The first place I visited in Greece after Athens was Zakynthos in 2006. I also had the chance to visit other wonderful islands such as Corfu, Lefkada, Cephalonia, Rhodes, Symi, Chios, Kos, Lesvos, Ikaria, Tinos, Santorini, Mykonos, Syros, Hydra, Aegina, Crete, Kea and other places like Chalkidiki, Epidaurus, Porto Heli, Monemvassia, Nafplio and cities like Thessaloniki, Patra, Trikala and Kalamata. Each and every place had its own beauty and magic that can hardly be put into words. It’s no coincidence that I came here for a couple of months, but have already stayed eight years!
I will never forget the day I met Maria Farantouri in 2008. I was having a walk in a lazy afternoon in Syros and I saw her having lunch in a tavern. I went to talk to her and once she realised that I am from Turkey, she asked me to sing a song from Livaneli. I sang one of my favourite songs and she proposed me to sing together that very night in the Apollon Theater! How could I imagine that my walk would take me to such a glorious concert? I also have a funny story in Mykonos in 2012, where a lamp in the hotel fell on my head and broke my foot. The next day I had a concert with Mimis Plessas and they took me to the stage in a wheelchair.
“Greece and my Greek friends have become my second home and family”
Speaking about the beauty of Greece, I can`t leave out antiquities like the Acropolis, Epidaurus, Olympia, beautiful sunsets of Santorini and Sounion, great scenery like Meteora and Monemvassia, the beautiful beaches of the Ionian Islands, and wild rocky beauty of the Aegean. Combined with the warm-hearted and generous people, Greece and my Greek friends have become my second home and family.
I adore Greek cuisine! It`s made up of simple flavours, which make a taste explosion in your mouth! My favourites are fava of Santorini, Cretan dakos, the chewy mastelo cheese from Chios, the olives and olive oil of Kalamata.
From Greece I took the best gift that life can give to somebody! My husband and my baby girl.
At the top of my long list of places to visit is Epirus. I want to see Ioannina and Zagorohoria with their natural beauty, lakes and mountains.