After starting her career driving trucks and minibuses in Romania, Ayşe Kurt says she is overjoyed with her dream job as a bus driver in Istanbul. Kurt turned her passion for cars, which started when she was a child, into a profession. She said she drove for the first time when she was 23 in Romania, where she was born and raised.
Today, the 50-year-old mother of two has been driving the Üsküdar-Esatpaşa public bus route in Istanbul for three years. Kurt is one of only two bus drivers who are women in Istanbul.
She talked about her love of driving, expressing her happiness about doing her dream job. She says that she could drive a bus for 24 hours without getting bored.
"I really love people and serving them. I am passionate about my job. The driver's seat is my second home. Since 2014, when I started my career in Istanbul, I start the day with the same passion every day. We have to pay attention to our appearance before starting work. I also do a little make up as we are representing the corporation we work for and serve thousands of people every day," she said.
Explaining that people find it bizarre to come across women driving a bus, Kurt talked about the difficulties she experiences in traffic as a woman.
"There are women who are bus drivers in Turkey. As I know, there is one other in Istanbul other than me. People may find it bizarre. They regard it as strange at first, but they are starting to get used to the idea over time. People stare at me in traffic and sound their horns as I'm a woman. I had my hair cut not to attract attention. There are also many other difficulties of the job we experience throughout the day. There may be passengers trying to use illegal cards. Sometime we cannot park in front of the bus stops to pick up passengers because of private cars using the area to park. We are trying to cope with so many problems," she said.
Kurt also added that she believes women can overcome anything. "The only thing women need is self-confidence. On that condition, we can even pilot airplanes, not just a minibus or bus."