What is an expatriate or expat?
Anyone who lives for an extended period of time outside their native country struggles with this definition and the problems and challenges of living in an adopted country, especially one where the culture and possibly the religion are completely foreign to the place from which they came. They frequently see and hear things that are unheard of, comic or tragic in their home countries.
Webster’s Online Dictionary defines an expatriate as to “banish, exile” or “to withdraw (oneself) from residence in or allegiance to one’s native country”
Oxford English Dictionary defines it a bit differently in that it says an expatriate is “a person who lives outside their native country” but it goes on to say the definition of an expatriate as an “exile” is archaic. It also defines expatriate as “denoting or relating to a person living outside their native country”
With those definitions in mind we then went to Wikipedia to see how others have defined the term.
“An expatriate (in abbreviated form, expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person’s upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”). In its broadest sense, an expatriate is any person living in a different country from where he or she is a citizen.” Wikipedia goes on to state that “In terms of outbound expatriation, the UK has currently the highest number of expatriates among OECD countries with more than three million British living abroad, followed by Germany and Italy….The Expat Directory is currently collating information on expatriate movements to provide a statistical overview of expatriate origin and destination countries. Current statistics show that the majority of expatriates originate from the United States.”
So what really is this person called an expat?
Let’s see what some prominent expats have to say about themselves and the expat community in Turkey.
Every month Alex Smith shares his perspective on the expats of Kaş and writes about a variety of subjects. See here for a list of his articles. He writes “Living in the Kaş area as an ex-pat has many advantages and possibly a few disadvantages (if you consider the lack of access to a large shopping mall a disadvantage)…”
Rita Schumann is an expat from Germany who writes for a local Kaş paper and has written about German expats in Kaş. Rita writes “There are many different groups of Germans in Kaş with various contacts and connections. There are those who are married or partner with a Turkish man or woman, those who live here permanently, those who come and go, there are vacationers and those who have left to go back to Germany.”
This Expat Glossary from Jack Scott is a funny but all-too-true commentary on expats in Turkey.
“Expatriates, like everyone else, come in all shapes and sizes – the mean and the mannered, the classless and the classy, the awful and the joyful. The abbreviated epithet ‘expat’ simply doesn’t adequately express the myriad folk who have chosen to live here in Turkey (or anywhere else for that matter). To add a little descriptive colour to my posts, I’ve devised some new words and phrases to depict the numerous variants of the species…”
Natalie Sayin weighs in with a few collections of experiences of her own in her blog article, Expats – Love Them Or Hate Them that add substance and humour to the definition of expat.
“…the fact is that when you come to Turkey, you will definitely come into contact with one or more expats unless you are camping in the back of beyond. We are everywhere but mainly tend to gather in packs on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. I am not normally one for stereotyping people however life in Turkey as an expat does change your outlook and personality…”
TurkeyCentral.com is an “Expat forum, postings, musings and arguments all about the Turkish way of living for expats, their spouses and the Turkish people who encounter them.”
And from the Archers of Okçular comes this list that should make your reading day complete.
“After 14 years living in the farming village of Okçular near Ortaca in Muğla province in the SW of Turkey, there are so many stories to tell; some are cautionary, some are interesting and some are downright hilarious. From the day we arrived there has hardly been a dull moment.” Okçular? Where’s That Then? – Archers of Okçular
There you have it, expats define what the word means to them by the way they live their lives in the country of their choice, rather than the country of their birth. Happy Days!