• Jonathan White

Istanbul Indirim

Happy New Year or Mutlu Yillar as they say here in Turkey! We took the decision to relocate my design business to Istanbul (my wife is Turkish) at the end of last year.

So after the decorations have been packed away ready to detangle next Christmas, the reality that I am no longer on 'holiday' here, the doubts have begun to creep in. December's unseasonably warm and welcoming weather dissipated with the start of the new decade and doubts about our decision bite like the English-like cold weather. With all the excitement of shipping our boxes, unpacking the boxes (and presents), our daughter's 2nd birthday the time has flown. I guess am feeling reflective in 2020.

As a creative type with limited language skills, learning the complex language and ultimately integrating was always going to be a challenge. I thought I would record my progress (or lack of) here on LinkedIn in a weekly blog, some weeks if I'm being honest!

Learning for me is best tackled visually. Sure I have been dabbling with Turkish during my holidays here and I have toyed with my Duolingo app but to live here I feel I need to do more than dip my toe into the Bosphorus. So combining my love of graphic design (and in particular typography) with the sights, sounds, smells of the city feels like safe ground. Ideally, in a couple of years immersing myself in Turkish culture I will be able to converse more confidently - enough to swim in the beautiful seas around the coast of Ölüdeniz (Dead Sea in Turkish).

The 'Indirim' season is in full swing here.

With the retail sector struggling back the UK, I was surprised to witness the vibrant bustling shopping malls straddling both Europe and Asian sides of the city. The Palladium is one of the newly established shopping malls, featuring 190 different shops, restaurants and a cinema. According to my trusty Google Translate app the Turkish word 'indirim' translates to discount, price cut or deduction - many stores reduced their prices by a whopping 70%!

After further reading I learn that Turkey's finance minister is pulling the strings behind some of the generous discounting in a radical approach to fight inflation.

Nearly every shop had striking bold sale signage placed in prominent positions in window displays and at the entrance. The customers parting with their Lira certainly weren't confused. One of my favourite retailers Lacoste, avoided any language confusion with signage in both English and Turkish. Love the detail of the tiny crocodiles (timsah) pattern splashed across their branded signs.

In conclusion then my vocabulary has expanded by a single word whilst my wallet has shrunk by several hundred Lira! That's all for this post. If you have any suggestions for language learning aids or indeed for shopping destinations please let me know.

Thanks for stopping by, tesekkurler.

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