The International Chronicles

15 March 2022 Comments Off on The International Chronicles


Name: Shahmir Khan Niazi

Department: Economics

Country of Origin: Pakistan

What do you like best about Turkey?

The fact that I’ve stayed only in Ankara so far may have skewed my perception a little, but I absolutely love the hospitality displayed by the people here. I’ve lost count of how many times shop owners have handed me discounts for no other reason than “Pakistanlı mısın?  Maşallah!” People are kind, and it’s nice how no one takes offense at my terrible Turkish-speaking skills. Can’t say that about any of the other countries I’ve been to.

Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?

Inflation seems to follow me around like a piece of chewed gum under my boot. Growing up I saw inflation for years and years on end. When I finally was able to move to a country with a stable economy, boom, inflation. I’m sorry, Turkey, I might have jinxed you guys.

What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?

The friends I’ve made here. They annoy me in just the right ways. Truly the caviar of friends.

What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?

Bilka. The hill, not the café. I don’t know if you, the reader, believe in creating emotional bonds with locations, but I think I’ve done just that. Four months ago, when I was awakened to the news that my father had passed away, sitting on the hill in the freezing cold made me truly realize how literally everything in my life had just been flipped on its head. Despite the pure emotional agony, the city looked just as beautiful as ever. I didn’t even mind the cold. In a weird way, it helped me stay sane. I don’t go to the hill very often, but I’ll always associate it with the idea of finding peace when everything seems to be falling apart.

What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?

You guys should use more spices. That being said, Turkish çay is amazing.

Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?

I would love to live in an apartment in any major European city, and have a pet – a golden retriever –  and a job that I love.

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?

The language barrier wasn’t as bad as most people make it out to be, but learning how to be a functioning adult was something I didn’t expect to have to do for at least another five years.

What places have you visited in Turkey, and which one is your favorite?

I’m not much of a traveler, so I’ve only seen Ankara so far. It’s a pretty nice city.

What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently about Bilkent/Turkey?

The TV show “Diriliş: Ertuğrul” is a massive hit back in Pakistan, to the point where most people just associate Turkey with that show. A common question is “Does every male in Turkey have a man bun like in the TV show?” And the fact that I can’t deny it is very infuriating.

Describe yourself in three words.

Zoned-out, chaotic, puns.