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Autistic in Turkey


Lost in Place
Posts: 74
Joined: September 27th, 2006

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  • Added on: September 28th, 2006
I am a 24 year old Belgian who is currently working and living in Northern Ireland. After two years in the country, I feel like it is time for a new challenge.
Through posting my CV online I got in touch with a Turkish company who made a quite concrete job offer. I am quite charmed by this offer, it seems extremely interesting to live in a city like Istanbul which is a crosspoints of two continents and two cultures. I in fact was aiming at different countries, but the offer grew on me and I am doubting now if I shouldn't go for it instead of keeping on waiting for offers elsewhere. Istanbul seems a unique opportunity anyway.

I have a problem maybe though: I have Asperger Syndrome, which is a mild form of autism. Do you have any idea if Turkish culture would be open to people with my condition? I don't have intellectual problems, but socially things don't always work out: I tend to be quite formal and not always 'read' social situations, which sometimes gives a bit of a weird impression. Would I expect hostile reactions from Turkish society, or should my problem not be any problem to them?


Extra Pages in Passport
Posts: 3454
Joined: November 19th, 2004

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  • Added on: October 2nd, 2006
Gerrit, I think it all depends upon your bosses. Do they know you are partially socially restricted? If the job requires a lot of social interaction, there may be problems. If it is a job with little interaction, I imagine if you do your job, nobody will care if you don't go out with them for a drink.

Turkish people aren't outlandishly different from any other people, so you have to judge from your experiences now. If you have no problem holding a job now, then you should hold this job as well if its the same kind of job.

There is one thing to be considered. Turkish people are a very advantageous people. They may try to take advantage of your shyness, if that is what you have, and make you work harder than everyone else. Once again, this also applies in the USA and other places, so its no different.

Be sure the people you're working with have a GOOD reputation. Some language schools tend to like to pay late, demand concessions, liking working on a holiday, and so on. Once more, thats someting you have to deal with in other countries.

Do you see what I mean?


Armchair Traveler
Posts: 26
Joined: April 15th, 2007

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  • Added on: May 21st, 2007
Hi Gerrit!

Congratulations on getting such a nice job offer and I hope that everything will work out well for you. I don't know if I can say anything helpful but I will try.

I know a little about Aspergers as I've worked with a lot of people who have it, and also my nephew and my friend's son have it.

I think that generally people in Turkey are very friendly and sociable and like to talk and make friends and find out about you. This may be a bit hard for you if you find social situations difficult and if you find it difficult to appreciate jokes and read situations.

However, people will probably be pleased to meet someone who is serious about work, and so I think that your employers would value you for this.

Don't worry too much about giving a 'weird' impression, as I think that all people can apper a bit weird when they are abroad! People can often be more forgiving of a foreigner from a very different background as they know the social rules are hard for people from another country to understand.

When I first went to visit my in-laws in Algeria, I didn't know anything about the culture. I couldn't speak with them easily and I didn't understand what was going on. My husband didn't explain all the social rules to me because he didn't recognise that they existed, they were just a part of his everyday life. I think that maybe this is a little bit like being autistic.

Anyway, perhaps you could contact your employers and discuss this with them, explaining Aspergers if they don't know much about it. In Algeria people don't know much about Autism, but they seem to react well to my nephew. I think this is because they always recognise the positive things in people. For example, someone with Aspergers may not be able to engage all the time socially, but they may be good at getting a job done, focussing on a task or giving a logical explanation. I think that people in Turkey will tend to focus on the positives too, and as long as you can do the job, you will be fine.

I have some Turkish friends so I will ask them what they think when I see them next week.

Sorry that my post is so long!


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