What an expatriate has to say about Turkey

I arrived in the Izmir region in 2000, when I had a 5-month seasonal job in tourism. In 2002, thanks to my network, I was offered a permanent contract in another sector. I wanted to move toTurkey , so I jumped at the chance!


The main difficulty is the language. When you don’t speak Turkish, it’s hard to find an apartment, understand the classified ads in the newspapers, know where to pay the bills, install the cable, shop at the corner store, etc. Fortunately, Turks are rather warm and hospitable. When they help, they often do so from the heart, expecting nothing in return. I also had a hard time getting my work permit, it’s long, they ask for a lot of money, receipts, papers, and the long hours of waiting are part of the package! To be repeated every year…

I love the warmth and hospitality that most Turks radiate. The daily change of scenery, the cuisine, the beauty and diversity of the landscapes, the cheap stuff, Istanbul.

I hate it… Not much, to be honest, apart from the noise of the horns which are constantly sounding, the dangerous driving of the cab drivers, the smokers who are in large numbers and who can smoke anywhere! I don’t like the Turks’ changes of mind/plans either. They’re not as “square” as us Europeans. They make plans for the following weekend, cancel them, then go back on their decisions.

Marie-France Gilles

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