For many people living in a place that is 99% Muslim, in a city of over 15 million people with Syria on your border and 2 million refugees pouring into your country – this would be well outside your comfort zone. For Leonard Durso it’s just another experience of life in Turkey.
After becoming dissatisfied with life in Academia (see Claudia Tavani interview) Leonard moved permanently to Turkey in 2010 and has come to love the people, the lifestyle and the affordability of the country known as the crossroads between Europe and Asia. In this fascinating interview he shares his experiences of Turkish hospitality, the affordability of his adopted home, and why he isn’t troubled by the recent events in his neighboring countries.
You can find out more about Leonards life at his blog http://leonarddurso.com
What I learned from speaking with Leonard:
- Istanbul ranks higher on the affordability scale especially if living on the Asian side. Leonard has a 3 bedroom 150 sqm apartment with views of the Bosphorus for around $US600 per month – a snip compared to what the same would cost him back home
- Despite the proximity of unrest in neighboring Syria and the large number of refugees entering the country Leonard feels safe and at home. The people have been courteous and welcoming to him which has only served to raise the already high opinion he has of Turkish people before he moved
- Being an expat has enabled to understand what it’s like to be the “ other” – the minority in a majority country. It is a unique perspective that we should all learn to experience at some stage
- Leonard’ s experiences only serves to underline a common theme that comes through with many of the people we interview. That the view of the world that the media portrays doesn’t necessarily represent the truth and that we are guilty of grossly over generalizing about groups in society who are really no different in their wants, needs and priorities than we are.