Photo from: XPat Nation
In a world full of turmoil and constant negativity, it can be hard to remember that we are all still human. Thanks to my new friend, I was reminded of this. Here is what she had to say about growing up in Turkey…
KC: What is the hardest part about living in the US?
CC: The hardest part about living in the US is being so far away from family with very little opportunity to go for a visit.
KC: What do you miss most about home?
CC: I miss the food. I am a terrible cook and the Turkish or Greek restaurants I have tried [here] don’t offer the variety, and don’t taste nearly as good as it should.
KC: What is the biggest misconception about Turkey?
CC: Turkey is a Muslim country and suffers from the same prejudices people have against all countries where Islam is the dominant religion.
KC: What is one thing you wish people knew about Turkey?
CC: One thing I wish people knew more about Turkey is the status of women. Turkey has a very strong secular tradition and that has benefited women in terms of getting access to education and having voting and civil rights. But the party in power for the last 15 years is staunchly religious and when I read in the news that violence against women is at an all time high, it saddens me…
KC: What stereotypes have you encountered about Turkey?
CC: I am not sure I have encountered any stereotypes about Turkey. When I mention that I grew up in Turkey, people either have been there for tourism or have no particular idea but seem open to learn more about it.
KC: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned living in the US?
CC: The biggest lesson I have learned in the US is that the threat of climate change is real, and we should do something about it. I was living in Louisiana when hurricane Katrina hit, and even though I was not personally affected, I witnessed the chaos and the human suffering in the aftermath that could have been avoided if there was a better disaster management plan. It was definitely an eye opener for me.
KC: How has this experience changed your perspective on the world?
CC: It made me want to learn more about climate change and to get engaged in raising awareness about it. While I am still deeply concerned about the world we’re leaving behind to our children, I also have hope that as a country we will find the necessary resilience and ingenuity to rise up to the challenge.