Meet Kateryna, who started her own business from scratch in Turkey

The latest in our local business interview series is Kateryna, who moved from her home in Ukraine to be with her Turkish husband. She built a business which uses her knowledge of the Russian market to connect local Turkish manufacturers with new customers, and here she tells us how she did it.

Kateryna, tell us a bit about yourself

I am from Kiev, I moved to Turkey three years ago. I married a Turkish man and I am a journalist.

When I moved to Bursa, where I live with my husband, I started to think about what I could do. I knew that to continue with my profession, I had to learn the language very well – and that it would have taken time to achieve fluency.


June 13, 2013 Comments disabled

Meet Sevcan, working mum and organic pioneer

This interview is the first in a new series on People of the World where we’ll meet locals from all over the world who run small businesses. Hope you enjoy it! If you know a small, local business you think we should profile then please write to us!

Today we’re meeting Sevcan, who was born in the UK but has lived in Turkey since the age of 13. She’s a mother of two who runs a natural cosmetics company together with her husband, using her cross-cultural savvy to bring new products to the Turkish market.

What is your business?

Our company’s name is Burmino, our aim is to bring certified, high quality, eco friendly products, to improve the quality of our lives and the world we live in. We are the exclusive distributor for Skin Blossom UK who are a skin care company who make safe, affordable, effective organic skin and hair care, because we believe everyone is entitled to healthy, beautiful skin.

February 28, 2013 1 comment

Picture Postcards: A doorway in Turkey

Today’s doorway was sent in by our Managing Editor, Lucy, who says, “It’s the women’s entrance to an old hammam in Bursa. ” A Hamman is a traditional Turkish bath house.

Read more:

More About Lucy
A Carpet Shop in an Old Ottoman House
Inside a Turkish Silk Workshop

December 24, 2012 Comments disabled

Postcards from Istanbul blog

Adrian moved to Istanbul three years ago and has been fascinated by this captivating city ever since.

Turkish bazaar (photo: Postcards from Istanbul)

In her blog, Postcards from Istanbul, Adrian writes about the setbacks of living in Istanbul as an expat and about its envy-inducing side, like her commute across the Bosphorus and its wonderful sunset. It would brighten anyone’s day! In a post titled Turkish traits of my own, Adrian describes how local culture has changed her and she has adopted local habits. Adrian got married in Istanbul and she describes the different traditions in great detail, like their engagement celebration, during which a piece of cake mysteriously found its way to the groom’s face.

Postcards from Istanbul is chockablock with advice for travellers, from essential Istanbul experiences to street food  to neighbourhoods and places to see. It provides a wealth of information about this fascinating city and an insight into expat life. I had the chance to ask Adrian a few questions about herself:

What made you decide to move to Turkey?

During college, I spent one semester studying in London. Every day was a new adventure. I had friends from all over the world and I travelled on a regular basis. The moment I returned to US soil, I felt inhibited and yearned to return to life in a global city. As I approached my college graduation, I was full of wanderlust…I also found myself head over heels for a wonderful Turkish man whom I met in New York City. I purchased a one-way ticket to Istanbul determined to act on my wanderlust and follow my heart. I came with the intention to live in Turkey for a year. Three years later I am still here…and we are now married;)

How easy, or difficult,did you find the transition?

My first months in Istanbul were a roller coaster ride. Daily successes became simple purchases or bus trips that would be non-events in my life at home. I learned to accept bird noises as apartment door bells. I struggled to find a network of interesting and curious adventurers in order to have a community of my own. I had to learn how to cook the foods I missed the most from home.

Istanbul is a city of 13 million. Life is stressful and chaotic, but also lively and full of opportunities. There is something for everyone in Istanbul, however I learned it takes some time to find it. After two years, I found a community of Turkish coworkers and expat friends. I have a niche. I have learned to embrace what makes me unique here, while also adopting the very best Turkish culture and Istanbul have to offer. It was a difficult albeit exciting transition!

Why did you decide to start your blog?

I started my blog, Postcards from Istanbul because I craved a way to document my experiences and share them with friends and family. Additionally, after two years of teaching I craved a creative outlet and the opportunity to enhance my writing abilities. It has also proven to be a wonderful excuse to learn about Istanbul and Turkey, and connect with other ex-pats.


Read more

Suzanne et Pierre à Paris blog

Rewired and Retired in Nicaragua blog

Map It! Okinawa blog

November 13, 2012 Comments disabled

Inside a Turkish silk workshop

It was a hot day in June when we visited Ipek Evi’s (the name means ‘silk house’) silk workshop. Down in the town the heat was heavy and stifling, but the atelier, halfway up the road towards Mount Uludag, was cool and airy. The main part of the workshop is filled with table-height frames where silk scarves are stretched. About half a dozen women and teenagers were dotted around the room painting the scarves: dye-soaked sponges for large swathes of colour, paintbrushes for the finer work. The atmosphere was calm and relaxed.

A colourful batik scarf in Ipek Evi's workshop

The founders of Ipek Evi are husband and wife Turgay and Aysel. Turgay, son of a Turkish father and German mother, lived in Germany until he was 18. Upon moving to Turkey he had the idea of opening a silk workshop. Bursa was historically a big centre for silk and this kind of enterprise was common, but these days Ipek Evi is the only remaining producer of hand painted silk in Bursa.


October 12, 2012 1 comment

A carpet shop in an old Ottoman house

Taner Sağıroğlu sits in the office of the wooden, historic Ottoman building which houses his carpet shop. Outside there’s a tranquil, vine-covered courtyard decorated with painted tiles from nearby Iznik, but winter arrived early this year and in mid-October it’s already too cold for sitting outside. The floor of the room has a warped hump rolling across it; one wall is covered in wood panelling, doors concealing handy-looking cupboards in the wall.

Inside the historic wooden building which houses Anadolu Kilim

Taner set up shop here in 1985, after ten years living in Italy, during which time he acquired a fluent Italian with a slight Neapolitan accent.

“This isn’t a big business”, says Taner. “I don’t deal through middlemen or wholesalers. That’s a great advantage because it means I know where each carpet comes from – I buy it off the original owner.”


October 5, 2012 Comments disabled