Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ankara Castle

Castle number 1

Castle number 2
Yesterday we visited the castles of Ankara. First we arrived to the castle number 2 and we were surprised that how is it possible that there are no other tourists. Finally we figured out there is another castle nearby and all the tourists were there. As you can see in the first picture there were not any kind of fences protecting from dropping down. From the castle we could see the old part of the city where everything is really modest and the new part where everything is in much better condition. In the modest part there are still houses which were build in one day because back in the days law permitted you to build a house to that area if you could do it in one day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Residence permission

Cover of residence permission in Turkey
To stay in Turkey for the whole exchange period I had to apply for residence permission in the first month of my stay. I handed out my application on the fourth of October and got my permission today. I had student visa to apply for the residence permission but you can equally apply for the residence permission with tourist visa like some exchange students did that way you can save money because student visa cost me 60 euros and touristic visa is only 15 euros. Price of the residence permission was 60 euros. Even my student visa is valid only until end of may my residence permission in Turkey is valid until end of June.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Demonstrations in Turkey

There are demonstrations all over Turkey today, after the Kurdish terrorists killed Turkish soldiers. Demonstrations have been on the streets already few days. You can see a lot more Turkish flags in the street picture as people have put flags of Turkey to their balconies and on their cars. Especially today there was a lot of people marching from the center Ankara through the city.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Turkish studies

At the moment my studies are mainly focused on studying Turkish. My exchange program Campus Europae offered me an opportunity to attend 30 hours of Turkish lessons every week. These lessons are mainly meant for students who are going to study an entire career next year in Turkey. There are several same kind of language classes and students are mainly from Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Arabic countries. These Turkish lessons take a whole year and before the summer everyone should have reached C1 level in Turkish. So here I do not have separate language course for Campus Europae students like I had in Spain. In Gazi university we are only four Campus Europae students as in Spain we were about 20. I am able attend about 25 hours each week and hopefully this will help me to reach fluency in Turkish.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Crossing road

Crossing road
The way how pedestrians crosses the road in Turkey is different than in other countries I have been so far. Here people cross the road in any place they feel like crossing the road. That means that people do not use that much zebra crossing and cars do not stop if you are waiting on the zebra crossing for crossing the road. You just have to cross the road fast when you see a bit wider gap between the cars. So far I have seen cars always slowing down when they see somebody crossing the road but in Turkey instead of slowing down cars accelerate. Then you of course feel like taking several quicker steps to avoid car hitting you.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Turkish toilet

So far the biggest shock for me here was seeing a Turkish toilet. I did not know anything about the Turkish toilet so seeing one when looking for a flat was a big surprise. Luckily there are flats where are normal toilets and also in my flat we have two normal toilets. In a Turkish toilet you do not sit down. After finishing you use the water in the blue plastic cup to clean yourself. For example in the toilets' university of Gazi I have not seen toilet paper and there are not hand dryers either. So drying yourself is not made easy. If there is toilet paper the toilet paper should not be thrown to the toilet. Turkish are afraid that the toilet paper will block the toilet so they prefer throwing used toilet paper to a trash can. Also in normal toilets Turkish prefer not to throw the toilet paper to the toilet.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My flat in Turkey

My room
In the first the day when I arrived to Ankara I had a look on two different flats. The flat I chose is quite close to metro station Maltepe and five minute walk from Tömer where I am having language studies everyday so the location is good. Walking to the center of Ankara takes about 20 minutes. I am living with two Spanish guys and one Turkish. Unfortunately there is not a living room in the flat because Turkish guy is using it as his own room. The rent is 200 euros including all the costs. I have two beds in my room so if somebody wants to visit me I have no problem with providing accommodation.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

University lunch

Lunch in the university
In the area of Gazi university there are student restaurants. Lunch offered in the university is very cheap. The lunch in the picture costs only 80 cents. Quality is ok and so far university lunch has been always eatable. Meals do not include much meat but it is understandable as the meal is so cheap.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Visit to the faculty

Center of Ankara
I have been now 5 days in Ankara. My tutor have been helping me a lot with settling to the city. I went to the faculty to talk about what courses I can study in Ankara. The coordinator was not there so we ran in to one professor. The professor got extremely excited for seeing a Finnish person in the faculty. He started to talk about his travels to Scandinavian countries in Turkish and in French. He even invited me and my tutor Rabia to his office to have tea with him even we did not have common language. A bit later he wanted to present me to his whole class and I was there standing in front of 100 Turkish students without much idea what he was telling to the class. I do not know if anybody have looked that excited for seeing me as this professor.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


With Beril in Istanbul

Bus of  Metro
On Sunday afternoon I arrived to Istanbul and my Turkish friend came to pick me up from the airport. Before going to Ankara we had some hours time to have look on Istanbul. We had a walk in the old town and tried some Turkish flavors. I had a only quick view on Istanbul so I have to return to see the city more.

In the midnight I had bus to Ankara. The journey took six hours from Istanbul to Ankara and it cost 16 euros. I had never been in such a luxury bus before. All the seats had private screen for watching TV, to use your USB-device or to use your cameras memory card. There were only 3 seats in row and plenty enough place for the legs. There was also a lady who offered drinks and snacks which were included to the bus ticket price.