BY NAUSHERWAN AZIZ (MAN/II)
Name: Ali Damirzade
Country of Origin: Azerbaijan
What do you like best about Turkey?
I really like the natural landscape and its diversity within one country. It’s like walking in a desert area and ending up in a forest.
Are there any similarities between your country’s culture and Turkey’s?
Frankly, before coming to Turkey, I thought we were nearly identical, but have found completely the opposite. Although we share many things, from culture to cuisine, we are in the end quite different in some ways.
What will you miss most about Turkey/Bilkent?
As for Bilkent, I’ll miss the campus and all the moments I’ve experienced here with my friends. But I’m sure there will be many more visits back to Turkey, so no farewells.
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
The lojmanlar and Odeon areas. There are many beautiful places where you can enjoy a few moments of silence or take a walk with your friends and chill. Now those places bring back many happy memories for me.
What’s your favorite Turkish food/ favorite part of Turkish culture?
Künefe and Sezen Aksu.
Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
Writing books in my house in the evenings, with a view of the mountains, and then visiting my own restaurant with my Akita dog.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve overcome in Turkey?
For me it was time management, which I guess is a difficulty for many students.
What cities have you visited in Turkey? Which one do you like the best?
Not many, since I’ve only recently started to plan some stuff. I’ve been to İstanbul only once, since I’m not a big fan of that city, but I’d like to visit northeastern Turkey and discover the people of that region.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I write novels and poems in Azerbaijani, Russian and English. So far, I’ve published two novels: “The History of Life” in Russian and “Red Memories” in English.
What’s a question you’re asked frequently, or the most interesting comment you’ve heard at Bilkent/ in Turkey?
“Azerbaijani is nearly the same as Turkish, so why don’t you speak/understand Turkish?” When I first came here, people were really surprised that I didn’t get what they were saying. When asked this question, I’d start to talk to them in Azerbaijani and then would ask the same question in return. It was really funny.
Describe yourself in three words.
Persistent, selective, loyal.
If you could master any skill, which one would you choose and why?
I’m a lifelong learner, so I’ll remain open minded forever.