Meet the People Beril Balal & Omer Faruk Buyuktas, from Istanbul to Maribor

By , 28 Jan 2020, 19:07 PM Meet the People
Beril Balal & Omer Faruk Buyuktas Beril Balal & Omer Faruk Buyuktas All images from Istanbul krumpir

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Where did you live before Slovenia, and what brought you here?

We were living in Istanbul, Turkey. Last year we came to Ljubljana for a vacation and we loved the country. Actually, we always had an idea of moving abroad. After this trip, we decided to move to Slovenia, because when you compare it with İstanbul here is so green, so peaceful, and there’s no traffic. If you are a tourist, İstanbul is a beautiful city but if you are living and working there it’s too hard to live. Such as, everyday I have to go to work and it takes two hours going and two hours coming back. It is really exhausting. So all these reasons brought us to Slovenia.

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How was the process of moving here?

After our trip, we talked with some consulting firms about the investment conditions to get a visa. We evaluated these and decided they suited us. Then we started to look at property to buy in Slovenia, we used and, but we could not find anything and so we came to Slovenia once more. We visited Ljubljana, Portorož, Koper and Maribor. That’s how we found our store in Maribor.

Overall, the experience of this was really good. We were travelling to different cities and at the same time we were looking for a place which was good for us.

However, we were told that making an investment is the best option if you want to move here, you don’t need to wait too long and can get your visa within three months. But in fact it took much more than more than three months, eight months in total, and that was hard and stressful for us.

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Have you started to learn Slovene?

We applied for the governments language course, but when we went we saw that they were teaching Slovene with Slovene. There is no class from English to Slovene. This is a problem for us, but we’re trying to learn at home with some online courses.

What work did you do back home?

Both of us have bachelor’s degrees and graduated from İstanbul University. After I graduated from the business administration department I worked as an auditor for four years and after that worked two years in a bank as a senior specialist in the financial reporting department. Omer, my husband, graduated in tourism management, and worked in the tourism sector. Then he took a bakery course and learned how to become a pastry chef. He had a bakery/café in İstanbul for five years before we came here.

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What’s your business in Maribor?

We opened our restaurant three months ago.  We make large baked potato, mix it with butter and mozzarella cheese (like a puree) and put different types of salad on it. This is a special kind of Turkish street food. We also have waffles with a different toppings. And of course, we have original Turkish baklava, Turkish coffee and Turkish tea.

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Where can people find out more about your work?

We have a Facebook page, Istanbul kumpir & waffle, and Instagram page istanbulkumpirandwaffle. The best thing is to come and visit us and try some Turkish street food, at Slovenska Ulica 42, 2000 Maribor.

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