Episode III: English on Governing

Use the transcript to follow along with the conversation as we speak to Yasin - one of Turkey's youngest governors, starting when he was just 25. Here he talks about how he ended up governing, what some of the main responsibilities are, his time abroad in Manchester UK, and finally gives his advice on people who are thinking of visiting Turkey.


Intro: The Natural English Podcast: Success stories from beyond the English language barrier. Follow along with the transcript linked in the description.

Nahum - Natural: Hello and welcome back to the Natural English Podcast. My name is Nahum and I'm part of the Natural team. And if this is your first time listening, we talk to different people, from different career paths, or different projects, and hear a bit about what it's like, what their life is like, and we also talk to them about their journey with English. And today, I'm joined by a friend of mine from Turkey. Yasin, welcome to the podcast.

Yasin: Hello, Nathan. Thank you very much. Actually, having me, I'm very glad to speak with you and be here.

Nahum - Natural: It's very good to have you and I understand you're actually in Istanbul right now.

Yasin: Yeah, yeah, actually, it's my day off and I came to Istanbul for a while and for now I am in Istanbul.

Nahum - Natural: I appreciate you taking time out of your day off to speak to me. I know it might not be your priority, but it's great to have you on. So, Yasin., you have quite an interesting job, I think. Can you tell people what, what it is that you do?

Yasin: Yeah, actually, it's a very interesting job, which I have . And I'm a kind of vice-governor in a city in Turkey. And, you know, I'm in charge of some fields and I have to take care of some things. And it's a little interesting because I'm very young and I'm about Twenty six years old. And that's why when I tell my friends, especially from people, they don't believe me sometimes. But yeah, actually

Nahum - Natural: I'm glad that you are saying I'm glad you describe twenty six as young because I am also twenty six so I feel like we're in good company. Definitely. That's so young, your whole life ahead of you. Yeah. Yeah, that's amazing that you're a vice governor at a relatively young age. What, what is life like as a vice governor? What sort of things do you have to do?

Yasin: Yeah, actually in my city I'm in charge of very specific fields such as education and healthcare and security. And we have some problems always, every day and I have to take care of these problems and how to deal with these problems. And the second thing, I need to make some ordinary, routine things like this and make some projects about my city to improve our economy or the economy actually or education and like these things. It's a little bit stressful. And.

Nahum - Natural: I imagine

Yasin: At the end of the day, yeah, actually, you can imagine, maybe, we are friends Nathan and I always I always keep saying that I'm a little busy, you know?

Yasin: But still, at the end of day, when you realize that you make something about people or city. You feel just right and peaceful.

Nahum - Natural: Yeah. It's a big responsibility. Right. I guess I kind of struggle to organize what I want to eat in an average week, never mind manage a city. It's kind of a different prospect altogether, I guess. How do you, how do you deal with that pressure or that stress? What sort of things do you do to kind of take the weight off your shoulders?

Yasin: Yeah, actually, as you say, actually I have a heavy responsibility on my shoulders, my I just try to actually spend time for myself and just enjoy life and just to relax, because during the day I have many meetings to join in. I have many documents to read and sign and how many problems to deal with. But actually at the end of the day, I mean, when I just leave my office, I just try to go to the gym, and just play tennis and just to try to get relaxed. I mean, I used to play tennis and go to the gym, but actually for now, you know, as you know, because of the pandemic situation, I can't go anywhere. And that's why I just stay at home, read some books and watch some Netflix movies and the TV series apart from my working.

Nahum - Natural: Yeah. And how did you get involved in being a governor? I don't know if it was like a childhood dream. Did you always imagine yourself as governor or....yeah. What led you to that kind of career?

Yasin: Yeah, actually, it's a very common question. People ask me what is my you know, like was it my dream job, or (something) like that. First of all, actually, when I was a child it wasn't my dream job because when I was a child I didn't know what is this, I mean, what a governor is. When I started university, my subject was Political Science. I started to, uh, you know, I started to be involved with politics, public issues and global issues. Then I realized that it will be fine to just be a governor. Obviously, I had to take some exams, I had to pass some exams and join some interviews and I had to be trained by, you know, good guys, by trainers. And yeah, basically when I was a student in university, I thought that it will be fine. It would be good to get a decent job... being governor.

Nahum - Natural: Yeah, I'm glad to know that there's a...quite a big process behind becoming a governor as well.

Yasin: Yeah. Yeah, actually, I would say that it takes maybe three years almost, you know, you have to be trained, you have to pass some things and pass exams, interview, but it I think it was good because it's not just about getting a job, it's about your personal improvement. You can improve yourself, you know, and even actually maybe you know that my language I mean, for my English journey, it starts with my job.

Nahum - Natural: Yeah.

Yasin: I had to learn a language. I chose English and even, you know, due to this my goal, I went to the UK, stayed there for a while.

Nahum - Natural: Yeah, it's our Manchester connection. Right, you went to Manchester, north north England with a beautiful Mancunian accent.

Yasin: Yeah. Yeah. Actually, I can say even I can see how beautiful, how good the Mancunian accents is. And yeah, I used to live in Manchester and the weather you know, is terrible all the time.

Nahum - Natural: Yeah. I can't, I can't disagree. I can't disagree.

Yasin: Yeah. But honestly people who live over and they are there are really... they were incredible, they were amazing. And yeah it was really a good experience to live in Manchester in my language and make some friends and just discover a new culture, different culture. Yeah. Yeah.

Nahum - Natural: How would you say English is useful in your job? Is there any way that it's useful in your job or your career plans for the future? How is English relevant? Because they send you to a different country, right. As part of your training. So I guess it's kind of relevant to have that. If it's more for a cultural perspective, or it's more for the language, how does it help you?

Yasin: Yeah, actually, you know, we are governors and we have to speak with foreign people and we have to make some projects in our city. And also the language, especially English, is a very important tool to use to improve our city features. For me, actually, I just I don't know English just a lot as a tool, as a language for actually English is just kind of more than a language, you know lifestyle, lifestyles, kind of a culture, a background. Honestly, it is a good tool to use for my job to improve my city futures because I have to sometimes I have to join meetings with some foreign people, people who live in different countries just to search the, you know, uh, lifestyle, culture style, their management style. Yeah, actually, you know, it is really useful for me to actually I would say that at least I can speak English. It is really useful to speak English, not too much, but I mean, I could not say that my English is very well, but still actually it's very useful for me.

Nahum - Natural: Yeah, definitely. I think you mentioned in the past that it's kind of also like a secret language you can use in Turkey as well.

Yasin: Actually, obviously, if, you know, you would like to say something secretly and you can just use the kind of language which is very important. Yeah, you don't have to just go looking for some space or look for some privacy, your language is really what is very useful.

Nahum - Natural: Yeah, I suppose that is what is one benefit of speaking English in somewhere where not everyone knows it, but for me I can never be sure if someone speaks English or not. I can never say anything because English is so universal these days. OK, and as part of your English learning journey, which you're on at the moment, you have been for some time. What sort of tips would you give to people who are also trying to learn English? What has helped you the most?

Yasin: Well, actually, first of all, I would like to say that the how to change our mindset about language, because unfortunately when I look at the people who try to learn English, they try to learn English as a tool just to pass some exam, doing some interview or just, you know, polish their CV. But actually, I think this is the wrong way to improve our English. If you look at things just like lifestyle, you can improve English very well. And that's why not just go to a course is not enough, you know, you have to just make (it) a part of your daily life, read news in English and watch movies in English and speak (with) some friends, to foreign people. You can use some applications and the application provides native people to speak actually. And you can use these applications or you can just go to a course. But for me, I would like to say that just try to make it part of our life, daily life, even when you can just have a you can just have a very small chit chat with your friend in English, it will be useful to improve your English because you can enjoy it, and if you enjoy it, if you are not enjoying it, if you look just as a subject, as a lecture. Well, actually, we were students and it was not very good to work hard, study hard on some subjects. But if you just enjoy it, it will be really useful, I think, to improve,

Nahum - Natural: Yeah I like that, so kind of not seeing it as a piece of paper certificate which says, OK, you speak intermediate or advanced English, but just enjoying, enjoying the journey a bit more doing things you like with the language. That's cool. Yeah, last question.I know you love your country Turkey and I'm going to spring. Going to spring, to spring this question onto you. So if people were going to visit Turkey, where would you say is like the number one unmissable place to go to. I hope to visit one day. Hopefully we'll meet up in Turkey sometime. But yeah, where would you recommend.

Yasin: Yeah, actually I will be very happy, very grateful if you visit my country and to meet in Turkey and actually I'm looking forward to looking forward to come actually. Yeah. Turkey is a very massive country and you can find a different place to discover. And you know, some if we have different ancient cities, you know, some ruins, some ancient Greek cities and some, you know, very good beaches. But for me personally, I choose to visit Istanbul. No, actually, I'm just visiting Istanbul for now for my day off. I mean, actually, just today, I visited some good places. I believe that is really wonderful. It will be incredible to come to Istanbul to visit some museums, some historical places and . And just let me give an example. Like Topkapi Palace is very important for our culture, for our country and even for our Islamic culture, because it contains a lot a lot of important holy masterpieces, you know, and some drawings. I think Istanbul is the best to visit if you are if you have just one chance to come to Turkey, I think.

Nahum - Natural: Yeah, if you've only got, like, a few days to visit. But I think if I go to Turkey, I want more than a few days. I want to see a lots of the country. So yeah.

Yasin: Yeah. Don't worry. I will be company for you.

Nahum - Natural: Thank you.

Yasin: I will arrange everything for you just let me say something. If you come to Turkey, I mean, not just for all people who listen to our record, I think they should taste of delicious food. You know, Turkish food is very important. It's really delicious. It's really famous all around the world. Just one time if they come to Turkey, they just should taste the Turkish kebab, donna kebab, shish kebab.

Nahum - Natural: All the kebabs.

Yasin: Yeah, all the kebabs basically. All the Turkish kebabs.

Nahum - Natural: Yeah. I'm prepared. I volunteer to try all the kebabs for sure. Well, Yassin, thank you for giving us some of your time on your day off. I know you've had a busy day, so thanks so much for sharing a little bit about your career and a little bit about Turkey and your journey with English. So thanks for your time.

Yasin: Yeah, thank you very much. Actually, it was a pleasure to talk to you and record this recording, it was a pleasure for me, too.

Nahum - Natural: Great. And if this is your first time, listen to the podcast. Remember, you can follow our podcast with the transcripts on our website, which is linked in the description. And there's also a lesson with vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation points from our conversation, which you can access as well. OK, see you next time. Bye bye.

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