Doğan Şahin: “live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry”

LOL chats with people who have chosen to make Fethiye their home...

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Doğan Şahin: “live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry”

Resident in Fethiye for the last six years, published author and talented interpreter, Doğan Şahin, has a rare understanding of life, and all that it brings. This could well be as a result of his travels and living in other countries, experiences that have enabled him to analyse cultures critically and objectively.

Sitting in the shade at Şat restaurant, in Çalış, we discussed many subjects, all of them fascinating and frequently challenging.

During our conversation he explained his philosophy, discussed his years spent travelling and the wealth of experience he has gained personally and professionally over the years.

A fount of knowledge

Those who meet Doğan often describe him as a friend; others say he is a fount of knowledge. He, on the other hand, describes himself as someone who isn’t “particularly sociable these days” but even so he has developed a wide circle of expat friends and acquaintances in the community, many of whom he has successfully guided through the intricate maze of Turkish culture and bureaucracy.   

Travel broadens the mind

Doğan was born in Mersin in January 1962. He graduated from the Selcuk University Faculty of Education, in Turkey. Following graduation, he lived abroad for about 20 years. As he explained:

“I lived in Bali for six months, about two years in the UK and I also lived in Sydney and Melbourne. I also spent a couple of months in East Timor. Over those twenty years I spent varying lengths of time in 66 cities – possibly even more ... I must admit, I’ve lost count! So you could say I am well travelled and a citizen of the world.”

Having lived in many countries before returning to Turkey, he explained his take on life as a foreigner living in a new, and sometimes rather unfamiliar environment.

“When you come to live in a foreign country with a complicated bureaucracy, a language and a culture you don’t even pretend to understand, and a complex legal system, I realised pretty soon that it helps to have a trustworthy and knowledgeable guide. Now I am back in Turkey and living in Fethiye, where there’s a large community of foreign nationals, I understand how important it is to know someone who speaks fluent English and understands the western mind-set to help with these issues.”

While living in Australia Doğan told us how he became an official English language translator and interpreter.

“My qualifications are accredited by the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters in Australia (NAATI) and recognised by/ has been a member of/ ITIA (Irish Translators and Interpreters Association), ITI (Institution of Translating Interpreting), ATA (American Translators Association), AUSIT (Australian Translator Interpreters Association) …  All of these are Commonwealth, as well as English speaking countries and with all these accreditations under my belt I have been providing legal translation services to international official and private organizations for more than 30 years and, even though I say so myself, very successfully. Now I have settled in Fethiye with my family, where I am one of the few official interpreters to be registered as an expert witness at the Muğla City Justice Commission.”

Realising a dream

In addition to his rich professional portfolio, Doğan explained that he is also a published author with four books to his name, two of which are translations. His articles on tourism, history and social life as well as Blue Cruise Holidays have appeared in many journals and newspapers. As he pointed out:

“I am not someone who is constantly on the search for work, in a hungry sort of way, but when I do help someone I believe the important thing is to find out exactly what it is they want… what they’re searching for… I suppose it could be described as a sort of symbiotic relationship. Essentially, it’s about using my awareness and sensitivity to other cultures, to understand what people want or need and ultimately to make their dream a reality. My experience has shown me that, all too often, people hurry into friendships, and especially expensive transactions and business deals, which require big financial outlays. Sometimes they choose to, or are encouraged to, cut corners and don’t do everything that’s necessary, or required. Sometimes they make cultural faux pas. I suppose you could describe me as a kind of helping hand, a guide to help people through all the cultural and technical details, from surveys and local/national legislation, and other requirements. Of course I charge a fee for this, but paying for my professional services can help avoid a great many, and sometimes very pricey, on-going problems.”

Just like everyone else, Doğan has dreams. One he mentioned, is to share his passion for and knowledge about Turkey, while another is to make sure that people who chose to live in the Fethiye region will not be confronted by problems that can so easily be avoided. When buying property there are always disbursements – fees – and it’s only logical, Doğan says, that his services should be one of these. His clients all say this is money well spent.

But rather than letting Doğan have the last word, why not let some of his clients have the last word? He has many satisfied clients, who are very happy with the services he has and confirm that they are worth every lira. Among them is Stephen Chidgey, who sold his property last year with Doğan’s support.

“I can happily recommend the services provided by Doğan Şahin with regard to all matters of advice on buying, selling and managing properties in the Fethiye area. His knowledge of the legal and property transactional requirements in Turkey and this coupled with his excellent translation skills proved invaluable in my time as auditor at a condominium and later in negotiating and finalising the sale of my own property at the end of 2016.”

Another vendor, Rob Addison, told us

"Doğan is a reliable and trustworthy person. He has the ability to tackle difficult situations and bring them to a positive resolution by using integrity and respect to all parties involved. I would recommend using his services to resolve identified issues in the correct manner whilst also properly managing expectations."

Meanwhile, Peter Simpson says of Doğan,

“We have no hesitation in recommending him as an interpreter and representative in legal or administrative matters."  

Kumie and Hakan, who rented a holiday property on Şovalye Island through Doğan, told us:

“We stayed on Şovalye Island and ... our house was only few seconds to the beautiful sea and the water was so clear, especially in the morning, we could see the fishes, crabs and even sea turtles!”

Doğan hopes that, having read this article you will want to meet with him too… even if it is just for a chat over a coffee…

You can contact Doğan at

* Jack Kerouac





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