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How a Turkish migrant left his comfort zone to reinvent himself in Italy



Turkish author Gökhan Kutluer
Gökhan Kutluer has written three books, with some of them turned into theatre plays

Digital Marketing Manager and photographer Gökhan Kutluer is not your average content creator. With over 38k followers on Instagram, he is also an author and his third book ‘Leaving One’s Comfort Zone: A Story of a Move to Italy’ has just been released in English and will be turned into a theatre play.

And this is not the first time one of his works has moved from the printed pages to the stage. Kutluer’s first book ‘Cloud Factory’, featuring short bicycle’ stories, was also later adapted into a theatre play in his homeland, Istanbul.

An avid cyclist working as a brand ambassador for several companies, his recent book focuses on migrating from Turkey to Bergamo, in Italy, six years ago – a desire that started during his Erasmus semester in Italy as an undergraduate.

Although in recent years emigration by the Turkish middle and upper classes has been an increasingly common journey – with the media often reporting on those swapping countries for a better life – you don’t see successful stories broadcast on a regular basis.

And it is the organic achievements and the straightforward way the author shares what it is to drop everything and to leave a country, relying only on a carry-on bag and a tourist visa, that has captivated the Turkish young generation. So much so that ‘Leaving One’s Comfort Zone: A Story of a Move to Italy’ is already into its third edition in Turkey.

Gökhan is not your average influencer, despite posting photos of sunsets and holding lattes on social media. His well-crafted posts are built based on his foundation of creating content for printed media. Well before landing a contract working with sports brands, he was part of the editorial team of Turkey’s first monthly cycling magazine, ‘Cyclist Türkiye’. And documenting his love for bicycles, together with a book on his journey far from home as a migrant, has expanded his reach and brand endorsement opportunities beyond the cycling world.

“Everyone talks about the pros and cons of stepping out of their comfort zone but I’m not sure about their understanding of it. Here’s my two cents’ worth: Doing the same things with the same people in the same places for too long is being in a comfort zone. It’s like putting our brains in energy-saving mode. But once you leave your comfort zone and open yourself to new encounters, day-by-day you’ll start to remember the skills you’ve got but haven’t used for a long time. You start building a new self-confidence and you remember your core self once again.” – says the author, who now lives in Berlin.


‘Leaving One’s Comfort Zone: A Story of a Move to Italy’, translated by Irem Bilkin, is now available on Amazon and other online book sellers.


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Jesse Darling Wins Turner Prize 2023



Jesse Darling Wins Turner Prize 2023
Jesse Darling at Turner Prize 2023, Towner Eastbourne | Photo: Viktor Frankowski

The Turner Prize 2023 has been awarded to Jesse Darling. The winner of the £25,000 prize was announced at a ceremony presented by musician, creative and broadcaster Tinie Tempah at Eastbourne’s Winter Garden, adjacent to Towner Eastbourne, the hosts of this year’s prize.

The jury commended all four nominated artists for their distinct and affecting presentations. Together their varied practices, so well represented in their Turner Prize presentations, are grounded in the realities of the world today, often giving voice to themes of uncertainty and vulnerability. Their work brings immediacy to the issues they respond to, realising these themes in powerful and unexpected ways.

They awarded the prize to Jesse Darling. His recent practice encompasses sculpture, installation, text and drawing. The jury commended his use of materials and commonplace objects like concrete, welded barriers, hazard tape, office files and net curtains, to convey a familiar yet delirious world. Invoking societal breakdown, his presentation unsettles perceived notions of labour, class, Britishness and power.

One of the best-known visual arts prizes in the world, the Turner Prize aims to promote public debate around new developments in contemporary British art. The prize is awarded to an artist born or based in the UK, for an outstanding exhibition or presentation of their work in the past twelve months. The shortlisted artists for 2023 were: Jesse Darling, Ghislaine Leung, Rory Pilgrim and Barbara Walker.

The members of the Turner Prize 2023 jury are Martin Clark, Director, Camden Art Centre; Cédric Fauq, Chief Curator, Capc musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux; Melanie Keen, Director of Wellcome Collection and Helen Nisbet, CEO and Artistic Director, Cromwell Place. The jury is chaired by Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain.

An exhibition of the four shortlisted artists is at Towner Eastbourne until 14 April 2024. It is curated by Noelle Collins, Exhibitions and Offsite Curator at Towner Eastbourne. This year’s prize is presented as part of Towner 100, a year-long celebration of arts and culture across Eastbourne and Sussex marking the centenary of Towner Eastbourne.

The prize will mark its 40th anniversary next year, returning to Tate Britain for the first time since 2018.

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Railway apprentice technician wins national rail award in the UK



Railway apprentice technician wins national rail award in the UK
Rio Pearce, 21, from Rowley Regis, scooped the award whilst in her third and final year as an apprentice for WMR

A West Midlands Railway (WMR) apprentice technician has won “female apprentice of the year” at the 2023 Women in Rail awards.

Rio Pearce, 21, from Rowley Regis in the UK scooped the award whilst in her third and final year as an apprentice for WMR at Tyseley depot.

Rio’s hands-on role includes the diagnosis and repair of train faults as well as safety-critical briefings and working closely with technicians.

Working 12-hour shift patterns, including early starts and late finishes, Rio’s commitment to the job and determination to thrive in the rail industry has shone through and her confidence has grown to the extent that she is admired by young apprentices across the business.

Rio received her award at a gala presentation evening in London, where she recognised alongside inspirational female rail employees from across the UK.

“I am thrilled that Rio has deservedly won female apprentice of the year at the Women in Rail awards and everybody at West Midlands Railway is very proud of her. Rio is an outstanding apprentice who has pushed back boundaries and paved the way many more young women to join the rail industry in coming years.”, says Jonny Wiseman, West Midlands Railway customer experience director.

Founded in 2015, the West Midlands Trains is a train operating company in the United Kingdom operating passenger trains on the West Midlands franchise between London and the English Midlands.

“I am delighted to win this award and I would say to anyone who wants to get into engineering or the railway to go for it. I don’t think being a female apprentice is much different from being a male apprentice. I get on with everyone really well, there’s no stereotyping, everyone is super friendly, and we all treat each other equally and with respect.”, says Rio Pearce.

More information on the Women in Rail awards can be viewed here.

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10 journalists you should be following on TikTok in 2023



Panel with a selection of journalists to follow on TikTok
Sophia Smith Galer (centre): London-based journalist got a ‘Innovation of the Year’ award for her pioneering use of TikTok

The average person spends 147 minutes per day on social media, scrolling through random videos, photos, and memes.

Our grandparents will say that this screen time is ruining our social lives and making the new generation unintelligent – and I will be the first to admit that some of the content I consume is pointless and strictly for mild entertainment. However, the social media landscape is changing.

Gen Zers (majority of TikTok’s users are aged between 18-24) are increasingly using TikTok as a personalised search engine to learn about the world and broaden their own horizons. TikTok is becoming Gen Z’s main source of information.

Richard Branson once said “Don’t become a slave to technology — manage your phone, don’t let it manage you.” TikTok is helping Gen Z embrace this quote’s mindset.

Not only are TikTokers learning about the latest money-saving methods, receiving information on safe abortions, raising awareness on child safety and listening to opera music, but they are also “reading the news”. More and more teens are turning to social media for their daily news content.

Meet the journalists on Tik Tok working hard to bring the news from the world to your smartphone in easily accessible, quick, and fun versions.

The explanatory one: Sophia Smith Galer

The winner of the British Journalism Awards Innovation of the Year 2021 presents breaking news and fun insights on a variety of topics on her page. She dives deeper into popular media topics to give clear and insightful explanations. For example, one of her popular videos is titled, “If Boris Johnson has resigned, why is he still PM?” Since 2020, her TikTok work has become extremely popular, with over 400.000 followers.


What are Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III called where you live? #queen #kingcharles #languages #names #learnontiktok

♬ Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence – Ryuichi Sakamoto

The radio broadcaster: Victoria Derbyshire

“Her TikTok channel is not ordinary like other news channels. Derbyshire is the only one speaking in all her videos with a polite voice and smart gestures. Her way of reciting news will excite you to know more about a particular topic. You can stay updated about everything happening all around the world just by following her and clicking for daily notifications on TikTok.”

Isaac Robertson – Fitness trainer & Co-Founder at Totalshape

Using a newscaster style of presenting, Victoria Derbyshire brings combines television news with social media styles to create catchy, interesting, and useful content. The UK-focused content creator produces popular videos including “Covid’s on the rise again” or “BREAKING: Russia has attacked Ukraine”. 

The intriguing one: Gully Burrows

Burrows is a former Mirror journalist who during the coronavirus pandemic became one of the most followed journalists in the world on TikTok. He is followed by nearly half a million people and his videos have been watched more than 100 million times. Burrows has moved from London to Abu Dhabi to work in the UAE as a journalist. His most viral videos are “The world’s most dangerous places”, “Places you’ll never visit”, and “What will happen when the Queen dies”. Most of his videos follow one of these three topics, with many parts for each one. His quirky, bitesize news stories have captivated the Gen Z audience.

The unlikely TikToker: Max Foster

Max Foster, a CNN journalist, is a frequent user of TikTok, where he shares personal perspectives on current events and displays his reporter life behind the scenes. His UK-focused TikTok profile establishes a connection with his audience through meme-style TikTok sounds to give commentary on current events. A fan favourite is a video titled “UK energy bills expected to more than double”, with Foster looking sad as the Titanic theme song plays in the background. These types of videos brilliantly contrast his other, more serious news-style videos with lighthearted playfulness. Both styles are equally engrossing, which is why he gets between 300 thousand to 3 million views on each video.

The Science-y one: Cleo Abram

“Cleo Abram is a fantastic technology reporter who’s produced wildly popular series around topics like NFT’s, science and crypto. She also uses animations and graphics to further help illustrate her points and is periodically producing quality content for her followers on TikTok.”

Datha Santomieri – Co-founder at insurance agency Steadily

Abram’s focus on science and technology encompasses a wide variety of content topics like: nuclear fusion explained, artificial wombs, or the big bang. The self-titled independent video journalist’s soft-voiced, calm, and clear explanations of complex topics can get anyone hooked. With 1.2 million followers and counting, this pretty science nerd is dropping knowledge on TikTok in a fun and captivating way. If you ever wanted to learn about why your dog’s age isn’t what you think, follow Cleo Abram.


Reply to @zoidbergs_diploma how scientists came up with this new dog age chart #learnontiktok #askcleo #hugeiftrue #dogsoftiktok #greenscreen

♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists

The Anchor Voice one: Jeannette Reyes

“I think everyone should have a look at Jeannette Reyes’ page! She has over 1,2M followers on TikTok. Jeannette is an Afro-Latina FOX5 morning news anchor and she likes to show a behind-the-scenes look at her life as a journalist. She TikToks her way through her working day, which I find very interesting. She uses her signature journalist body language to talk about little everyday things. She’s very entertaining and funny and always shares useful content. Highly recommended!”

Cornelius Fichtner – Entrepreneur at PM Exam Simulator

The US-based content creates short videos from her everyday life, similar to an ordinary TikTok influencer. Instead of highlighting the news, she takes a different approach and gives insights into her personal life. She first went viral by posting her famous “News Anchor Voice” content. Reyes also creates funny and informative content like “The Different Types of Reporters”, “Random Facts about TV News Life”, and “Morning Sickness: What worked and what didn’t”. Reyes was even named one of Washingtonian’s DC TikTok Stars.


Answer to @ciera_lewis17 the short answer is…

♬ original sound – msnewslady

The Behind-the-Scenes one: Megan Healy

Based in San Diego, Megan Healy’s account has a whole host of behind-the-scenes videos – if you’ve ever wanted to try and read a prompter or autocue machine, there’s a chance to try it out at home. The Emmy-winning journalist and 3-time Golden Mike winner is FOX5 San Diego’s weather anchor and reporter. Similar to Jeanette Reyes, Healy gives her almost 500 thousand followers a behind-the-scenes insight into the life of a television journalist. She also creates light-hearted, funny videos about her job, as well as answers questions on viral videos she has covered, how they measure wind speeds, and many other aspects of journalism

The journalist turned PR fighter: Marcio Delgado

Marcio Delgado is a London-based journalist digging through the weeds of public relations. As he “tries to understand PR people”, Delgado shares tips on the dos and don’ts of PR. Delgado is one of the few media professionals highlighting how the relationship between journalists and communication agencies works. His main content is on how communications teams get it wrong sometimes through wonky press releases and failed pitches.

The professional one: Sandra Gathmann

“Sandra Gathmann is the journalist people should follow on TikTok. She is a renowned journalist from Al Jazeera who does short videos explaining current events and historical moments that have shaped the world as it is today. With her videos not lasting more than 12 minutes, she analyzes and explains how issues such as the Ukrainian invasion began and why it happened.”

Ryan Yount – Founder at software company LuckLuckGo

Using feature-length videos, Gathmann creates documentary-style, deep-dive explanatory content focusing on the world’s current events. With only 1 thousand followers, she is rising fast within the TikTok news space.


Confused about the news? We have a show for that! ‘Start Here – with Al Jazeera’ (Look for us on YouTube) #news #trending #lifehacks #media

♬ original sound – Sandra Gathmann

The one who wrote a book about TikTok: Chris Stokel-Walker

UK-based freelance journalist Chris Stokel-Walker is a WIRED contributor and author of two books featuring popular social media platforms: YouTubers, about the rise of YouTube and the creator economy, and TikTok Boom, about how TikTok is shaping the future of social media. His work has also appeared in New Scientist, the BBC, and The Economist. For his 555 followers, his videos focus on TikTok’s rules and regulations, history, and characteristics.


He’ll be back… how @arnoldschnitzel made TikTok a big deal #socialnews #tech #celebrity #techtok #gossip

♬ Summer Fling – Nina Nesbitt

Bonus Round: TikTok’s Sustainability Experts

The Zero-Waste one: Kathryn Kellogg

The Youtuber turned TikToker gained her fame with a viral video of her zero-waste journey of fitting two years’ worth of trash into a single mason jar. Now, Kellogg creates videos on what she no longer buys, how to not waste food, and sustainable habits and activities. For her almost 300 thousand TikTok followers, Kellogg is a supporting, comforting presence urging people to become more zero-waste in their everyday lives.


Happy GoodNewsFriday! Did you know Jaguars are native to the U.S.!? 1) Singapore has launched a reforestation campaign to plant 1 million trees by 2030. (World Economic Forum)2) The EU will end sales of vehicles with combustion engines by 2035 to reduce CO2 (France 24) 3) Jaguars, aa near-threatened species, could return to the Southwestern US to repopulate and improve existing ecosystems (EcoWatch) Which good news story was your fav?? #GoingZeroWaste #ecofriendly #eco #sustainability #climatechange #environment #zerowaste #goodnews #sustainabilitytiktok

♬ The Light – The Fur

The Sustainable one: Morgan Cook

Morgan Cook provides TikTok with unpretentious, aesthetically pleasing content on all things in the realm of sustainability. She knows what works and what doesn’t, tackles sustainable self-care and household items, and comes up with inventive ways to be more sustainable.

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