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Berkem

Turkey
24
My favorite memories about my country were always at the sea or in the mountains. The summer vibe is something that I can’t get enough of so I always try to go back to Alacati when it’s summertime. Also, I keep missing Turkish food.

My name is Berkem. I come from Turkey. I came to Barcelona just because I didn’t see any future for me in Turkey. Because of the government and our so-called President being a dictator, I felt pushed to leave the country as soon as possible after I finished my high school education. Despite that, I had very good moments. I used to do a lot of windsurfing while I was growing up since we lived close to Alacati, one of the best windsurfing spots in the world. I was really into extreme sports like windsurfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding. I was competing for windsurfing professionally but ended up leaving the sport after I left Turkey.

My favorite memories about my country were always at the sea or in the mountains. The summer vibe is something that I can’t get enough of so I always try to go back to Alacati when it’s summertime. Also, I keep missing Turkish food.

 

At this moment, I’m just wishing the pandemic to end really, all my plans are on hold until this nightmare ends.

As I said before, I moved from Turkey when I graduated from high school. I ended up in a small town in the region called Bavaria in Germany to get my university education. There was nothing to do there but nature was beautiful. I traveled a lot for 2 years and never been to the university so I got kicked out. I found a university in Barcelona while I was getting ready to leave Germany so coming here was purely based on luck.

The biggest obstacle to living in Barcelona is the visa. Every year I have to spend a lot of time and money to renew my residence permit. In Germany, it was really easy and the Foreign Offices were really helpful with the process. However in Spain, things are different, I feel like they are trying to make it harder  every year. The officers are also not preferring to speak in English even though they are able to.

 

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My biggest challenge was with the Spanish Consulate in Istanbul. There was a woman there with curly blond hair, she did everything in her power to demoralize students when they’re applying for a visa. She even lost my documents and I had to spend 2 months repeating the procedures over and over, trying to find information about what documents that I have to provide. I remember when my mother went to the consulate just to get some information. She got treated so badly that she ended up calling me crying and saying that she never wants to visit the Consulate again. That woman has a notoriously bad reputation and I strongly recommend anyone who encounters her at the Spanish Consulate to avoid getting into discussions with her. She really treats people like animals. I had never got humiliated by anyone that bad in my life until I had an encounter with that specific individual. The rest of the people who work there are actually nice.

The best part of living in Europe is accessible travel without borders within the EU. If I was not a student in the EU, I believe I would never be able to travel this much. Right now, I’m a Student/Musician/Producer/DJ and I have my own collective that makes events. So I want to continue my career in music, grow my business and settle my future in Barcelona. I love it here and consider Barcelona as my home now. At this moment, I’m just wishing the pandemic to end really, all my plans are on hold until this nightmare ends.

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Photographer
Aksel Kesenci