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Vic801

Life Has Its Ups And Downs!

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I've just read the first entry of this topic and Wow, that's a super-extreme decision to move to Turkey. I'm very curios about your experiences in Turkey (I think you have visited Turkey before you made the decision) and I'll read all of the entries in this topic when I have more time.

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Welcome to the forum.

I'm sure you will enjoy Vic's saga, but as you said, it will take time to read it all.

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Vic - I know that your story is a few years old now, but I just stumbled across it and what a fascinating read.  I say that not just as a casual reader, but as someone who is seriously looking at doing business in Cappadocia.

 

I first arrived in Cappadocia mid-2014 after spending 7 weeks travelling in Turkey.  I loved it so much that I came back 2 months later for another 4-5 months, helping out at a hotel in exchange for accom.  I had been travelling for over a year so it was nice to settle down somewhere for awhile and I really fell in love with Cappadocia, the scenery and the people.   I worked in IT for many years, couldn't face the prospect of going back, so spending time with other travellers, talking travel and things to do in Cappadocia - what could be better!

 

After a few months there I started having discussions with a few local friends about business opportunities (hotel partnerships, etc).   I found it interesting to observe how much in demand I was, as and English speaker!  But I had also heard the horror stories of getting mixed up in business with Turks - and in spite of my "gut feel" that I was dealing with honest people - I also knew that I really didn't know any of them well.  (How could I after such a short period of time?).  At one point, I was considering selling up my home back in my home country, buying a pile of "rubble" and turning it into something amazing (in partnership with a friend).  However, I am a bit conservative my nature - and do tend to learn from the mistakes made by others - and decided to walk away from these opps for now.  

 

I was, however, presented with an offer from the hotel where I worked that appears to be low risk if worst case happens. This offer is to go into partnership to manage their new hotel opening mid 2015,   They have graciously offered a one year contract initially with a reasonably low entry feee, so this gives me time to suss out how it goes, whether I do in fact enjoy living in Cappadocia.  And as they already run a successful hotel, I know that I will get the help and support to manage the new one.

 

So.. at this stage, I have plans to come back to Cappadocia in March - and the hotel will open in May.  That will give me time to check out the new hotel (it's being built/renovated now), sort out a contract (with lawyer) and a working permit (am trying to do things legally!)

 

Your story has been an inspiration - and a solid reminder to me that I am probably taking the best approach for myself.  I am only risking the money that I am prepared to lose, I will get time to learn the ropes of the hotel business, learn the Turkish language (already in progress) and most importantly, build up a solid network of friends and to better learn "how things are done" in Turkey.

 

I would love to come say hello in person when I arrive back in Cappadocia and learn more about your experiences over a cup of cay, coffee raki or red wine!.  :-)

 

Thanks again for sharing your story. 

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I don't know many people on here still remember the ups and downs saga and how we got fired from  a job in the carpet place that at least one of us, Mr P,was doing very well, but we finally found out why we were fired although  he/we were doing so well. Anyone interested? 

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So on our last night in Cappadocia, Mr P went out with friends and met Semih and asked him why we had been fired from the caret emporium. And found out the true reason. Nothing to do with work permits, we know Japanese people who have been working in Cappadocia without a work permit for 10 to 15 years.

No, it was purely a question of jealousy. A couple of weeks after we arrived, a girl came back from her holidays. Bottle blonde, very tight jeans, she was obviously used to being the centre of attention in a men's world where there were only 2 other women carpet sellers. And one of them was me. And when she walked in expecting a huge welcome upon her triumphant return, she was not pleased to see all the men in a circle around us,teaching us words and techniques and they virtually ignored her. She was a French seller although her French was cringe-worthy and she always used to push in front of me to get in the room first.

The final straw was when Semih went to see the boss and said we had potential and that he'd like to give us further training so that we could start doing the presentations and the boss agreed. And she heard of this and threw a hissy fit, wailing that she had been promised that she would be the only French-speaking woman and kicked up such a fuss that the bosses being typical Turkish men preferred to avoid any confrontation and asked us to leave. 

So I am glad we got to the bottom of that mystery because I've always wondered why.

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Amazing. You were fired for that? Yet somehow it doesn't surprise me now that the backstory has come to light.

You said "our last night in Cappadocia." So you are no longer living in Cappadocia?

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I always knew it would be something trivial.

Now we have moved to the Republic of Cyprus. Too many friends in prison, night-time arrests, denouncing your neighbour and general climate of fear and suspicion in the Anatolian heartland.

We have 8 eventful and fulfilling years but the post-coup New Turkey is not the same (to live in) as the one we fell in love with in 2007/2008 and it is time to move on.

 

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The few tourists in Cappadocia at the moment will probably not notice anything. It is only when you live in a residential neighbourhood that you notice that nobody is sitting outside in the evenings as they usually do, everyone has moved inside and closed the windows so only the murmur of hushed conversations filter through. In Urgup non-alcoholic restaurants now outnumber the ones serving alcohol and the bars are mainly empty - people now drink at home behind closed doors. 

Our muhtar told us he was being paid for the number of "terrorists" he informed on and let us know slyly that he would not include us on the list if we made it worth his while. We told him we would need some time to get that sort of money together; we left 3 days later. 

Rural disputes used to be settled by shooting your neighbour's dog or poisoning his sheep, now it is even easier with a free hotline number to denounce your neighbour as a terrorist. 

Doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers - all being arrested every day (and night). Nevşehir prison is now full, they are being detained in sports halls and closed Gülen schools. We have no news of some friends, we don't know if they are in hiding or have been arrested. 

One of our friends is in prison for a tasteless joke on Facebook about RTE and the AKP, he has been detained in solitary confinement since July and no date for a trial yet. His lawyer says he is likely to get 4 years at best. 

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