Greek author says: come to Istanbul

Greek author says: come to Istanbul

YORGO KIRBAKİ ATHENS - Hürriyet
Greek author says: come to Istanbul

Journalist and author Alexandros Massevetas says some of his relatives told him he must be crazy when he announced his decision to move to Istanbul.

Greek journalist and author Alexandros Massevetas, who lives in Istanbul, has called on young Greek people whose parents once left Turkey to return to their homeland, in his latest book “Istanbul, A City of Absences: Going back to Constantinople.”

Massevetas, a Greek citizen, said Turkish society has begun to view the absence of the Greek community as a loss. “I call on young Greeks not to listen to their families, who do not know Istanbul today, and come back here.”

Massavetas was born in Athens, but has been living in Istanbul, where he currently works as a freelance journalist, since 2002. His mother was suprised by his decision to move Istanbul, Massavetas says, but some of his relatives told him he must be crazy. “When I moved here Turkey was still living through the effects of the 2001 economic crisis and Greece was having the best of times; now things have changed,” he said. “Istanbul is not the city I was born in, but it is the city I have chosen to live in.”

Differences
Massevetas also shared his views on the differences between Greeks and Turks, saying that there are some points worth remarking. When asked if Greeks know Turks, he said there are some biased views between the two societies. “Turks are romantic; I could even say melancholic. Even the music they listen to when they are having fun is melancholic. They like Greek songs that are like that too. Turks are polite and emotional but there are prejudices against Turks in Greece.”

Massevetas said most of his friends are Turks and he is happy living in Istanbul. The only thing that saddens him, he said, is the sad atmosphere of the Istanbul winter, as well as the urban transformation that is causing Istanbul to lose its historic character.

Turkey, Istanbul, Greeks of Istanbul, Turkey