An expat’s story about Turkey

I arrived in 2000 in the izmir region, i had a seasonal work of 5 months in tourism. In 2002, I had a proposal (thanks to my network) for a long-term contract in another sector of activity. I wanted tosettle in Turkey so I took the opportunity!

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The main difficulty is the language. When you don’t speak Turkish, it’s hard to look for an apartment, understand the classifieds in the newspapers, know where to pay the bills, install the cable, shop at the local grocer, etc. Fortunately the Turks are rather warm and hospitable. When they help they often do so with the heart and expect nothing in return. I also had a hard time getting my work permit, it’s a long time, we ask for a lot of money, proofs, papers, and long hours of waiting are part of the lot! To be renewed every year…

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

I hate… Not much to say, if not the sound of horns that reason all the time, the dangerous driving of taxi drivers, smokers who are in large numbers and who can smoke everywhere! I also don’t like the changes of opinion/plans of the Turks. They are not as “square” as we Europeans. They plan things the next weekend, cancel, and then reconsider their decisions.

Marie-France Gilles

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