Interview from the Republic of Turkey

What is special in your home country?

Food is especially good. Nature and climate is also very nice, although the summers can be a little too hot (and winters too cold) in some parts.

I won’t go into the details of the things that are especially bad, but I would say moral decay in society and poor educational quality underlies most of the bad things that can be said about the country.

When did you come to Finland and why did you choose to come here? How long have you been in Finland?

I visited Helsinki as a tourist 5 or 6 years ago. But I have been living in Finland for only 3 years.

I had some personal reasons for moving away from my home country, One thing I can say is that I wanted to experience life abroad while I am still young (or let’s say not too old).

And I have been hearing only good things about Finland. I had the impression that I would find a more peaceful society in part due to Social-Democratic welfare state. Large income gaps and insufficient safety nets are never good for crime rates and social cohesion. Also, as someone who grew up in the concrete jungle, I value a way of living which keeps the connection with nature.

What do you think about Finland and Finnish people?

I think experiencing life only in the neighbourhood of a university may result in an incomplete picture of a country and its people, and this is the case for me. With that in mind, I do think that Finnish people are very nice. And I don’t just mean that they look nice, but I also observe a cultural tendency for honesty and modesty, and I value that in people. I also like the fact that people strive for efficiency and actively seek to improve things.

What have been the best thing in Finland and what has been the worst?

I think the best thing for me is that I can hop on my bicycle and within minutes I can find some place I can be alone in nature.

The dark and short days in November and December tend to cause some problems.

How your ethnic background has affected your life here in Finland?

I am not sure. I think hearing about my country of origin may be making some people want to take a step back because of some association they already have in their minds. (To be honest, sometimes I do the same.)

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