Nordic Intelligence spoke to the man behind one of the world’s largest Nordic blogs.
Utku Çubukçu is the founder and editor in chief of Nordik Simit, a Turkish language website that covers Nordic art and culture. Çubukçu has capitalised on the pent up Turkish demand for information on the Nordics with his brand, which has over 15,000 followers on Twitter. We spoke to the media entrepreneur about how he got involved in creating Nordik Simit.
Could you tell us a bit about your blog?
It is an online Nordic culture/ lifestyle blog that I started in November 2014. It is based in Istanbul and publishes articles about music, cinema, daily life, interesting news; simply most of the things from the North.
At the moment, it is mostly in Turkish but I share interviews and city guides by artists in both English and Turkish. The name “Nordik Simit” represents Nordic culture in Turkish; Nordic with Nordik, and Turkish part with Simit – which is a traditional kind of bread (shape like a bagel).
What got you interested in the Nordics?
Actually I don’t know. I have been always loved the Nordics. My favourite place on earth was the North Pole, my favourite cartoon was Vicky the Viking and my favourite toy car was a Volvo. But I didn’t know they were Nordic, I just loved them. I often find that I will I hear a song, like it ,then after shazaming I find out it is from the North.
Why do you think your writings are so popular in Turkey? What is it that interests Turkish people about the Nordics?
In Turkey, there are lots of problems. Politics, economics, education, welfare, racism… the Nordics are like a utopia for people who live in Turkey. Because of that, people love to see there are still nice people around the world.
Do you speak any Nordic languages?
Jag lärde mig Svenska lite men jag behöver mer träning 🙂
You have a great eye for design. Do you have a background in photography/art?
No, actually I don’t. Scandinavian minimalism has always inspired me and it has effect on in my daily life also. In movies, album arts, clothes and more.
What does the Nordics represent to you?
Inspiration and new beginnings
Are there any Nordic artists that you particularly like?
A lot! Currently I listen to Aurora, Low Roar, Gundelach, Elias and Edvard Grieg. It is hard to choose my favourite one but I listen to these artists a lot.
What is your plan for the blog in the coming years as it has grown extremely fast?
I always wanted to write in English but there are really good online platforms about Nordic culture. And at the moment, I don’t have that much time to write in both languages. I’m planning to do PR/ booking for Nordic acts in Turkey.
We are organising an Iceland tour with a travel agency. Also this is the first time I have announced it online, there will be an online shop with Nordic themed products and products from the Nordics. I have already started to work on that, soon it will be opened.
Readers interested in reading Nordik Simit can click here.