Business in Turkey

One Language One Person by Ela Erozan Gursel

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One Language One PersonI am a firm believer in the saying ‘one language one person.’ I believe that people should learn foreign languages in order to understand the world. Learning a language means more than being able to communicate with a foreigner, it lets you enter a new world of tradition, culture, history, rituals, business and logics. So many things are engrained in the language uniquely coded to the particular culture that not even the best interpreter can translate fully.

The most important decision a Turkish family has to make right upon their child’s graduating primary school is to determine which school he will be enrolled. First and financially binding decision is to choose an Anatolian or private high school. Then what language should he be learning?

Are we alone together? by Ela Erozan Gursel

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alone-crowdHave you ever felt alone in the middle of the crowd? We all do from time to time but in this age of technology this feeling becomes more dominant in our daily life.

We replace our friends with our computer and mobile phone, social venues with Facebook and Twitter. We cannot help texting friends and colleagues during meetings. Parents don’t give their full attention to their kids as they can’t give a break on their texting and emailing during breakfast or dinner. A group of friends hang out in a café with iPhones and iPads in their hands. Although we are physically together, our minds are in different places. In other words, just as MIT Professor Sherry Turkle puts it; ‘we are all alone together.’

Animated news by the Taiwanese by Ela Erozan Gursel

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obamaCommunication channels are shifting towards the internet in an innovative way. If you upload videos, podcast or tweet news in English with some humor, you could become the next hit online. Of course, if you combine your angle on the news with your creative talent, your voice could be heard globally. 

A Real Life Utopia: Baksı Museum By Ela Erozan Gursel

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baksiAn ultra modern building that could have belonged to another galaxy stands in the arid plains of northeastern Anatolia near Bayburt, a traditional town in the Black Sea region. The 4 juxtaposed buildings in different length are in the shape of cylinders buried in the ground. For some reason, as I first look at their pictures, they reminded me of submarines! This striking architecture becomes more inspiring once one visits the galleries. Baksı Museum is designed on surprising contrasts: you can walk through a rich collection of contemporary art pieces side by side traditional handicrafts.

Could Soap Operas Make Turkey a World Brand? by Ela Erozan Gursel

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soapoperasMy generation, born in the late 70s and early 80s, has grown up with daily Brazilian soap operas. Although they were silly stories of love, intrigue and revenge, I remember watching them for a few minutes before starting to study after school. At the time of no internet or social network, it was soothing to watch a simple story not to think what happened during classes or what I have as homework that night.

Tea as a Means of Dialogue by Ela Erozan Gursel

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teaHave you ever thought of the significance of tea? The simplest pleasure we enjoy all day long as Turks or expats living in Turkey. The stimulant that opens our eyes to start the day fresh. The soothing drink that accompanies us while chatting with friends. Turkish tea is different than 5 o’clock tea in England or elaborate tea ceremony in Japan. It is less complicated pretty straight forward. This simple nature of tea reflects the Turkish way of life according to the American author Katherine Branning. During the presentation of her book, “Yes, I Would Love Another Glass of Tea,” Branning explains how Turkish tea is drunk:

International Women of Istanbul by Ela Erozan Gürsel

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International Women of IstanbulMost of us become more active when we visit a new place as a tourist or live in a foreign country. We want to understand the new culture, meet new people, taste different dishes, listen to different music and languages. For these reasons, we see more expatriates' involvement in social causes in non-profit organizations.

The International Women of Istanbul (IWI) is such a social organization that gathers international women who volunteer their time and talents to foster relationships with one another. It may sound weird to feel lonely in a city with 12 million residents but it is quite common to feel lost in a huge crowd especially if you're new to the Turkish culture.

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