Canada, Romania and England. I used to work in casinos until I ended up in 50 st James casino in central London, which had the richest and most famous gamblers in the world like the queen of Brunei and the Kuwaiti royal family. I hated London and got fed up paying extorunate council tax, parking tickets and not being able to get a decent kebab. My neighbors were dodgy too. I decided to sell up and move here permanently.

What made you come to Turkey?
It was in 1992. I just got a job offer on the luxury liner QE2. I was waiting for it to come back to Southampton so I could join the ship. The ship hit a rock and had to be taken to dry dock for several months. It left me in a situation so the agency that gave me the job rung me up one evening and asked if I could be at the airport in the morning to open a casino in Izmir. I agreed. I was just going to stay a few weeks whilst the cruise ship got repaired, but then I tasted kokoreç (lamb intestines) and I decided to stay.

What do you do in your daily life?
After being in the casino game since 1989 I was bored and left last august to settle again in Turkey where I have started a business (yildizkapisi.com) painting night sky murals on ceilings which being an amateur astronomer was right up my street. We are the first people to do this in Turkey and people just don't believe at first when you explain that the mural is invisible during the day but glows all night. We got the idea whilst traveling in Nevada a couple of years ago. Now I split my time between painting, fishing by the side of the Bosphorus and drinking cappuccino in Starbucks, Metrocity.

Family?
I have been married to my Turkish wife Ayten for 7 yrs whom I met in Istanbul back in 1996.

Has living in Turkey influenced your approach to life?
I surprisingly seem to curse more whilst driving on the streets here in Istanbul

Turkish language?
In my first few months a learned a few basics but never really tried then when I was living in Fethiye a young lady moved in with me who couldn't speak English and for the next few months I learned very quickly. I still find a few words a bit of a mouthful but get by perfectly well. In fact I haven't spoken English since last summer and sometimes wonder if I will start forgetting it like I forgot welsh when I was younger.

Let's talk about the region you are living in?
I live in a house in Tarabya, which is a very green suburb of Istanbul on the European side of Istanbul straddling the Bosphorus. It is where my wife was born and raised. It is a great place to go fishing or walking along the sea. Occasionally you can see dolphins swimming and local celebs taking walks. Tarabya also has plenty of taverna's and was nicknamed 'arabya tarabya' has it hosted Arab tourists during the summer but they have gone now as Tarabya hotel has been closed and is in the middle of renovation.

Have you traveled in Turkey? Tell us your discoveries?
I worked in the casinos so I was transferred a lot. I have lived and worked in Izmir, Fethiye, Side, Bursa, Bodrum (3 yrs), Marmaris and Istanbul. Every place has its own magic apart from maybe Fethiye which I didn't really enjoy. Bodrum and Marmaris are great in the winter as you get to meet everyone as they all have free time with being off-season. Izmir is great for young single men. Kuşadası I try to avoid. I spent a summer taking tourists on tours and Kuşadası always seem to have constant building work and drowning in tourists. In 1999 I went to my father-in-laws' village near Zara in Sivas province to see the solar eclipse. After the desert of Sinai it was one of the most remote places I have been to and it was great to see how these people worked they're land and lived day by day with no modern comforts. The night sky was something else and one day I hope to build a small sky-watching motel for traveling astronomers. Some will pay good money to be 100 kilometers from the nearest streetlight.

What is your preferred characteristic trait of Turks?
Turkish women are the most beautiful women I have seen in the world. And of course hospitality, friendliness, people have the time to stop and have a chat as you pass them by in the street. The ability to drive and park sensibly ;-). Also the generosity of always letting England win in any football match.

What was the annoying one?
Red tape, bureaucracy, I am surprised I still have hair on my head after some of the things I have had to go through to get certain documents. For example regarding my car I had to government offices on 2 continents. Also cowboys and I don't mean the ones from the westerns. They seem to be in every sector and not just in the traditional building trade. Also the sudden inflation when they find out you are a foreigner but this doesn't happen so much in Istanbul I find. Another thing that annoys me is the undue attention I get when driving my plain old Fiat, I mean I get stares as if it was a Ferrari and then get asked the same old stupid questions. I mean come on what is the big deal with having a steering wheel on the right?

Turkish Cuisine?
My father-in-law happens to be one of the top chef's in Turkey and has cooked for celebs, presidents and George Bush senior but always says they are a bunch of over fussy idiots (to put politely). So I have pretty much tasted everything but my stomach doesn't agree with me sometimes. I do like my iskender kebab and çiğ (raw) köfte washed down with ayran. Also kaymak and honey replaces marmite for my toast.

Any suggestion to new comers to Turkey?
Learn the language and mingle with the locals, you get a far better understanding in the life and customs of the Turks. Also if you don't already know it I would suggest learning backgammon as many enjoyable hours can be spent in kahves or balconies and get to learn a few new words too. If you are a tourist then I would suggest getting away from the beach and bars for one day and go to a nearby town by yourself and see the real Turkish life.

Any suggestion to people planning to visit your region?
Come here for a night out at the many taverna's, walk along the promenade and Don't stare at my car and ask a silly question.




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
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Latest comments about this article

 By Aydin  24.8.2004

Great to here your enjoying your life in Turkey. My dad is from a town not far from your Father in Law called Koyulhisar. I have passed through Zara and had salt from there . (my uncle said that´s where he gets his salt from). I wish I was in Turkey at least a few month of the year, but instead I spend my life in the Canadian Rockies. I wish you all the best! Aydin Odyakmaz www.Aydin.ca

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Interviews with Members
Lisa from Kadıköy
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Adrian from Istanbul
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Aida from Nisantaşı
Aisha from Istanbul
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Carole from Kalkan
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Claudia from Fenerbahce
Cornelia from Florya
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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
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Kathy from Izmit
Kayla from Bostancı
Kenya from Beyoğlu
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