Posted on August 5, 2015


The plane landed just after quarter past midnight. The lights of the city twinkling under the cover of darkness. As I disembarked the air temperature hit me, 26 degrees….Merhaba, welcome to Istanbul.
I’m not backpacking around Turkey, this time my journey is one way. I’m here to stay. Since getting back from Tanzania my routine has been thrown up in the air as I frantically tried to squeeze relocating my life to Istanbul into nine jam-packed days. It’s been a combination of excitement, nerves and frustration as the hours have evaporated right before my eyes.

 I’ve lived in London all my life, my recent semi-nomadic lifestyle has meant however that I’ve spent less time in the city. It’s been an long overdue ambition to live and work in a different country so when the opportunity arose in January I jumped at the chance. 

I’ve been put up in an apartment for 4 weeks until I find a flat.

My new employer is TRT (Turkish Radio and Television) World. My role is as anchor/correspondent. It is funded by the state, and before you get judgmental about ethics, it is an opportunity that will test my ability as a journalist to use extremely careful and well considered language while giving Turkey’s position on all matters. It’s a tall order, I know, and one I am keen to explore. I have no idea whether I’ll personally succeed in maintaining that or whether i will have to bend to the powers that be. But I want to give it a shot. 

The station at the moment is in “soft” launch mode. The target audience is English-speaking, expats as well as Turks. Think Al Jazeera International and that is the kind of feel they are aiming for. The plan is by the autumn we will be widely available on cable channels. 

At the moment we are broadcasting but only the “right people” can see us. I’ve already started presenting and it’s wonderful to be back in the hot seat but if want to improve both my quality of life here and my broadcast technique I have got to get up to speed with Turkish, the gallery is bilingual!!!


Posted in: Istanbul 2015