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Basak Taner - Istanbul, Turkey (Global Lives Project, 2013) Life Story Interview Part 1

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How do you define your friends? What does friendship mean to you? What does friendship mean to me? Friendship is as sacred to me as marriage. I'd rather call them all my best friends because I only make room for best friends in my life. I don't have many friends. I don't keep a person in my life just to say hello or to be with on a good day. I let go of many people as time passes. Either I went through some hard times with them or felt like something wasn't clicking. I have a few best friends now but that is more than enough. They are a part of me. They help me to create the real Başak. I am very comfortable and happy when I am with them. I do as I please. I know I won't be judged. I never judge people and I don't like to be judged. I believe in acceptance in friendships not in judgement. Thank God I am surrounded by people who think alike. They are very dear to me. Can you tell us a funny memory you had with your friends? Of course. Actually, we have many funny memories. One look, one sentence makes us laugh for hours. What should I tell? I can tell this. We are a group of 8. We decided to write a script. I am good at writing so I was the main writer. My friends contributed as well. We were inspired by the 80s. We started thinking of some famous scenes of Turkish films from that era. These scenes include night clubs, singers, protitutes, the naives, women who used to be naive but ended up on the wrong path rapers and so on but they were all portrayed as comedic elements. The lines and dialogues these characters had and my approch to human behaviour was very funny. We also came up with new vocabulary. We still laugh a lot when we read the script. We could never actually film it but it remained as such a funny memory. What is the most romantic moment you had with your husband? The most romantic moment? I guess marriage kills the romance There isn't such a moment as the most romantic moment but when we put Zeynep to bed and when it is just the two of us it sometimes feel romantic maybe one look, one touch leads to some romance. But we don't create the space, the moment, the mood for romance deliberately. We don't experience romance like that in our marriage. How was your honeymoon? How was our honeymoon? We left for Paris the day after we got married. We stayed there for a few days and went to Vienna after that. We ended up visiting the car galleries such as Ferrari, Peugeot and Mercedes. That was romantic. We went to Euro Disney. I guess the child within us came alive. We didn't choose to go to a secluded island,lie under the bright sun and have romantic moments. Ours was a more social, fun honeymoon. How do you define success? Do you think you are successful?—How do I define success? To me success has nothing to do with work. Work is something that helps me to make money. But it is important to enjoy what you do. I never dreamed of becoming a general manager somewhere and order people around in order to have everyone's respect. I think that is so fake. They say one thing to your face then talk behind your back the second you leave the office. Especially if you are not a favored person.That's why the corporate life has seemed so superficial to me. Your personal life defines success. If you love, if you are loved, if you are capable of loving, if you have a loving family and friends in your life then you are truly successful. I consider myself very successful. I have a beautiful family a great husband, a beautiful daughter, amazing friends... These are the true values one needs to gain in life. What are your hobbies, what attracts you the most in life? Cars are my hobby. Cars attract me the most. I started getting intrerested in cars during my high school years. I used to get a lot of magazines. After I finished the high school and I started going to mechanical shops because I was interested in technical details. I wanted to know what engine was or what the gearbox was all about etc. First I started at Pendik with some mechanical masters Then I started going to the mechanical shop in Goztepe, There was a racing garage there after that I went to the Maslak racing garage. I worked with the masters in order to learn the car mechanics.Then I started going to the rally races and met the rally racers. ı was the only woman wiping the windshields or rolling the wheels at those races. I could feel everyone was pointing at me. As if I was an alien among 100 men. Rally racing is not just for men. I loved cars, I was very interested in them. I still am. So I can say my hobbies are cars and racing. I attended some workshops about rally racing. Then I felt ready to race. I have a very close friend who happens to be a co pilot in Turkish Rally Championship. He got me ready for the race he rented a car, he found the right outfit. Then I found out I got pregnant a month before the actual race. When I got pregnant, I had to cancel the race because my parents were too scared . I tried to persuade them by promising that I would drive slower and I would drive on the right lane etc. But they said no. I had to postpone it but sooner or later I will definitely race. I will definitely race once in my lifetime.—Do you have another hobby? I do of course. I used to play volleyball for many years. I used to be very ambitious during my school years I wonder if I was ambitious by then or if I am ambitious now. Maybe I was more ambitious by then. I really wanted to play for Fenerbahçe's sports team. But my timing was off. I couln't go to the Kid's Volleyball team because of my age or couldn't be a part of Youth's Volleyball team because of my condition. Actually my technique was very good. Everyone would ask me how old I was. I would tell them my age then they would say "wish you were a year younger". I would go crazy. I worked so hard at the practices. I even thought of changing my age with court order just to be able to play in the team. But then that didn't happen. I started going to high school and needed to study very hard for the university exam. Then I stopped playing. I still love volleyball and try to play whenever I get a chance. I think I have played for 7-8 years trying to be professional. Othen than volleyball, I love swimming. I love water even if I can't dive. Other than that I love writing. I used to write in bits and pieces but a few months ago I started writing a story. I combine my imagination with real life experiences of my own. I try to come up with something good. Can you tell us what your story is about? No I can't. Of course I can. It is about a young woman but then you willl think it is about me. It is about the marriage, friends, life, ups and downs of a young woman. She goes through something so devastating that it makes her hit rock bottom Then she goes through a healing phase, gets some support from the people she trusts, but she also ends up dealing with people who let her down in the time being That's the story. What makes you happy in life, what scares you or worries you? Good question. Let me ask for some wine before that. No waiter on sight. Whatever. What makes me happy in life? Being with the people I love makes me happy. Being with my daughter, my husband my friends make me very happy. I love having people I love next to me. Driving makes me happy especially the cars in great conditions. I lose it. I become overwhelmed with the performance of the car. I'd want to be alone with it and touch the steering wheel. I need to sit inside and even talk to the car. I know it doesn't sound sane but it makes me happy. I need to speed with the car. Forcing the car makes me very happy. What makes me angry?—Makes you angry, worried or scared? I think future scares me. Not knowing the truth scares me the most. I don't know I think sometimes I don't let things flow I feel the need to control but I know I can't control the future it is so massively unknown. Future scares me. Not knowing how I will turn out scares me sometimes. Other than that maybe aging scares me but I know it is inevitable I think it is not the aging but it is the idea of ending up alone when you are old makes me scary. I don't like complete loneliness. I mean I like it when I deliberately spend time on my own because I can get rid of that loneliness whenever I want but the idea of ending up alone scares me. Other than that, what makes me angry is the unfairness. I don't want to be misunderstood by the people or people I know and I don't want people to complain about me or judge me. I have never complained or judged anyone in my life. I guess I judge my husband. I judge Cüneyt. Other than Cuneyt, I don't judge anyone. Yes I don't judge anyone except Cüneyt. I don't like unfairness or not being able to express myself or being misunderstood These make me very angry.—Are you being toughest against your husband? I am toughest against my husband. I push him the most. Who else can tolerate me? I laugh with him the most, I push him the most I lose it with him. It is as if I have no boundaries when I am around him. I am tough with him. I think I am relentless when it comes to him. I don't know, damn I think I expect too much from him. What is the reason for that? He is my partner and we share a life together. He can tolerate me the most.

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes and 1 second
Country: Turkey
Language: Turkish
Producer: Mutlu Vrysopoulos
Views: 79
Posted by: globallives on Aug 19, 2014

This is an interview with Basak Taner, a pharmaceutical delivery person in Istanbul, Turkey. Produced by Mutlu Vrysopoulos, Onur Aldogan, Huseyin Kok, Orhan Caliskan, Mert Aldogan, Semih Gur, Suphi Uzun and Muhammed Genc, this video is part of the Global Lives Project, a video library of life experience.

For more information visit globallives.org.

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