We got fed up paying a fortune for big bottles (bidons) of water and got an in-house water purifying system a few years back. It's pretty simple, and costs WAY less than buying a couple of big bottles every week. As it happens, we had a water report done a year or two back in our neighborhood (semt) which I sent to the guys we buy water filters from in Holland. They wrote back and said, "Your water looks fine -- why do you need a filter?”
I have long thought that the water coming out of our tap looks and smells good enough to drink -- so why are we still buying water (along with the rest of İstanbul)? I know that in the not-so-distant past, İstanbul water -- when it was even running! -- was pretty nasty. But things have changed big time over the last 10 years. Is it time for İstanbulites to stop buying bottled water and put hundreds of water sellers out of business? Of course, not all semts will have the same quality of water. Anyway, if you are looking for an article subject to get people asking questions about İstanbul life and provoke a city-wide debate on the matter, there you go! From: c de b
Regarding my piece “Falling victim to scams: (March 29, 2012), a Today's Zaman reader wrote this comment:
Dear Charlotte: Nice article. I am American, married to a Turkish man, and have never had any problems. But I have seen a lot of misery around me involving foreign women and Turkish men. All I can say is love is fine; however, when you leave the comfort of your own country you must be double aware of what is going on around you. You are in control of your life and no one else. Keep things in perspective and the chances of you being disappointed will greatly diminish. If you would not do it in your own country, then you should not do it here. :) From E.
Regarding a recent piece called “Globalization and what else the next 100 years will bring” (March 23, 2012), a reader sent this comment and it'd be interesting to know what others think. Here is the comment:
Dear Charlotte: It all starts with people being logical and honest with themselves. If the employees are afraid of reporting bad news to the boss, how can the company succeed? If everyone is a no-man, and never tries to achieve consensus, how can we succeed? If everyone is a yes-man, how can we succeed? We must develop a culture of honesty, accountability, hard work and meritocracy. Without this, there is no progress. In Germany, they have been (more or less) logically applying knowledge for the progress of society since the end of the 19th century -- look where they are today! Engineers play a big part in developing a society. Turks should work hard to establish the best engineering schools in the world! From: Friend of Turks
Dear Charlotte: I am moving to Turkey soon and so excited. I would like to know what you recommend about how to go about making friends in a Muslim culture. Thanks! From: Judith (UK)
Dear Judith: Friends are important. Basically, making friends here is like anywhere else. There are just a few points to remember, such as friendship may involve great commitment and mutual concern. Friendship requires much time. Friendship takes effort. It is important to visit regularly and to help in times of need. Friends never betray one another. Friendships are formed for many reasons: one of them being expectation of mutual help. If a favor is done for someone, that person and usually his family will be obligated to remember it. Men and women almost always form friendships with members of the same sex. If a man and woman do have a friendship, they would refer to each other with kinship terms. For example, a woman would consider her husband's friend to be like her “kardeş” (brother) and not her “dost” (friend), which conveys an improperly familiar or romantic relationship. Close friendships are generally between people of the same sex who are of similar age and status. Usually unequal economic and social status precludes deep friendship. Just remember that talking and being with people are more important than achieving a long list of tasks. Turks are more people-oriented rather than task-oriented. Community and group are highly valued. A strong social structure exists. Neighbors and relatives help each other in many practical ways.