As he has been living in Sarajevo for a year now, we asked Kayhan to share some of his impressions of our city.
He first heard about Sarajevo in 1984 during the XIV Winter Olympic Games but it was only last year that he had an opportunity to visit our city. He arrived on July 8, 2014, the day that Germany beat Brazil, host country of the World Cup (7:1). It was for this reason that, as a staunch supporter of Elf, he was unfazed by the heavy rain that greeted him here in Sarajevo.
I'm glad I live here
His first encounter with the city was surprised for him because he could still notice traces of the last war on so many buildings.
However, when he came to the hotel, he was met with the kindness and directness of Sarajevans, which made him realize that he had made the right decision in accepting the job and moving to our city.
What he likes most about Sarajevo is the fact that this is a special city with great potential. He has been impressed by people’s determination to realize their goals, despite any obstacles.
He has already made many friends here and adds that he has a rich social life. He would cite kindness, openness, sociability and the desire to communicate regardless of any language barriers as Sarajevans’ greatest virtues. As for faults, he says that there’s only the fact that they can sometimes think and act in accordance with the former socialist system, which hinders their progress.
Kayhan is surprised by how much meat is eaten here. While he loves meat, and his favorite BiH specialty is lamb at the restaurant, Kulin Dvor, in Semizovac, he says that it’s a real challenge to find a good vegetarian restaurant in Sarajevo.
I enjoy mountaineering around Sarajevo
His Sarajevo ritual includes a morning jog along Wilson’s Promenade, after which he likes to have a drink in one of the summer gardens on the Miljacka. On weekends he usually goes off into nature and enjoys mountaineering around Sarajevo.
What has been hardest for him to get used to is that people smoke almost everywhere in Sarajevo and there are very few places for non-smokers. He adds that it would be good if tourists could come upon information about the destination more readily and if the tourism sector were a bit better organized.
However, he believes that Sarajevo has many more advantages and the city is dynamic with many good restaurants and excellent places to go out.
Kayhan cites the rich history and culture as a Sarajevo specialty. As a German with Turkish roots, Sarajevo suits him well because of the Ottoman part, which he can relate to, given his own Turkish heritage, and the Austro-Hungarian part, which complements his German roots.
For Kayhan, the symbol of Sarajevo is Vječna Vatra, as well as the kindness of the people who make one feel welcome in Sarajevo.
He recommends that first-time visitors take a walk around town and allow themselves to be surprised by the good food and excellent Bosnian coffee. In addition to visiting Baščaršija, Kayhan suggests that they pay a visit to the flea market in Stup on Sundays, which, he says, is completely different from other flea markets anywhere else in the world.