Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Özlem Tunca Esirgenç, Yasin Esirgenç and Yakupcan Esirgenç are one special family from Turkey! They are travelling all over the world and making documentaries for Turkish Kanal 7. Their lifestyle attracted a lot of fans, which is pretty clear on their social networks. For example, just on Instagram their show Dünyayı Geziyorum has almost 200 thousand followers. We managed to catch up with Özlem just before the family left Dubrovnik, which they visited because of the Good Food Festival.

You are quite famous in Turkey, can you explain to our readers what is your show about?

We have been travelling around the world for eight years now. In the last four years, my son Yakupcan joined us. So, I’m travelling with my husband and my son and this is very unique project in the world. In these eight years we’ve been to more than 120 countries and my little son is almost four years old and he has visited around 90 countries! He has his second passport now. Our aim is to visit tourist destinations and promote them. We are showing everything about the beauties of one country, historical places, beaches, museums, food...

So, you are travelling all over the world, filming and raising your child? Is it hard to manage it all?

Yes. It is not easy, but I like to travel. Also, when I was pregnant I travelled for all nine months! When I gave birth to my son, we stopped travelling for 40 days and then continued. We are always on the road, always travelling.




How do you choose your destinations?

First we are looking the weather and what documents are needed to visit the destination. Then we think about where we want to go, but also where our audience wants us to go. When it’s summer in Turkey, we are usually going to cold-weather places. When winter comes to Europe, we mostly travel to Asia, Africa or Latin-America.

Are you surprised that you have so many fans?

Well, yes. I like my job and I am always natural. We are showing really nice destinations and sharing great pictures on our social media pages. About a year ago we didn’t even use social media channels and now we have almost 200 thousand fans! It’s because our TV show is very popular in our country - people always want to travel and we are doing something like a dream job. People are watching our TV show because we are like their guides. And since he’s just a little child travelling around the world, Yakupcan is also interesting to our audience.

So, is it a dream job?

Yes, it really is. When you ask people what are they dreaming about, they say – I will earn my money and will travel around the world. I love my job! When I was a child, I always wanted to work on television as a presenter and I’m very lucky – I am doing my dream job and travelling.




What did you like about Dubrovnik?

If you ask me, one of my top three favourite places in the world is Dubrovnik, for sure. It has very nice history, very nice people and we have similar culture.  This was actually my fourth time in Dubrovnik. We came before but this time I really felt it. We stayed in the Old City and when you do that, you can feel history and everything else much better. We were here for five days and I am very sad to leave. I want to stay more! I hope we will come again and stay longer because every time we come I feel different things. It feels really nice. There is the amazing Adriatic Sea, very clean. I am travelling around the world and I can tell you that this is the best sea in the world. It’s like crystal. And when you look at the Old City, it has such an amazing history.

How did your little son like Dubrovnik?

Yakupcan liked it very much. It’s very clean everywhere, so he can play wherever he wants. In the Old City there are no cars and that is also very good for small children. Dubrovnik is really children-friendly.




You had a chance to visit Good Food Festival, how did you like it?

The festival was wonderful. For example, at the Dubrovnik Table, in one hour we saw very, very delicious, beautiful, traditional food. It was very good and next year we hope to come again and film it. Also, since we are planning to show the Good Food Festival to our audience, we expect many Turkish people to come and enjoy it next year.

What was your favourite meal?

There was a chicken noodle soup at the tastes of Srijem and Slavonia presentation and I loved it. Also, I love sea food, it’s delicious because it comes from the clean Adriatic Sea that has so many great fish in it.

And do you have a favourite place in Dubrovnik?

Old City is for sure my favourite place, the Old Port...  Also, we visited Cavtat and it was amazing. Such a beautiful sea and environment. We went to Majkovi as a part of the Good Food Festival and it was really nice and traditional and the people were great.

What do you think about the people in Dubrovnik in general?

They are very nice, really helpful and smiley! When we were filming in the Old City everybody helped us so much. If I compare them to the people in the other countries I can say that they are really welcoming, always smiling, wonderful people. You feel that just by looking at them.

So you would really like to come again to Dubrovnik?

Oh, yes. When I go to Turkey I will tell all my friends to come because they really should. History, food, sea, nature – everything is great. I’m just in love with this city.


We heard that you were teaching Yakupcan also to host your show?

Actually, I am not doing anything. He is doing what he sees. He is copying me and when I’m telling something about the destination we are in sometimes he takes my microphone and starts talking to the camera.

I suppose people love that?

Yes, now he has a lot of fans in Turkey! Sometimes when I share picture without him, people say – there is no Yakupcan in this picture, we don’t like it, please put a picture with him!

Do people criticise you because of travelling all the time with a small child?

When we started to do this program with Yakupcan, some people said that is bad and that we can’t do it because that’s not good for him. But, it’s really good for him! His body is really strong because he is always travelling, changing weather... Sometimes we change winter and summer in one week and he is used to this. He learns a lot and sees a lot – things that children his age can only see on TV. He is used to travelling and there is no problem for him.


Do you have any countries that you didn’t visit but would love to?

Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, we didn’t go yet but we are planning to visit.

What are your next plans, where are you going next?

Slowly, winter is coming, so we are going to start our Africa trip for this year. Next week we are going to Tunisia.

According to unofficial information, the Croatian government is trying to use the negotiations between Great Britain and the European Union about Brexit in order for the UK to open its labour market for Croatian citizens.

When it comes to Croatian citizens on the labour market in the UK, they are in a very specific situation because, unlike other Europeans, they are still required to have working permits to work in the country.

This limitation, which is currently in force until the 30th of June 2018, Great Britain can prolong for two more years if it proves that the opening of the British market for Croatian citizens would lead to serious market disturbances. However, diplomatic sources state that Croatia considers this prolongation unfounded.

The British ambassador to Croatia Andrew Dalgleish pointed out that it is quite clear how much this issue is important to Croatia.

‘’At this moment I cannot tell you what will be the decision. However, what I can tell you is that the UK government is absolutely aware of the importance of this issue for Croatia and that we want Croatian citizens in the UK, after Brexit, to have the same rights and responsibilities as all other EU citizens’’.

Dalgleish also added that the UK does not want to have one regime for Croats and one for citizens of other EU member countries. ‘’The decision has not been reached yet, but we certainly take into consideration the importance of this issue for Croatia, which is a valuable bilateral partner of the United Kingdom and our ally in the UN and NATO’’, commented Dalgleish.

Lately big topic in the European cooking world is shortage of butter. It’s making the butter cost a lot more than before, as well as the products connected to it.

The lack of butter is a reflection of the major fall of milk production in Europe and is especially felt in France where butter is used in large amounts for the production of bakery products – writes

Some stores in France have informed their costumers about the problem with signs placed on their windows, saying that they are not selling certain bakery products anymore due to lack of butter.  

In France, butter prices rose by as much as 60 percent this year, official data shows, and this will be felt even more  pre-Christmas time when cakes and other products may be missing.

Butter prices have also increased in Croatia as a result of global price movements. The price of butter is on average about 25 kuna per 250 grams, which is around three euro. It is expected that prices will get even higher, also during the pre-Christmas period. Some even went that far in speculating, saying that this might be a year without cakes and cookies for Christmas in Croatia.

Be careful if you are walking in the Pile area of Dubrovnik today as a hole has appeared in the stone pavement.

These photos were sent to us by a reader who almost twisted her ankle in this hole. And as the hole in the pavement is in a busy area of the city, right next to the bus stops and tourist coach arrivals, we hope that the city is on the scene quickly to repair the damage and refill the hole.

be careful dubrovnik

In order to attract new investors, the Croatian city of Bjelovar has come up with an ingenious new approach – to become the first tax free city in the country.

‘’High taxes, high VAT, uncertain political situation, frequent changes in governing structures, introduction of new taxes etc., all these are problems that affect the business climate. Therefore, the city authorities of Bjelovar have decided to help those who express an interest of investing in our city or plan a new investment here by abolishing taxes’’, explained Darko Hrebak, the mayor of Bjelovar.

The city of Bjelovar will be the first tax free city in Croatia, however, the city authorities expect to lose at least 4 million Kunas of the city’s budget in the first year of implementation of the new approach, but they are also hoping for a new employment and investment boom.

The Croatian Pensioner Society (MUH), the largest pensioner’s organization in Croatia, warns that 50 percent of pensioners in Croatia live on the brink of poverty.

Around 570,000 Croatian pensioners receive an average pension of 1,348 Kunas, which remains behind the rise in salaries by 2,55 percent, the most in the last 18 years.

These data only confirm that a large number of elderly people in Croatia live in poverty, that many of them receive an income that is below the level of social assistance and that the situation is worrisome.

The Croatian Pensioner Society (MUH) also stated that, according to the latest data, all pensioners in Croatia who acquired their pensions in accordance to the Pension Insurance Act, on the average receive 2,314 Kunas a month, which accounts for only 38,4 percent of the average salary of 6,018 Kunas.

It is interesting to note that in comparison to neighbouring countries, Croatian pensioners are among the poorest pensioners in the region.

Our resident "Style Guru" has been scanning the streets of Dubrovnik this week for the latest and greatest in fashion.

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Forebears is an interesting website that show how common your surname is and where your family originated from.
The website collects genealogical data from numerous historical books from a whole array of world countries, sorts them and shows the distribution of surnames around the globe.

According to Forebears data, the world's most common surname is Wang. More than 76 million people share that same surname and most of them live in China. In fact, among the ten most common surnames in the world, seven of them can be found in China, whilst the remaining three are most common in India.

On the other hand, Smith is the most common surname in Great Britain, Australia and the United States. There are more than 4 million people in the world who bear that surname; however, it ranks only as the world’s 117th most common surname.

As far as Croatia is concerned, the Forebears data show that the most common surname in the country is Horvat, followed by Novak, Marić, Kovačević, Babić, Kovačić, Jurić, Matić, Petrović and Marković.

The Dubrovnik Tourist Board won the Best Stay 2017 award in category ‘’Best luxury travel destination’’ at the Best Stay conference held in Split. There were three finalists: Opatija, Split and of course Dubrovnik, and our city was awarded as a destination that is the best in luxury tourism when it comes to offer and presentation.

Best Stay conference is focusing on luxury and quality in every aspect of the guest experience in tourism, bringing together around 250 experts. This is a chance to get acquainted with the latest trends as well as exchange experiences with leading people in tourism.  The award giving ceremony is a novelty in this year conference and include several categories such as "Best Luxury Hotel", "The Most Innovative Hotel Design", "Best Luxury Travel Destination" (where Dubrovnik was awarded), followed by "Best ICT Solutions for Hotels" and "Best making hotels websites ".

-This worthy acknowledgment to Dubrovnik is an affirmation of the efforts that all the members of Dubrovnik tourism invest in the presentation of Dubrovnik and the battles, but also of the love they put into their work. This is an indication that both guests and the profession recognize all what makes Dubrovnik and its luxury tourism stand out, providing additional motivation for the work, development and follow up of contemporary trends in the future – it is said from the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.

In organization of Atlas, the biggest destination management company in Croatia and Emirates, one of the world’s largest airlines, as well as with a support of the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) and Tourist Boards of Zagreb, Rovinj, the Istria County and Central Dalmatia, representatives of leading tour operators in China toured Croatia from the 15th to the 20th of October.
The main goal of the study tour was to present Croatia’s tourist offer and attract more guests from this Far East market with great potential.

During the five-day tour, Chinese representatives had an opportunity to visit tourist attractions in the area of Zagreb, Istria and Split. They were enchanted with natural beauty of Croatia, especially the colour of the Croatian sky and the quality of food. This encounter resulted in specific questions thus an agreement was already reached with MICE, which first group is coming to congress in Croatia in December this year.

The number of Chinese tourists in Croatia has recorded high growth rates. In the first eight months of this year, that number surpassed the entire last year. Chinese tourists, known as the world’s Number One travellers, on the average spend 750 Euro per travel, whilst the main motive for their arrival is the sightseeing of natural phenomena and cultural sights thus it is no surprise that on the average they sojourn two or three nights in a destination.

Emirates’ direct flights to Dubai certainly open up new opportunities for further growth. Thus, trips from Shanghai and Beijing are now more accessible to Chinese travellers, with only one stop in Dubai.

According to the latest data more than 143,000 tourists from China visited Croatia by the 20th of October this year. They realized 213,338 overnight stays or 57 percent more in arrivals and 49 percent more in overnights in comparison to the same period from last year. Among the most visited destinations in that period were Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split and the National Park Plitvice Lakes.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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