Interview with Nurkan Yurdakul- DİLA ATSAN

All around the Europe 



Europe is a region which embodies 53 countries; Russia, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Czech Republic, Hungary, Sweden, Belarus, Austria, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Serbia, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia, Norway, Ireland, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Lithuania, Albania, Macedonia, Slovenia, Latvia, Kosovo, Estonia, Montenegro, Luxembourg, Malta, Iceland, Jersey, Isle of Man, Andorra, Guernsey, Faroe Islands, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Gibraltar, Aland Islands, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Vatican City, Turkey.

Every Europe Country has its own history and most of them are well known for their culture and historical background. I chose Nurkan YURDAKUL for my interview because beside his native country he also lived in other European Countries.

To know him better first I asked about his personal life and then we started to talk about his native country and other European Countries. He is Turkish and 53 years old. After he graduated from a well known French high school ‘Galatasaray Lisesi’, he went to France, Paris for university education. He studied 4 years economics there. His career of 30 years started in finance and after he found himself in automotive sector. He is married for 25 years and he has got 2 children; a girl and a boy. Since 2000 he is the general manager of Mazda Motors Turkey.

For him the meaning of Europe is a strong unity and a formation which can provide the balance in the world. He is proud of being Turkish because Turkey is the continuation of Ottoman Empire and for him that means a powerful historical background. He also appreciates the development in Turkey in the last few years but he underlines that there are some points he can’t accept in Turkey. When I asked him what these things are, our conversation changed in a political way. He told me about different political views, dogma and modern, in Turkey which are triggering war. He defends that Gezi Parkı incidents are the eruption of these different political views. He talked about Gezi Parkı incidents as a rebellion especially of young population in the democratic process in Turkey. And also he added about this incident that it is the indicator which shows political power hasn’t got a meaning to direct public without their wills. In addition, he said that the current political power in Turkey can’t defy the modern public anymore. Plus he thinks the reason of why Turkey is still not in EU (European Union) is the current political system. He hopes this government will soon fall because a political system like this stains Turkey’s reputation.

To understand the differences in other European Countries I asked Yurdakul to tell about his visits to Europe. His answer didn’t surprise me; he told that he has been almost in every European Country. France, Italy and Spain are in a special place in his heart. He spent his adolescence years in these countries and the points out that he admires their capability and power to defend their historical past. He continued his words with these European Countries have got a tidy system in transportation, law, business…  Furthermore he said that through the Renaissance the art in France developed fast. As an art lover Yurdakul added that he constantly makes visits to Louvre and also the museums in Spain; Reina Sophia, Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza … He said that he adores Spain because of its special foods, kind people and places to visit. Now he is making one of his regular visits to Spain. As a Spain lover I asked his opinion about garbage crises in Madrid which affects us because of the bad smell. He said that he was not in Spain during this crucial  time  however as far as he followed on news and social media the appearance of Madrid during the crises disappointed him. For him Spain is a durable, powerful country but it has to overcome the economic crises to protect its power in other European Countries.

At last I asked Yurdakul to compare other regions with Europe. He started to talk about America, the leader of the world. Despite of the construction of America is afterwards, he defends the idea that America constructed as a world leader. Secondly he explained East Asian country Japan where he usually goes because of his business. Mazda Motor’s main company is in Japan so he can easily compare Japan and European Countries according to his observations. He told me how the Japanese give too much importance to details and also their biggest fear is to be unsuccessful. All Japanese devote themselves to their business. So the discipline in that country evokes admiration when we compare with European Countries.

I was so happy to find Yurdakul in Spain, in one of his regular visits. Talking with a person who knows so much about Europe got me to think deeper.


                                   DİLA ATSAN



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