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Favorite cities

 
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:25 am    Post subject: Favorite cities Reply with quote

So as I'm happy at my job (great boss, great students, great coworkers), I haven't been reading or posting here, but as I was woken up by an earthquake and can't get back to sleep yet, I figure I ought to take back up the habit.

Since I've got nothing specifically work related, I thought I'd bring up another topic, one that doesn't get discussed much: for those of us who've been around the country, what cities would you most like to work in, with all employer-related issues being equal?

This is my list. (Note that in at least a couple of these cities I'm fairly certain that all the ESL employers present are terrible.)

1. Izmir has all the amenities of home, great food, low cost of living, great public transit, and broad streets that make it easy to breath.

2. Adana is another very Western city (despite being located in the south), the smallest of Turkey's "big" cities. (Antep, the next largest is generally considered mid-sized.) It's slightly prettier and much cleaner than Izmir, and stuff's open later. Drawbacks are that it's very hot and muggy and the summer, and it's a bit more expensive. And while Adana kebap is delicious, there isn't quite the same variety of food as in Izmir. Oh, and the public transit is comparatively bad, though the city center is walkable. (And of course there's no ferries.) It's a much more compact city than similarly-sized and nearby Gaziantep.

3. Kayseri is probably the least conservative of Turkey's famously conservative central Anatolian cities. Also beautiful, walkable, and has great food.

4. Trabzon is possibly the most beautiful city in Turkey, if you look away from the sea (the coastal highway is a serious eyesore). And it's one of the few inhabited cities in Turkey where I could really picture the history happening. On the other hand, it's a small city and not near anything. Also, while there's a great variety of food for a city its size, you can't get it spicy. Even if you order your food with aci biber, you'll get fresh sweet peppers, as I've found at several restaurants there.

5. Sivas is another stunningly beautiful, small city in the middle of nowhere. But I can't overstate how stunningly beautiful it is. Oh, and the food is great, though with less variety than larger cities.

6. Istanbul. I rank Istanbul low because it's way too large, and excessively crowded for my taste, but that said, it's a tremendously cosmopolitan city. If I liked crowds, I'd probably rank it second to Izmir.

7. Samsun is a mixture of old and new, and beautiful and ugly, it's cheap and has a laid-back feel, and the waterfront is far less ruined than in Trabzon.

8. Maraş. The ice cream is a mixed bag (I've had great and terrible ice cream there), but it's a lovely little city, and compared to nearby cities like Antep and Adana, the climate is fantastic.

9. Konya would rank a lot higher if it weren't for the infernally loud mosques, reminding the world that Konya is the Texas of Turkey (the ubiquitous headscarves do that too, but without the noise they'd just be part of the local color). Parts of the city feel like a slice of central Europe transplanted to central Anatolia, others keep the old Seljuk/Ottoman feel. But there's no escaping the earsplitting sound of the megaphones during the call to prayer. After visiting Konya, I resolved never to complain about use of megaphones by mosques elsewhere in Turkey again. But it's so beautiful, and so walkable, and the food is pretty good. Someday I hope Konya will discover (and act on) the notion of noise pollution, but I'm sure that's a long way off. Konya's the city that AKP supporters in Gaziantep call overly conservative.

The remaining cities which I've been to I don't feel I'm familiar with enough to rate are too small to count as "cities" (places like Akhisar and Bergama) or in the case of Ankara, Bursa, Mersin, and Antep, are simply not places I'd live because I want to live in those cities. (I live in Antep now, only because it's the best job offer I got in Turkey. And no, thankfully not at Zirve.)

Anybody else who's been around Turkey much have a list of your own? Or fervent disagreements regarding my take?

Regards,
~Q
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sedaa91



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where are you living now? You said you were woken up by an earthquake so I sort of have a good guess on it Smile
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sedaa91



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should have read the post more clearly Smile. The best place to eat at Antep is imam cagdas Smile
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lucia79



Joined: 18 Jun 2011
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Favorite cities Reply with quote

Qaaolchoura wrote:
Quote:
So as I'm happy at my job (great boss, great students, great coworkers),


Congratulations on getting a job you like and a having a great work environment!


Quote:
1. Izmir has all the amenities of home, great food, low cost of living, great public transit, and broad streets that make it easy to breath
Yes! Smile
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sixthchild



Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 276
Location: East of Eden

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
I would rate Izmir at the top of my list. in fact its the only one. I have visted most of the cities you mentioned and for various reasons decided that living there is not an option. Its all about location,location,location.
Yeah the food and the weather and the people too!
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12162
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Miklagaršr !!!!!!!!!!!

If it was good enough for the Varangian Guard it is good enough for me !


Last edited by scot47 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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cartago



Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 213
Location: Iraq

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never understood the love for Trabzon. To me it looked like a dump. It did have a bit of ramshackle charm to it though, it reminded me of Latin America but without the color or tropical ambience. And the waterfront is of course ruined by the highway.

I think the Lake Van area is the most beautiful I've seen in Turkey but the city itself seemed to me rather unremarkable, the castle is enormous.
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parnett



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 111
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favorite Turkish cities from the 13 years I lived there:
Alanya- beautiful seaside paradise although it's becoming overrun with resorts, lots of foreigners
Mersin- the beginning of one of the most gorgeous drives in the world (to Alanya) along the sea and through the forests and hills, lots of foreigners here also and some good nightspots
Kemer, Bilek, Side- much more satisfying than the city they border (Antalya), another area overrun by resorts
Ankara- I was not interested in the nightlife, and was fortunate to have a nice apartment in the best part of town (where all the embassies are located), great Italian restaurants
I have mixed feelings about Istanbul. I lived in both great apartments (Atasehir) and dumps (Kadikoy, Sirinevler). There are indeed a lot of good things about the city, but I can see where the people, noise, traffic etc. might be disturbing for many.
I loathed Adana. It was brutally hot, boring and ugly. The only redeeming factor was the casino which closed many moons ago. However, it did provide me with my biggest laugh in Turkey -I went to the market near the American military base, and they were selling used Fruit Of The Loom underpants!
Ditto for Gaziantep- boring, ugly and hot.
I'm sorry, but I never got into the culture, food and history as much as some of you have. To me, with the exception of the top notch Iskender kebap, all of the other kebaps taste almost the same. I lived in Istanbul for 12 years, and I couldn't tell you one thing about its history.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

parnett wrote:

Ankara- I was not interested in the nightlife, and was fortunate to have a nice apartment in the best part of town (where all the embassies are located), great Italian restaurants

Which part of Ankara was this?

I stayed in the old city, between the castle and the train station, and though that part of the city was reasonably pretty (and the hotel I stayed at was probably the nicest one I've stayed at in Turkey), it was surrounded by sprawling blocks of concrete and highways with no crosswalks; and pretty much all the food I had was terrible. Maybe next time I'll go there I'll have to stay by the embassies, if you can tell me which ones. (And frankly while I love Turkish food, I would welcome the opportunity to have some non-Turkish fare for a change.)

I'm a bit surprised at your praise of Mersin, but then, maybe I didn't see the right things when I was there. I've been surprised how many Turks here rave about it. Maybe it helps that you have a car? Mersin doesn't seem to be very walkable (correct me if I'm wrong), and since I couldn't figure out the buses or dolmuşes in that city, I ended up hitchhiking and taking taxis, neither of which are preferred methods of transportation for me. I also found Mersin kind of dull, but that may be because I went there on a Sunday.

As for Adana, I'm a bit surprised that you found it ugly, though hot and boring I get (I liked to hang out at Starbucks, where I could chat with other foreigners and Turkish English-speakers), especially the hot. On the other hand, one thing I loved about Adana was the large number of well-tended parks. Did Adana have those when you were there? The nicest of them were so clean it seemed to me like they couldn't be more than a few years old, at least in their current forms.

Regards,
~Q
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parnett



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 111
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lived in Gaziosmanpasa (I might be spelling it wrong). Most of the major embassies are located in that area (US, Canadian, European etc.). I lived between the Iraq Embassy (closed) and the Saudi Embassy (not much activity) directly across from a nice Italian restaurant. I would have to say it was the poshest section of the city.
I liked Mersin simply because it was on the sea. I was only there for a few days, and the fact I stayed at the Mersin Hilton might have made it seem nicer than it was.
When I was in Adana, there were no Starbucks. I never saw any of the parks. I do, however, remember the big park in Gaziantep near where I lived. It was well-kept and a very peaceful area to relax in. I used to jog there early on weekday mornings with everyone gawking at me.
I recall a few of the incredibly poor villages between Adana and Gaziantep such as Bahce. I traveled to Cappadocia a few times, but don't recall the names of the cities/villages I visited.
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genericusername



Joined: 04 Dec 2012
Posts: 28
Location: Dubai

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been to Keyseri, but Eskesehir is a rockin' party town in central Anatolia. They have over 100,000 college students there, and a great bar district to rival most U.S. college towns. The prices for food are very low, as in a nice dinner for less than 10 TL.

I like Konya for what it is, but I'm a big Mevlana fan, so sue me.

Antalya is far better than Alanya. The Alanyans attitudes are horrible. If you work there, you have to be very careful where you drink because if the school gets a report about you drinking from a parent, it will be in the form of you are drunk even if you had 2 beers on a 4 hour cruise.

Antalya is very liberal and the old town area of Kelici is like being in a post card with really nice bars and restaurants.
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