Yana’s Ankara

Moving to a new country is not something new for me. This is also not the first experience of life in Turkey for me. What do I expect from Ankara and why did I decide to return to Turkey?

Having left my home at the age of 17, I found freedom, I wasn’t tied to the place. I lost my roots and began to move, meet people and explore unfamiliar countries.


Fortunately, I learned about Erasmus during my student years. I could not sit in one place and wanted to try life in another country. I chose Bulgaria, or rather its capital- Sofia, where I stayed for 6 months, which changed my life. Being on a student exchange in Bulgaria, I was invited to a training course in Turkey, Eskisehir. That’s when the first acquaintance happened.

Training course in Eskisehir, November 2018

Sweets, unlike anything else, spicy food, extensive bazaars and bustle on the streets – all this was pleasant to me and brought enjoyment. I met a lot of good people on my way, having spent only 2 weeks in Turkey. I fell in love with the hospitality and cordiality of the Turkish people.

I couldn’t just not go back, and luck turned to face me – I found a short – term EVS project in a small town of Turkey-Karaman. In fact, it is not so small, comparing the standards of our usual towns. This city has about 150 thousand inhabitants.

I attended Primary and Middle schools, helped a wonderful English teacher to conduct classes, tried to tie the children’s love to learn English, and I learned a lot about myself while working with children.

Here we are 😉 Children of Karaman Middle School and me

Now I live in a big city, in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Comparing to Karaman – of course, there are much more opportunities, interesting things, more people (about 7 million). Last year I came to Ankara for three days. It was warm September with sunny days and rainy evenings. At that time, I could not even imagine that in a couple of months every day I will go by the famous Koсatepe, and the street where I found a ring with the symbols of the Turkish flag is parallel to the street where I work now.

September 2018, Ankara Castle

The project lasted 2 months and it was enough for life in Karaman. But not enough for life in Turkey. The culture of this country and its people impressed me, so I started looking for new opportunities to come back here. And I found.

But do I like it here?

I don’t know yet. Ankara is quite strange built- you either go down or up-the other is not given. Especially it’s terrible here during the rains: all the so-called “streets” turn into waterfalls, rain creates rivers, flooding any paths and drifts, and you’re just trying to jump, fly over all the dangerous areas, trying not to get your feet wet and not get under the car in this crazy movement.

It’s difficult for me to live in a city where there are no rivers or lakes and especially the sea (excluding rainy days). Near the sea I feel free. Maybe that’s why I’m not 200% comfortable here.

I really like the surrounding people, always ready to help and share the last piece. Relaxed and cosy atmosphere, the aroma of tea and coffee from the kitchen in the office, watching movies together on Saturday evenings, crispy popcorn and soda. I really like the idea of the project and I have a lot to learn here.

I am very grateful that now the sun is shining outside the window and the birds are singing, as if spring has come. I am very grateful for the chance to be here and participate in this project, to write this post in a comfortable chair in a cosy office. Do they say the truth that the important thing is not where but with whom?

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