BY NAUSHERWAN AZIZ (MAN/II)
Name: İlkin Mammadov
Country of Origin: Azerbaijan
What do you like best about Turkey?
What I like most about Turkey is the hospitality of the people. They’re eager to help you. A couple of times people did some crazy things to help me, without any benefit to themselves.
Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?
Most of the people of Turkey and Azerbaijan come from the same roots. The only things that are different are the dialects of the same language, and the borders and backgrounds of our countries for the last few hundred years. So there are many similarities.
What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?
What I will miss most are the trips I went on with Bilkent International House.
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
My favorite place is the lawn next to MSSF. The reason is that there is usually no one there, so you can put your favorite music on without annoying anyone, and even sing along with it, with the view of Ankara in front of you.
What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?
My favorite Turkish food is etli ekmek, and my favorite part of Turkish culture is its musical instruments, especially the saz.
Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
In the coming 10 years I want to experience new cultures and new points of view as much as possible. I see myself as an employee of some company who tries to keep his life from being routine and seeks new experiences whenever he gets the chance.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?
I didn’t have any hard challenges to handle in Turkey. All of the challenges were normal. What was needed was just patience, and then the rest came automatically.
What cities have you visited in Turkey, and which one is your favorite?
I have been to Kapadokya, Kuşadası, Çeşme, İzmir, İstanbul, Konya and Trabzon. İzmir and Kapadokya are my favorites; the natural landscapes of both are so beautiful.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can play the piano. My empathy skills are good. And I create many theories by seeing and relating things that are hard to capture.
What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently about Bilkent/Turkey?
“Which one is better, Turkey or Azerbaijan?” Many Turkish citizens ask me this question, and my answer is always the same: “Borders, names, constraints mean nothing to me. So, both are home to me.” And the response to my sentence is always “We are brothers.”
Describe yourself in three words.
Truth-seeker, analytical, compassionate.
If you could master any skill, which one would you choose, and why?
I would like to master language skills. Different languages are different puzzles to be solved. If I knew many languages, seeing the point of view of different individuals and cultures would be easier, and I also believe that hidden histories, especially those of minorities, would be revealed more fully to me.