Catalans Abroad

Jordi Garcia

Istanbul (Turkey)

Between Europe and Asia Some suggestions

Can you recommend a place to have lunch with friends?
–I'd suggest the Azzur restaurant, in the Mövenpick hotel. The fish is fresh and superbly prepared. Mediterranean cuisine, Turkish style; you won't regret it.
When is the best time of year to plan a visit?
–Any time. Istanbul is a great city with a huge history. There is always something old or new to discover.
What is the best kept secret about the area?
–After visiting all the ordinary places you should visit as a tourist (don't miss Hagia Sophia), go and visit the region around Istanbul, Marmara. It is a wonderful area, full of history and with a marvellous gastronomy.

Jordi Garcia He arrived in Istanbul four years ago, looking for new experiences after many years in a boring job in a cubicle. He is in love with the city and its people.

Why did you leave Catalonia?
–I spent more than a decade locked in a boring job in a boring office in Barcelona. One day I decided that I wanted to travel and see other places and meet different people. So, I quit my job, packed my bag and moved on.
Why did you choose Turkey?
–I tried London and Paris at first, but I couldn-t find a decent job there. Then I decided to push for a bigger change, and I came here to Istanbul to find a job in the tourism industry. Since I can speak four languages, it was quite easy to find a job here.
How long have you lived there?
–I've been living in Istanbul since 2009.
Are you happy with the job opportunities you found in your adopted country?
–Well, Turkey is not an easy country to work and live in, but I am quite happy with my personal experience. If you work hard you will find good opportunities to improve and grow in your career.
What do you think is the best thing about living there?
–If you are open minded, you will find that people here are fantastic. It wasn't easy at first, but now I have great friends here.
What would you most like to change?
–Bureaucracy. Any relationship with the administration is a nightmare in Turkey.
What characterises your neighbourhood?
–I live in Levent, one of the main business districts in Istanbul , with a skyline that you wouldn't expect in an ancient city like Istanbul. It is on the European side of the city and it is very modern and full of life.
Do you plan to go back to Catalonia?
–I don't think so. I feel at home in Istanbul now.
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