Life is full of routines, duties, “must do” things. Besides these, there are others - love, joy, sorrow, despair and fear, which are quite few and far between when compared to the routine flow of life. And besides routines and such few exceptions, there are tiny breaking points, turning points in life, such that after a while, at some certain point when you gaze back at your past, you realise that this turning point changed the direction of your life and took you somewhere that you had never dreamed before, that you were unable to predict or even think of.
I deeply appreciate that one morning in the spring of 2006 was one of these few turning points of my life. On that morning, Prof. Dr. Hayriye Elbi, to whom I will be grateful for all my life, invited me to her office in the Department of Psychiatry in Ege University. I was a second year resident in Psychiatry and she was head of the Department. I can still remember what she asked me in front of the open window from where you could see the first blossoms of April. She asked me, while passing me the official letter, whether I would like to study for a PhD degree abroad.