So much to love in Istanbul

Stella Papaconstantinou, 26, is the administrative assistant in the credit department at Finansbank and a master’s student at Bilgi University’s Turkish-Greek Studies program. She has always loved Turkey, as her grandfather is from Izmir, and she made many Turkish friends during her studies in London. «After completing my master’s degree, I decided to come to Istanbul to improve my Turkish,» she said. She has been living in Cihangir since May 2007. «I have to use Turkish with my colleagues and this has improved my communication skills,» she said. «However, it is my dream to be able to communicate fluently so I am trying really hard.» The transition has not been difficult for Papaconstantinou. There are so many things she loves about Istanbul. «The sea view, the small back streets when all the laundry is hung up to dry from window to window, the call to prayer, children playing outside, the small horse carriage that comes every Saturday to sell fruit and vegetables on my street,» she said. She wonders why Turks ask her why she chose to live here. The key to Greek-Turkish relations is «just normal interpersonal communication. No prejudices or biases,» said Papaconstantinou.