BY ADA KILIÇARSLAN (ECON/IV)
Name: Talal Ahmad
Country of Origin: Pakistan
What do you like best about Turkey?
For me, the best thing about Turkey is the diversity you find here. I love how when you travel between different cities it feels like you’re in entirely different places and you meet people with entirely different mindsets.
Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?
Pakistan and Turkey have a lot in common, the most prominent similarity being the hospitality you find in people, even complete strangers. We also love meat just as much as (maybe even more than) people do in Turkey.
What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?
Friends. No matter what place you’ve lived in, you associate it with the friends you had there. I’ve been lucky to have some of the best and most genuine people around me during my time at Bilkent from the very first year.
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
The place doesn’t actually matter that much; it’s the company that’s important. Still, in good weather, the hill is a no-brainer for all the quality time I’ve spent there.
What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?
Unpopular opinion: Turkish food is “biraz” overrated; maybe the fact that my home country has some of the best cuisine anywhere might have given me very high standards. That said, late-night lahmacuns have to be at the top of my list, along with, of course, BAKLAVA.
Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
Sitting on an island, prepping for a shoot for “the” fashion magazine, with “the” model.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?
It has to be the language barrier; especially at the beginning, it was such a shock. Neyse, I’ve learned enough Turkish to survive my time here.
What places have you visited in Turkey, and which one is your favorite?
It’s going to be a long list, despite COVID, so let me start in order of my visits: Çeşme, İstanbul, Antalya, Alanya, Kapadokya, Amasra, Bolu, Pamukkale, Bodrum, İzmir, Niğde and Fethiye (coming very soon).
What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently at Bilkent/ in Turkey?
Everyone back home asks about all the good vacation spots; it’s fun telling them for the first few times ama it gets repetitive when every single person asks.
Describe yourself in three words.
Ambitious, optimistic, persistent (in that order).