Opportunity and variety

Anthi Mara, 32, teaches French at Istanbul’s St Benoit Lycee. She has lived in Istanbul for four years, one year on the Asian side, and three on the European side in the Galata district. Living in Turkey right now makes sense for her professionally, socially and geographically, she said. «In Turkey, there are still some good professional opportunities for individuals with a university education,» she said. «Istanbul is alive with various attractions and people, making it an interesting place to live.» It is also very close to her home in Greece. «It just takes an hour to fly to Athens,» she said. What has struck her most about Istanbul has been the diversity of people, the various walks of life and opinions, and above all the amount of tolerance people show to each other. At the end of the day, that is what she sees as the formula for better Greek-Turkish relations. «There needs to be tolerance and we shouldn’t assume only one side is right or wrong,» said Mara. «We shouldn’t be inflexible.» As for political relations, she thinks that states should seek win-win solutions in a peaceful context. The most frequent question Turks ask her when they meet her is: «A Greek person teaching French at a French-Turkish school in Istanbul? How can this be?»