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Ibrahim, Turkey/Northern Ireland 

My name is Ibrahim Terlik. I am 37 years old. I come from Turkey. It is a holiday resort. I used to sell bags, t-shirts, jewelries and anything in a holiday resort. We worked in the summer time when the tourists come. In winter, we stayed there. I left Turkey to Northern Ireland in 1999. I met my wife in Turkey in 1996. We have been together for a long time and we married in 1998. She went to school there. She came to Turkey to live for a long time. Came back and went back so we knew each other better and got engaged. So we married in 1998.

Honestly, I didn’t choose Northern Ireland. I see her. I love her. That’s it. So if she was from different countries, I would go anywhere. I used to have a jewellery craft shop in Bangor for nine years. We closed it a couple of months ago. We sell stuff in the market. We have a space there. A lot of my family [members] come over here to visit me. But they don’t really like here because Turkey is always sunny and everything is so natural & organic. They never think of to live here. Maybe one week or two weeks is fine. They cannot stay more than two weeks. They would want to go. For me, the rain is okay. I’ve been living here for 15, 16 years now. I get used to it now. If I go to Turkey, first week is fine. Eat everything and friends. But the other weeks, I start to miss that way again, when will we go back, you know. I’m happy here.

I have brought Backgammon. We always play in Turkey. Even when we are working, we still play. We have small tools and a small table. When our customers come up, we stand up, wait and help them. When the customers are away, we play. The boss is so friendly. The boss is like a family. They don’t say anything like what are you doing or why are you playing that sort of things. They will be okay. When we play, we drink Turkish coffee. We have to drink a couple of cups a game. When I was back to Turkey last time, I bought everything to find people to play Backgammon. It is hard to find people to play. I showed my wife’s father. He plays a little but not that much. Some Irish people play online but the people don’t know the real set. It’s easy to play online but it’s hard to play on the Backgammon. Most of the people in Turkey know the game. I am saying between 12 – 90. They start to learn at 12. I am trying to teach my son as well to play with each other. Now he is twelve. When he is a little bit older, we can play together. It is a little bit hard to teach him. (Interviewer: Hopefully one day he will start to beat you. Laughter) It’s nice like that. If I always beat, it means nothing. They have to beat somebody as well. I know one guy here, a Turkish. He is learning. I always beat him, not fun. I know I am going to win. You know, it’s nothing. It has to be a little bit strong. Sometimes he beats, I beat, you know.

When I first came here as a migrant, it was not 100% great. I made a lot of mistakes. When I came over here, there were 6,7 Turkish people, now we are talking about 400 or maybe 500 Turkish. Also I can’t see them either. They are here. I know they are here in Northern Ireland. But I never meet them much. I may have met 10 or 15 people. I’m saying like people from China or Thailand, they know each other but Turkish people don’t know much. You see, for example, you are Poland, you are Chinese [Referring to the Interviewers] How long have you been here? (Six months)  I’m here for 15 years, out of the 400 people, I have only met 15 of them. They are all working night time or day time or whatever. We don’t have contact like a Turkish community. We don’t have it. (Interviewer: maybe that is something we can grow. Maybe a big Backgammon for everyone to go) Yes.