Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wonderful as itself

The Bosphorus
Originally uploaded by amsterboy.
I am once again in Istanbul. The governing bodies of my employer are meeting here which is why I was also flown in to present plans for the coming years. I could not be more excited as I have really fallen in love with this city and its people during the last 1,5 years. This time the stay is more or less three days which is wonderful. In a minute I should head out to have dinner with my great Turkish friends.

By coincidence I watched yesterday a reportage my good friend made for the Finnish TV on Istanbul last September when we both took part in a pop culture journalism workshop here. I could not be more proud of how she grasped the city through interviews with two young Istanbullers.

In the interviews they say wonderful things that I think should be shared and commented:

"We don't wake up every morning thinking about the European Union."
- this country is magnificent as itself and filled with people who strive for freedom and equality. The EU accession prospect might have speeded up some things but the modernisation agenda comes from within.

"I have friends all over the world but the Turkish friendships are somehow deeper."
- the way people get close with you here is something even I have not experienced elsewhere. It's real and sincere from the first moment on. And people take the time to share and to listen.

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