Remzi Gokdag could be described in many ways, but perhaps most efficient words are wanderer and wonderer: across territories, eras, peoples and cultural boundaries. He was born in Istanbul, Turkey. Before traveling the world, he was award-winning journalist. His journeys started when he started to work as a foreign correspondent across the Europe, US and Middle East in the 1990s. The experience has undoubtedly changed him. He is the author of four books. After living in Moscow, Los Angeles and Zurich he moved to Dubai, UAE and currently lives there. He may be there now but always in search for going sowehere else…
He is a former journalist who has covered news in Turkey also reported from the USA, Russia and Switzerland since 1989. He received the The Progressive Journalists Association (ÇGD) and The Turkish Journalists’ Society’s (TGC) Cetin Emec Journalism Award. In 1996, he moved to Los Angeles for studying online journalism, web design and digital media while covering daily American life for Turkish newspapers and magazines. He worked in Moscow as a reporter for Turkish and International news agencies in 1998. Living abroad changed the course of his life and he began freelancing for news industry. He returned to the US in 1999 and lived there for 9 more years. In 2008, he moved to Zurich, Switzerland and began working on ideas for using the Internet as a reporting tool for ‘traditional’ media. He created several online publishing platforms. His weekly journals published at Cumhuriyet from 2001 to 2013. In 2013 moved back to Istanbul for another for 5 years. During the time he published his fourth book Başka Şehirler. He’s been living in Dubai since 2018.
1989 | After graduation with a degree in Journalism from Istanbul University he began his journalism career at Cumhuriyet in 1989, specialized of Istanbul also covered national and feature news.
1996 | He moved to Los Angeles for studying web design and development also practiced for broadcast, print and online media to create new platforms for digital journalism. While covering the news, he became convinced that newspapers could do much more to ensure that good journalism thrives in the Age of Information. His weekly journals about daily life in the US have been published on national newspapers and magazines in Turkey.
1998 | Started a new life in Russia… He worked as a reporter for Turkish and International news agencies in Moscow. Living abroad changed the course of his life and he began freelancing for the news industry.
1999 | He returned to the US, after Moscow “adventure” and lived there for about 9 more years.
2008 | Everything has its time and his time in the US come to the end in 2008.
2009 | He moved to Switzerland and began working on ideas for using the Internet as a reporting tool for ‘traditional’ media. He created several online publishing platforms during his time in Zurich. His weekly journals published at Cumhuriyet from 2009 to 2013.
2013 | He returned to Istanbul and lived there until end of 2018.
2020 | Currently living in Dubai, UAE…
(2019) Başka Şehirler (Other Cities) This book is a collection of stories that explores how a person’s physical path affects the city. A special place can sink into your bones, color your thoughts, and leak from your pen. Some places are as closely associated with a person as to be inseparable. Say “Rembrandt” and you immediately think of Amsterdam. How a city would has changed if Hemingway never lived in Pamplona?
(2015) Sevgili Istanbul (Dear Istanbul) compiles twenty memories by well-known notable Istanbul figures of the last century. These may be extraordinary people, but their experiences and emotions are recognizable as our own. They recollect their memories about the city which is lost today.
(2001) Amerikan Medyasında 11 Eylül: The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks had an important impact on news industry. Television coverage of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and their aftermath was the longest uninterrupted news event in the history of U.S. television. Amerikan Medyasında 11 Eylülis a book about how the US news media reacted to 9/11. The major U.S. broadcast and cable networks were on the air for days with uninterrupted coverage from the moment news first came that the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Millions of shocked television viewers watching live pictures of the World Trade Center saw the second plane hit and both buildings come down. Remzi Gokdag summarized reaction of various networks, mainstream news outlets and internet news websites in the events of 9/11.
(1992) Park Otel Olayi tells a timeline story about a huge construction building which had raised in the middle of Istanbul without legal approval and then stopped by people who wanted to protect their historic city’s environment.
“I’ve been a traveller for as long as I can remember”
“I first and foremost see myself as someone on the search for knowledge. I used to be a reporter, and I used to get referred to as a journalist sometimes. Since my books, however, people have started calling me a writer. I’m a blogger too, thanks to my internet articles, but I’ve been a traveller for as long as I can remember. The journey started when I was young and would explore beyond the limits of the neighbourhood, and it has continued my whole life – in time taking me across the world. I would always head off in pursuit of what interested me. The cities and cultures I bear witness to broaden my horizons. As a result, the things I learn while travelling are reflected in my writing.”
I love connecting people to places through stories. In the world we are living into, internationalism and diversity count, and writing can be a political act, as well as a way to make a bridge.
“ON THE ROAD”
I often come back from trips with a notebook full of facts and ideas that will never find their way into an eventual story. It’s challenging to whittle down your experiences on the road to meet the rigid requirements of your brief or the specific angle of your story. There is always that moment when I return from a trip and think: That was great, now what does it all mean? What was my main takeaway from this experience? How can I relay all of these jumbled notes into a cohesive story that not only makes sense, but is interesting to the reader? Once I nail down the crux of the story I need to find the right intro, which is often the toughest part. I’ll typically write two or three options and see which one sticks.
“I’M A VISUAL PERSON”
I watch and understand things through my eyes.