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Yakacık Residence Donor Ayhan Göletli:

“They say the residences are like a five-star hotel, but I think they are more like a seven-star one.”

Yakacık Residence Donor Ayhan Göletli is the youngest of Hulusi Oruçoğlu’s children, who served as the Sinop Parliamentarian during the legislative terms IV, V, VI and XII. Born in 1939 in Boyabat, Ms Ayhan spent her childhood and teen-age years in Ankara, as her father was a member of the parliament. After she married senior mechanical engineer Adil Göletli she moved to İstanbul. She has a large family who at first did not like the idea of her moving to the residence. They changed their minds when they came to visit Yakacık Residence altogether… 

Ayhan Göletli stays in her apartment in the Residence or at her home whenever she likes. She tells her story: "I have always known about Darüşşafaka and appreciated its works. As a matter of fact, my husband was willing to bequeath all our assets to Darüşşafaka. I have heard about the residence from my dear friend Prof. Dr. Şükran Karacadağ. Şükran bought an apartment from Urla Residence. Back then, I had just lost my husband. I have a large family, yet I never want to be a burden for none of my many nephews and nieces.  As Şükran knew about how I felt, she recommended these residences. I decided to go and see Yakacık Residence. When I first told my nephews and nieces, they objected; they said they would take care of me. Nevertheless, I convinced them that this was for the best. Together with my nephew, I went to Yakacık Residence. We were both fascinated by what we saw. On the way back home, I said to my nephew 'Haluk, I’ve made up my mind. I will buy an apartment from the Residence'. My nephew tuned to me and said 'Auntie, I really liked it, too. Frankly, I could consider buying one myself for the future'. We initiated the procedures right away. I became a donor for Yakacık Residence in 2007". 

After becoming a residence donor, Göletli kept living at her own home. She says "I did not stop by the residence for five or six months as I thought I would go there in the future. However, I had an accident and needed special care after my discharge from the hospital. Therefore, as soon as I left the hospital, I checked in at the clinic in Yakacık Residence. I was truly impressed by the care provided as well as the smiling faces and the compassion I received. All nurses and doctors were always there for me. After having been treated as an inpatient for about a month, I went up to my room.  Everything was so perfect that I stayed for another couple of months although I got all better. After going back home, I began to miss the Residence and the friends I had made there. Now I go and stay there very frequently. It has become another home for me. Now I stay in the residence or at home whenever I feel like. Especially when I’m sick, I prefer receiving the care provided at the residence. I wouldn’t find such good care elsewhere. When I get better, I go home."

Urla Residence Donor Nezihe Bilgütay Derler:

"Here we get the love and respect only our children would give"

Nezihe Bilgütay Derler -a retired faculty member of Mimar Sinan University Traditional Turkish Handicraft Department- has been drawing traditional Turkish motifs on different materials ranging from china, porcelain and glass to wood, leather and fabric for more than half a century now, to leave them for the future as legacy. Although she is eighty-eight, she keeps holding on to her brush and doesn’t give up on conveying her broad knowledge to the future generations; Ms Nezihe now continues to produce and teach at Urla Residence. In her new apartment decorated with works of ornamentation, miniature, china and ceramic she produced over the past sixty years, she still provides guidance for her students who come to visit her. Nezihe Derler was born in Heybeliada in 1926. Having graduated from İstanbul Girls High School, she studied at the Traditional Turkish Handicraft Department of the State Fine Arts Academy. Following her graduation in 1957, she worked in Eczacıbaşı company and then in Yıldız Porcelain. With her signature under the chinaware in Washington Mosque, Van Central Mosque and Rize İskele Mosque, Derler continued lecturing at Mimar Sinan University until she was 75. 

Derler says she heard about Darüşşafaka Residences from two friends of her who lived in Yakacık Residence, and tells: "But my husband was totally against it considering the prevailing bad image of nursing homes in everyone’s minds; so he thought the residences would also be the same. He did not even let me speak of it. Later, we came to Urla Residence together. He loved the place and wanted to move in right away, yet he did not have the chance to live here. I moved in after my husband’s demise". Underlining that life in the residence is so easy and comfortable, Derler says: "I have my room cleaned and my clothes washed and ironed. I don’t have to worry about cooking, paying my bills or going to the market. The medical services are wonderful. The medial team is always there for us… The staff is very friendly... They are so kind, respectful and nice that only our children would give such love and respect. I sometimes think to myself, ‘how did they manage to bring together all these nice people in one place?’"

Urla Residence Donor Özhan Oğuzcan:

“I’m having the most restful days of my life here”

“All lovers, friends are gone. It’s only you I have now, who never left me” says Ümit Yaşar Oğuzcan in his poem “Sunken Ship” to Ms Özhan, his wife for thirty years… Having written thirty-three books in his sixty-two-year life, Ümit Yaşar Oğuzcan, one of the most productive poets of Turkish literature used to call her “the Captain”… She was only fourteen when she married Ümit Yaşar Oğuzcan… In her own words, she was playing “tipcat” on the lane, back then… Their families decided so, and she did not have a choice but to agree. As she got to know him, she loved Ümit Yaşar, she loved him very much… Özhan Oğuzcan –an Urla Residence donor- was born in 1934… After getting married in 1948 to Ümit Yaşar Oğuzcan- his aunt’s step son- Ms Özhan had her first child when she was fifteen...

Having become a member of Urla Residence in 2011, Özhan Oğuzcan tells how she ended up here: "I was living in İstanbul alone. My apartment was on the third floor, and the building did not have an elevator. Going up the stairs was a torture. I’m on medication; I had go buy medicine all the time. When I went shopping, I was too tired to go back home. I had help at home, but still it wasn’t enough. I was exhausted. My younger son Lütfi runs a boutique hotel in Beyramkale. I told him about my plan. First he said 'I would never let you go live in a nursing home’. Even so, I called the residence; they came to pick me up. I stayed over for a night, and loved it. Meanwhile, my son met a Darüşşafaka graduate, asked him his opinion. He spoke very highly of the residences… After seeing it on the internet, he came to believe that I would be comfortable here and finally agreed. I’m having the most restful days of my life here. Imagine, once I ran out of my medicine at home, I did not feel like going out to buy it. Instead, I came here. My medicine was brought to my room. I have another story about the great service here. When I first moved in, I did not have a lamp on my might stand. I like reading before I go to sleep. I made a request to the administration, and in one hour they bought a lamp to my room."

Şenesenevler Residence Donor Mübeccel Çadırcıoğlu:

“I was always worried about what I would do when I grew old”

Born in 1937 as the daughter of a family that had migrated to İzmir from Rumelia, Mübeccel Çadırcıoğlu lost her father when she was three. After going to primary school and high school in İzmir, she studied at Ankara University School of Languages, History and Geography. While making on-site examinations on nursing homes on behalf of Darülaceze Foundation (helping the unfortunate) where she had been a Board of Directors member for many years, Çadırcıoğlu came across Darüşşafaka: “I was on Darülaceze Foundation’s Board of Directors between 1990s and early 2000s. The foundation decided to build a nursing home. Subsequently, I was assigned to visit and examine the existing nursing homes around Turkey. That is when crossed paths with Darüşşafaka. Yakacık Residence had just been opened; I went there to see it, and I loved it. Our generation is known for their respect for the elderly. My mother had lived with me until she passed away. I have no children. Do you know the song that goes like ‘I tremble like an outlaw whenever I think about my future…’ I was always worried about what I would do when I grew old. I wondered ‘What am I going to when I’m old?’. Even if you have a lot of Money, it’s no use if you have no one to use it. That’s when I saw Yakacık Residence I was relieved of my worries. It was great place; I could lead a comfortable life there. I knew about the change Darüşşafaka made in the lives of poor children who lost their fathers, through education. My husband and I reflected on the idea and decided to bequeath all our assets to Darüşşafaka. This way we could not only free ourselves from our concerns about when we grow old, but also do something good for the children, and therefore our country.”

After making plans with her husband for a future in Yakacık Residence and buying an apartment there, Çadırcıoğlu did not want to stay at Yakacık Residence after her husband passed on unexpectedly. Then she decided to go to Şenesenevler Residence. Stilling living at her own home, Ms Mübeccel says “Nevertheless, to me Şenesenevler is like an insurance I can depend on… For example, I got sick a couple of days ago. I went to Darüşşafaka right away. They gave me thorough medical examination. I did not have to do anything. Even form y smallest problems, I go there and get a great service. For the future, I’m planning to move in there permanently.” Having had the chance to see many nursing homes while she worked for Darülaceze Foundation, Ms Mübeccel says she did not see another place with better services than Darüşşafaka. “You make a one-time donation to Darüşşafaka, in exchange for it; you’ll never have to pay for water, electricity or heating ever again. Your clothes are washed and ironed; your meal is ready – personally I’m very satisfied with the food. At each meal they serve light deserts; that’s something I would miss when I’m at home. As a matter of fact, when I stay there, I go back home with some extra pounds. They provide life-long medical insurance. In a nutshell, it’s perfect; there is no better place in Turkey.”