Australian Expat In Turkey – On Doing Business, Making Friends and Enjoying Turkey
Brianna is an Australian expat woman and entrepreneur living in Turkey. She came to Turkey three years ago and in this interview, she shares how it is to be a foreign woman in Turkey for her.
Here is what she says about herself:
I’m originally from Perth in Western Australia and have a background in fashion, textiles and retail merchandising. I have recently started a small online business selling homewares that are sourced during my travels and daily life throughout Turkey. You can learn more about the business by visiting www.turktome.com, Facebook, and Instagram.
I am also a first time mum to a beautiful baby boy who keeps me busy and fills me with smiles and laughter. Along with my husband and our energetic pooch, we have recently moved to Turkey’s Aegean coast to the town or Urla in Izmir, where we will continue our Turkish adventure, but this time living a more Mediterranean lifestyle.
How did you discover Turkey? What made you decide to come and live here?
I discovered Turkey through my husband due to his job. He got offered a contract so we decided to make the move from Australia.
You have your own business Turk To Me. Can you tell us more about it?
After spending some time studying Turkish I finally felt ready to start something for myself. As my enthusiasm and passion for traditional Turkish homewares grew I decided to create a small website selling rugs, ceramics and towels to the Australian market, basically as a way of sharing with others what I was lucky enough to be surrounded by on a daily basis here in Turkey.
The business quickly evolved and the interest has directed towards the private sourcing side of things and selling via Instagram. Clients either send me a photo of the space in their home they wish to decorate or an image of an item they are searching for. I then use the relationships I have built with suppliers all over Turkey through living and regular travel, to source the pieces the client is wanting. A personal shopper if you will! The real joy for me comes when I receive that photo of the items in the clients’ house and seeing it as a part of their everyday life.
What was your biggest struggle in doing business in Turkey?
The biggest struggle, in the beginning, was the language barrier. I am now at a stage where I can converse with all of my suppliers but of course, I still don’t consider myself as a fluent Turkish speaker so I continue to learn new things every day!
Do you have some tips on moving to Turkey? How to deal with cultural differences, what to expect when moving to Turkey?
What you enjoy least about Turkey?
Was it easy to make friends?
What would be your advice to other expats in Turkey on how they can meet people and do that with a baby in a tow?
Do you feel safe in Turkey?
Do you feel accepted by Turkish people?
When you compare the cost of living in Turkey with Australia, are the prices higher or not? Cost of living in Turkey in general, is it expensive or not?
For me personally, the cost of living in Turkey is significantly lower than that of Australia, so when I first arrived in Turkey something as simple as going to the supermarket was quite an exciting experience when it came to paying the bill! In general, I would have to say food and utilities differ the most between Turkey and Australia.
Do you want to share with us some interesting story about Turkish culture, something that gave you big surprise?
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