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An Expat Talks about Living in Istanbul, Turkey

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Istanbul

How long have you lived there?

18 years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

Istanbul is a great expat post in many ways - it has the diversity of an active cosmopolitan city but also has a very nice group of expat population. There are associations here such as IWI (Intl. Women of Istanbul), AWI(American women), French group, Latino group, Die Brucke (Germans), Italian group and many others.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

The city is definitely very diverse, people from all backgrounds and also different religions. In general, the Turkish people are very open and kind to foreigners and guests and even if language may be sometimes a hindrance they will go out of their way to help a mom with kids for example.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Turkey is big in textile production so this is a good field. IT sector is also growing. As the population is young and dynamic fast consumer good indsutries are growing as well. Most people would find jobs through newspapers, employment websites and employment agencies. Word of mouth is also widely used, people ask each other.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

The husbands lives of course revolve around work and golf as in all expat posts. There are some very good private clubs for all sports. The wives socialize a lot, are active in sports and many charity activities organized by the various associations. School events are also a good way to meet new people.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

They should be open minded and as in every city, this city also has advantages and disadvantages, however if you have a positive outlook and are into finding out about new cultures its a jewel. Great history, lots to see, ethnic food, safe, rich night life, lots of traffic, difficult language and some chaos. Last but not least: The beautiful Bosphorus.

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