Ugur Bayar, Director, Privatization Agency, Turkey
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Ugur Bayar, Director, Privatization Agency, Turkey

It seems to be Ugur Bayar's fate to be a civil servant. It's the third time in five years that the 33-year-old bachelor has quit his job in the private sector and moved back to his mother's house in Ankara to start working for the government. This is a rare phenomenon. There are droves of ex-bureaucrats in Istanbul who have left the privations of the civil service for fat salaries in the private sector; the reverse rarely happens. Ankara, a dull, characterless city whose only industry is politics, is easy to leave but notoriously difficult to return to.

"I feel as if I am permanently on call for military service," says Bayar, fingering black worry beads as the green lights of two mobile telephones flash endlessly on his table.

Is his back to the window because he cannot stand the sight of Ankara?

"I had just rented myself a lovely flat in Istanbul," he says. "I was on the board of several companies. I had a number of consultancies. Everything was working out fine. And then this came up. Now I am back to living with my mother and I don't even know how I will pay the rent for my Istanbul flat."

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