Nihayet….!

Finally…! I have finally booked myself onto an intensive course of Turkish in a bid to get to grips with this infernal language once and for all.

I’m not a complete novice – I can hold my own in basic conversations, shops, asking for help etc. But really, after nearly 10 years of being here, I really should be pretty fluent by now. And it is not as if I am a language novice – I am fairly fluent in French and have learnt a smattering of both German and Russian. It is more a case of not being able to think like a Turk, and not getting to grips with the rythm of the language.

So I took it upon myself to book a series of intensive one on one classes at the Didem language school here in Didim.

And I wish I had done it years ago.

Years of self teaching and half watching the various ‘dizis’ (soap operas) in Turkish has given me a grounding and good understanding, but to actually hold a conversation during which I can make intelligent observations other than everything being ‘cok guzel’ has long been beyond my reach. During the two hours of my first lesson I made more progress than I have done during the last few years.

Of course it may be another story in a few weeks. I shall no doubt hit that brick wall of learning and wonder whether I will actually break through the barriers of mere communication to actual indepth understanding and knowledge, but I have got the bug again, and am determined.

Back to the rituals of home

So did I enjoy my wet August back in the UK? – possibly for a short while, but I must be honest the novelty wore off after a while! I was quite pleased to get back to the blue skies and warmth that will embrace my life here in Didim for the next few months.

It is always good to come back home after an extended (one month) period away. I love catching up with family and friends, but it is difficult being a guest for such a long time. I stay in my old childhood home. We have a fab back garden which is great, and safe, for the kids… if they actually manage to get out there between rain showers. I try and sneak off at least once to do some late night shopping in that temple of consumerism – the shopping mall – and follow it with the same old dishes in my favourite Thai restaurant. The Saturday night curry takeaway has been de rigeur in my family household since we were kids, and the tradition has not changed 45 years on! These are all the things I miss when I am in Turkey – family rituals that give comfort and familiarity and a sense of belonging.

But them being away too long makes me miss those rituals that Yildiray and I have created in or own home. Rituals that arise out of the daily routines of our life here in Turkey – work, the children, meals round the table, favourite trips out, plans for the future. This is the family home that we are creating, that I hope will be as secure and comfortable as that my own parents created for us.

Give me some rain!

It is most definitely officially hot now.

It is the kind of hot when I can’t hold the steering wheel properly without burning my hand.

It is the kind of hot when any form of human skin on skin contact results in a slithering sweaty mess (and I am referring to kids on knees, not the other form of contact!).

It is the kind of hot which scrambles your brain, hurts your eyes, and makes you want to sleep – except that it is too hot to sleep!

Perfect holiday weather – if all you need to worry about is sliding from your sun lounger to the pool and back again, taking in a few sips of cold Efes beer every now and again. In these circumstances the weather is spot on.

Living and working and trying to lead a normal life between children, grocery shopping, work and keeping the house clean, then the heat can become a bit too much. August is normally when I like to escape to the UK, and right at this moment I cannot get there quick enough. I fantasise about rain, grey skies, and slipping into a warm, snuggly duvet at night.

To be honest though, I enjoy it, probably because when I get back to my Yesilkent villa at the start of September I shall have at least another 2-3 months of warm, sunny, delightfully bearable weather to look forward to… days when you wake up and the skies are blue and sunny, you step out into a warm sun, but you can feel that hint of autumnal crispness in the air. That is my favourite kind of warmth!

And another falls for Turkey’s charms!

My mother and I waved off my cousin and her three children this morning. They had spent a week’s holiday out here at my mother’s invitation (staying in her apartment on the Aegean Pine Village site inYesilkent.)

Like so many people I speak to, she had never been to Turkey before and actually had no idea whatsoever what to expect. And she absolutely loved it. The kids were happy, which meant she was happy and could relax and enjoy her holiday. All being well she is booked in again for next summer.

So many people have no idea as to what to expect when considering Turkey as a holiday destination. Benidorm like high rise hotel ghettos is a prevalent image.

The reality is so different, and it is always heartening to see how much people are pleasantly surprised to see lush green streets, low rise buidings, azure blue seas and beaches which are clean, sandy and on a truly human scale.

So any Turkey-virgins out there get in touch and come out and try the place. I think that you may well be hooked too.

Here’s a question for you. I would appreciate any comments!

I received an enquiry from someone this week who had purchased a 1-bedroomed apartment last year and was thinking about selling to find another with a sea view. Common enough situation.

He had come through one of our agent websites, in reponse to a complex in Altinkum we list.

I contacted him and suggested that we migh be interested in a part exchange with one of our Olive Gardens duplexes if he was interested in sea views. I pasted in the website link so that he could check out the photos and prices.

About half an hour later he called me. He asked what the deal was. I explained that we would take his original apartment as a downpayment on the duplex for the original price that he paid (excluding buying costs). He would then pay the balance on the duplex price. He then got extremely angry with me and hung up.

I have cut and pasted now the resulting emails:

From him:

hi there

                 ive never been so humiliated by a pathetic offer as yours, no wonder you can not sell, you should be reported. i will be letting people knw about your offers on all turkish websites on the internet.

From me:

Dear O
 
I am sorry you feel this way. You asked what we could offer. I think that offering the same price for your apartment as you had originally paid last year as a part exchange in order to upgrade what you currently have is a valid and fair offer.
 
Kind regards
 
Kate Ashley-Norman 
kate

            dont be so ridiculous, you dont buy a property to resell at the same price, what world do you live in ???. your offer was more then pathetic. absolute criminal.
 as i said i will be letting people know about you and your website and your pathetic offers in part exchange, its  people and companys like you that need to be exsposed to the buying public. i will deffinitley make sure you get some bad reviews and press.
 and will be warning many people to stay away from you and your website .
mr k

Mr K
 
I made a simple suggestion as a solution to a possible change I believed you wanted to make. You did not accept my offer. I have not harmed you in any way. I do not understand why you are so angry. It would be much simpler just to say no thank you and walk away.
 
There are people in today’s world market who are selling for less than they paid for a property (not just in Turkey).
 
There are people in Turkey who have paid for a property and have had it taken away from them. This is criminal.
 
We have people coming to us who willingly upgrade their properties, giving their original back as part exchange. They are happy. We are happy. We simply relieve them of the burden of selling their original property in a difficult market. Where is the problem in that.
 
Again, I very much regret that you are so upset.
 
Kind regards
 
Kate Ashley-Norman
excuse me

                   just take a look at your offer i replied to, you have a photo of a seaview flat clearly stating underneath it in writing its a 1 bed apaprtment asking price £33,000,
 and you then replied back to me with an offer of a possible exchange, so as far as im concerned you have a 33,000 pound appartment 1 bed seaview wanting to exchange for my 1 bed apaprtment.

you then turn around and say its a 3 bed duplex appartment ?? so whats happened to this 1 bed appartment i replied to ???with the seaview photo ????

what are you playing at kate, your misleading people with your advertising and photos.

and this is what i will be telling everybody on the internet what you are doing. apart from other lies you told me  utter disgraceful people like you should be in prison.

Ha ha ha ha ha haha
 
Best laugh I have had all year!
oii

           have a look on the internet try google, about yourselves website. then you wont be having best laugh of year hahaha. conman conwomen. robbing the public misleading not good at all cheerio.

bad reviews bad press thats what your getting.phone number logged as well.

 

Now, is it just me or does anyone think this gentleman is slightly over-reacting? I simply offered him what he paid for originally – does this make me a criminal fit only for the slammer? Have I conned this gentleman not having taken a single penny from him? Is it my fault if he has not understood te nature of what I was offering?

You see, agents are always maligned for being con artists. But it is this sort of abuse that crops up now and again which really makes my blood boil. Anyone who knows me will know that I work hard to maintain a positive and transparent future for Didm. I write openly in the Voices, use this blog, contribute occasionally to the TL forum. We look after our clients and have never abandoned anyone. Yet I get this type of abuse from someone who only needed to say thanks but no thanks.

Summertime, and the living ain’t so easy!

As I was driving back from Soke the other day, azure blue skies spanning the horizon, the mountains crisp and fresh looking in the noonday sun, I counted my many blessings for being able to make a life in this wonderful country. Arriving back in Didim, I alighted from the comfort of my air conditioned car into… 90+ degree heat. Uuufff ya! as the Turks are wont to say.

It got me thinking as to what the absolute best time to visit is weather-wise. July and August are the hottest months – the place steams in the summer heat, with little relief at night.

My mum and dad (God rest his soul) loved the heat, if only because when they got here in July it would completely zonk them out. They would spend their days sleeping late, swimming, reading, swimming some more, reading some more, and having gentle strolls in the evening. This heat, when you are genuinely on holiday, is fantastic for relaxing you.

However when you are leading a relatively normal existence which involves work, kids, shopping and all the burdens of modern living it is extremely hard work. Strapping a young kid into its car seat after the car has been sitting in the sun is sweat inducing for all. You particularly have to watch out for those metal buckles!

My favourite time is April/May. It is the time in Yesilkent where we live where the plant life goes wild, the colours are vibrant, the birds are a riot of song. It is at this time that I like to take some time out from the office and work in the garden with the sun a welcoming warmth on my back.

Picture: a brilliant April day in Yesilkent.

NEW FINANCING OPTIONS FOR OLIVE GARDENS IN AKBÜK

NEW FINANCING OPTIONS FOR OLIVE GARDENS IN AKBÜK

 

My Turkish Home has teamed up with Garanti Bank, Turkey’s second largest private bank, to offer an attractive finance package to help facilitate your purchase of an Olive Gardens property

Olive Gardens in Akbük, Turkey, is our flagship development . It is a 3-phase project consisting of 120 units in total, plus four detached villas.

The site is fully complete and key ready. All building licences and habitation certificates are in place.  Kat Mülkiyeti deeds are issued.

At time of writing, the project as a whole is 66% sold out, leaving just 41 units remaining. Three of the villas are also available.

We have illustrated some payment terms below for apartments, duplexes and the villas.

2-bed apartment: purchase price £49,000

 

Cash deposit                – £19,000

Mortgage                     – £30,000

-         5 year term, 0.6% fixed monthly rate interest – £596.88 monthly installments.

-         10 year term, 0.74% fixed monthly rate interest – £378.09 monthly installments.

3-bed duplex apartment with roof terrace: purchase price £69,000

 

Cash deposit                – £29,000

Mortgage                     – £40,000

-         5 year term, 0.6% fixed monthly rate interest – £795.84 monthly installments.

-         10 year term, 0.74% fixed monthly rate interest – £504.12 monthly installments.

3-bed detached villa: purchase price £116,000

 

Cash deposit                – £46,000

Mortgage                     – £70,000

-         5 year term, 0.6% fixed monthly rate interest – £1392.72 monthly installments.

-         10 year term, 0.74% fixed monthly rate interest – £882.21 monthly installments.

Mortgage funds are released on receipt of title deeds. These are now taking an average of 2 months to come through.

MTH are happy to release the keys upon receipt of the deposit, to enable you to enjoy your purchase straight away. The balance is then paid by the bank when the deeds have been signed across to your name.

 

Further details about Olive Gardens can be found on:

www.olivegardensakbuk.com

www.myturkishhome.com

If you would like to talk this through in more detail please feel free to call Kate at any time on 0845 0217717, or drop her an email at info@myturkishhome.com.

 

July 2010.

D-Marin – more than just a marina

The Didim Marina is run by the Dogus Group. This is a massive group which owns and runs many of the large companies in Turkey – Garanti Bank forn one.

Last night a massive free concert was held at the new Marina in Didm, featuring one of Turkey’s greatet popstars, Mustafa Sandal. This was totally free of charge being sponsored by D-Marin.  There must have been 6-7000 people there.

What a fantastic facility to have on your doorstep – a beautiful balmy summer evening, surrounded by some beautiful yachts moored up in the marina, the bouncing, zipping energy created by Mustafa and his band. And the joyful prospect of more similar concerts to come this summer. We are very lucky!

What’s happening to my bus route home?!

I always choose to travel backwards and forwards between Izmir and Stansted airport using Cyprus Turkish Airlines (www.kthy.net). For years this company has been like a bridge for me, giving me comfort that my family in the UK are just a familiar few hours away. We take the same plane, at the same time, using the same car company to pick us up in the UK.

Last week the airline’s operations were suspended due to mounting debt. An agreement with Atlasjet is on the table, but there seem to be issues with the Cypriot unions and Atlasjet were unsure as to whether the deal was going to be commercially workable.

My mother is due to fly out next Friday. I am due to fly back at the beginning of August with the kids. All tickets have been booked, but at this stage we do not know whether there will be a plane waiting to ferry us all around. The financial implications aside (KTHY are not the cheapest) it is the uncertainty that worries me most. A couple of months ago it was the ash cloud that was throwing spanners into the works. Now it is the demise of an airline that I always believed to be secure and reliable.

At this stage I am hoping that the deal with Atlasjet can be sorted out. They have just over a week to get back to normal flights before I shall at look at rebooking a flight for my mother. I shall just have to keep the situation monitored.

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