The purpose of my blog is to create more awareness of the characteristics of Turkey which make it so unique from the rest of the world.
In 2009, my company RGS Group joined Euroliance, the federation of European facilities services companies. Euroliance’s first international conference that I attended was held in Amsterdam. I was greeted warmly by the other delegates and they were clearly delighted to have a representative from Turkey. At the end of the conference, the agenda required that the venue for next year’s conference be decided. As soon as the subject was raised, hands went up proposing Turkey. No alternative was put forward and all eyes were on me to see if I would accept. I was surprised but was happy to host the next conference. My positive response created an air of excitement in the room.
Most Europeans have had at least one family holiday or business trip to Turkey. They have all had a taste of Turkey and are hungry for more. I often wonder what it is which makes Turkey such an attractive destination. For Europeans, Turkey is an exotic country because of its geographical location, beauty, Eastern mistique, and wealth of history. However, it is also a country where Europeans can relax and be comfortable. They can relate to the Turks with whom they share many common attributes. Indeed, Turkey’s origins may have been in the East, but its soul and mind are now much closer to Europe. In short, Europeans can bask in Turkey’s exotic past without them feeling in danger or out of their depth.
It is my aim in this blog to capture and share with you the excitement and uniqueness of Turkey and its people. I want to create such an atmosphere that you will feel that you are also living here with me. I have been resident in Turkey now for over 35 years and though I have adopted many of the Turks’ perspectives, expectations and behavioural traits, I am still able to remove myself and take an objective look as an outsider.
Though there will be references in my blogs to my personal experiences, each blog entry will be based on a social event or aspect of Turkey which I can relate to the rest of the world. Turkey is a beautiful country and the Turks are a wonderful people. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule in every country. However, I believe that as you get to know the Turks better, you will see them as I do; warm, considerate, open and full of life.