We made a slight change this month and made out interview in our guest’s small but cute fast food restaurant, ChickShack in Çengelköy. And so our guest this month is Yusuf Güney and he has taken care of all the tiny little details of his restaurant himself. Several days a week, he goes into the kitchen and prepares chicken burgers with his own hands.. Let us announce this from here to his fans..
And the shooting part was quite amusing. Since the kitchen area is at right at the entrance of the place, there were quite many guests and curious eyes. For example, Ahmet Çakar just came in to say hello when he was passing by.. Here is what we talked..
Yusuf Güney, how did knock on your door?
I believe people are born with their luck and I do believe in luck to some limits. Eventhough I’ve had tough times in my life and had to work during my childhood; I still think that I passed into my teenage years from childhood in a nice way. Consequently, I had to grow up suddenly without living my childhood.
How old are you?
Do you have any siblings?
I have a brother at 17 and a sister at 36. My sister is an ambulance driver in England.
As I undertsnad, your education life lasted short..
I finished my secondary education in Turkey. And last year I finished high school with distance education. I have no university.
From where did you start working first?
I started out working in a kebab restaurant when I was 14. I never got educated for anything; but rather I did everyting by observation, and watching. And nobody taught me either, I learned myself. There had been only one person who taught me some thinhs and that person was my ucle. He taught me how to make baklava. Besides that; I worked in a kebab restaurant, I worked as a crane driver, I loaded huge containers onto ships, I worked as a truck driver, even lorry driver. Later on I gor bored with all these and wanted to move into kitchen. I began as a scullion in an Italian restaurant because I had ne education and since I didn’t have, I couldn’t have started as a chef.
In my opinion; if someone is trying so many and irrelevant things, he is either very whimsical or he is not really knowing what he wants to do and is searching for it. Was yours a period of searching or an obligation?
My sign is Gemini. I want achieve at something more after one thing another. It’s an illness of succeeding I guess. For example, I can fly a plane, I also have captain license and right now I’m in an even more interesting adventure; I’m getting helicopter flying trainings.
Are you living in a boat?
I lived in a boat for 1 year. I used to shut down my home and move to my boat for 5 months every year.
Do you like loneliness?
I’m usually a lonely person. Captains are lonely.
Was there a specific reason which pushed you to seas?
Since I like loneliness, I stay alone in the sea and it’s a wonderful opportunity to rest your head. I discovered myself and formed my character there. You know, you cannot normally form your character between 20-25 and still stay in search of some things.. With this living in the boat, my character got shaped very quickly in the sea.
What has changed since then?
I do not go under stress that much. Our job is full of stress but I learned not to care much. I happened to learn to face the truths of life and search to discover the meaning of life, humanity, existance and creation. Our World is full of people misunderstanding the meaning of life. That’s why I do not have that many firends from the music sector.
People from this sector usually claim that they do not have many friends from the same sector..
Yes, because there’s jealousy. They smile at your face but do so many things behind your back. There’s too much expectation and no one does anything without a benefit in return. If your’re popular at that time, there’s a crowd around youı, this is how it works in our world.. As long as you are popular, kowtowers are around you making you live an explosion of ego..
Had there been any times when you worked hard to become and stay popular?
Never. If so, I’d have been at some other point now, you can be sure of this. I would definitely be at the peaks. But I’m quite pleased with my place and situation right now. Everyone keeps telling me that I should’ve been more popular, at higher peaks. But höse are not fitting me, this is what they do not understand. Everything began to change after I started living in my boat.
When did you first discover that you have a good voice?
When I was 17.. And I met Rafet El Roman when I was 20.
It’s said that you infiltrated into Rafet El Roman’s backstage. Is this true?
Yes, yes it’s true. I had taken a friend’s press card and went in as a cameraman.
Ok, you went in.. But what’s more surprising is his discovering you.
I was a lorry driver at those times, but I was composing some melodies at the same time. I wanted to give him one of my pieces for him to sing. He wanted me to sing it for him live and that was how we met. In fact, he had asked for a demo from me but since I didn’t know how to make a demo, I sang it then. He gave me his phone number to me for me to call.
Do you still get together?
Not that frequently.. We chat from time to time but I never miss his special dates and definitely call him.
What do you do these days regarding music?
I’ve had a very sudden thing recently.. While we were sitting and chatting with Mustafa Ceceli in his studio, he wanted me listen to a 10-seconds melody and I composed over those notes. And in just 3 hoyrs, our song was completed. Lyrics and music all was done and he made the arrangements and now we’re about to release that song.
Have you earned lots from music?
First of all, I made others earn. And when the times comes for you to earn, the jobs go down. What I mean is, I didn’t really earn tons of money.
Is it because you didn’t earn much from music that you also wanted to do trading?
No, not realy. I actually opened this restaurant for my father. In the meantime, I love both kitchen and trade.
Would you like to tell us a little about your place for the ones who do not know?
I opened a restaurant in Çengelköy, called ChickShack. The whole concept belongs to me, from the flavour to the sauces. Even the breads I prepared myself. In other words, I brought in the job I used to do in England 17 years ago. The reason why I especially opened this right at this time not because the music sector is going bad; in fact just for my father. He’s a retired man living in England and was wishing to move to Istanbul as a big Istanbul-lover. So I opened this place for him. Right now he is managing the job here and I visit the restaurant when I have the time. Not that when I go, more people will come in, but I really love being in the kitchen. For example, I created a flavour not absorbing oil, it’s indeed a mixture for chickens. I personally went to a laboratory and worked with chemists and we obtained this mixture with my instructions. I realized that there’s not a real chicken dough in Turkey and so I created a special mixture with its patent belonging to me.
Do you fans come to the restaurant to see you?
Of course they do. We’re a good famile and our bonds never broke up.
Are you planning to open new franchise restaurants?
The good thing is, the name of the brand belongs to me. Right now they want 2 restaurants, one in Azerbaijan and the other in Kazakhstan. We’ll go further to all those hopefully..
How many languages do you speak?
Little bit German, Russian, Arabic and some Kurdish. My English is quite advance.
What kind of a city is Istanbul for you as someone who came here later in his life?
Actually I had come to Istanbul whenj I was a child and stayed here and continued my primary education until 3rd grade in Bağcılar Ilkokulu. I’ve göne around the world and there’s nowhere left I haven’t seen. Undoubtfully Istanbul is the most beautiful city of the world. This is best explained in the soundtrack of the serial, “Kaygısızlar” composed by Yeni Türkü; “To the dirty air, to the cut water.. We came Istanbul, take us in your arms..” I love the chaos here. It has its own style and order.
Are you a traditional man?
Depends. Actually I change accordingly. I can be very traditional at times, and sometimes I can be so modern that I cannot explain how and why.
What are your biggest quandaries about yourself?
I don’t really have that many obsessions. They say I get furious very quickly, but that’s because of my natüre since I’m from Black Sea. I get angry very quickly but I know how to mend the heart I boroke.
Are you a love man?
Do you wish to get married?
I think the time is coming nearer..
Do you want to have kids?
Of course I do if I get married. In my opinion, child is the strongest bond in a marriage. It makes you think twice. You cannot immediately deicde to get divorced for instance.
Would you marry someone from the same sector?
I may.. but I think it would be difficult to last long in such a case.
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to travel to space. I’m very curious about space science and the planets. I really want to g oto space.
Are you a new Mustafa Topaloğlu case?
I really have some knowledge about this issue, I’m not joking. How many kilometers distance are there between each planet, ask me and I can answer you. I have a Professional telescope in my house and with it, I watch the sky for hours.
Last, but not the least; you’ d said you were going to put on a TV programme. Anything you want to tell about that?
In channel TRT World, I’ll start a journey programme. We’ve finished the discussions and the test shots. Now it’s time for the real shootings. Probably it’ll begin in March. It’s going to be an amusing programme, we’ll travel around together and it’s going to be fully in English and by myself.