Dr. Oz Interview

Dr. Oz is one of the most prominent figures among the Turkish-American community. With his educational background and success in his profession, he is not only an inspiring figure for many Turks in the U.S., but he also reaches out millions of Americans through The Dr. Oz Show.

The Dr. Oz Show won Daytime Emmy Award for the ninth time at the 2018 Daytime Emmy Awards. Time magazine ranked Oz at 44th on its list of the “100 Most Influential People in 2008”. He was also named one of “The Harvard 100 Most Influential Alumni” by 02138 magazine. A couple of days ago, the White House announced that President Donald Trump intends to appoint Mehmet Oz, to his council on sport, fitness and nutrition.
He spoke to Anıl Sural his life, career, Turkey and Turkish food…

Dr. Oz is a very important name. Everybody knows Dr Oz, they watch him, listen to his advices and love so him much. How is this possible?
I work with teams of people who are smarter than me and give them the confidence and support to make wise decisions.

You are both a Turkish and an American. But do you feel more Turkish or more American?
I am both and proud of this reality, which helps me appreciate the world from two very different perspectives. America sees novel opportunities to influence the world while Turkey has a unique historical perspective on how the world is changing.

Dr. Oz, you were born in the USA but also you spend time in Turkey…
Yeap, I was born in the USA, but spent roughly 1/4 of my childhood until university (age 18) in Turkey. I have returned every year but spend most of my time in New York City now.

Do you miss the Boshporus?
Anyone who has ever seen the Bosphorus will miss this remarkable body of water that separates east from west and has captivated poets and warriors for generations.

How you did you become famous in the United States?
As a professor in surgery at New York Presbyterian / Columbia University, I gained prominence as director of the integrative medicine center. I was discovered by Oprah Winfrey, who is now my collaborator on the Dr Oz Show.

What is your favorite Turkish food, desert and drink?
Levrek (sea bass), Ayran (yogurt drink), Tavuk Gögsü (chicken breast pudding)

Dr. Oz, is Turkish food healthy?
Very healthy when eaten like our ancestors, especially on the Akdeniz (Mediterranean) coast - fruits and veggies and fish and olive oil.

How often do you go to Turkey? And do you also follow the news from there?
I follow the news closely and travel to Turkey every year…

Soccer or football?
I like both, but mostly played football in my life, including for my university team.

Salt Bea / Nusret opened a restaurant first in Miami and then in New York City. You were there and also he joined to your TV show last months. What would you like to tell about him?
He is a superstar chef and person and we are having a great time together. We teamed up to support the appropriate use of salt in our food. We agree that if make food ourselves, we can add the right amount of salt and both our taste buds and our hearts are happy. The chefs and doctors are no longer fighting over salt.

You had great TV commercial with Turkish Airlines. It is all over the world on TV, newspapers, billboards … How was that experience? And what do you think about the Turkish Airlines?
They are an incredibly professional organization with remarkably talented and creative leaders who have impressed the entire world with their fabulous commercials. They are Turkey’s biggest brand and elevate the discussion so we can widen our world and appreciate the importance of using all 5 of our senses. I enjoy working with them tremendously and look forward to a long relationship.

Dr. Oz, I tell you one word and tell me one sentence please

Istanbul: Most mystical city in the world.

Baklava: Fabulous with both walnut and pistachio.

Turkish Coffee: Great for reading fortunes.

New York: Amazing energy that is contagious.

Cleveland: City where I was born with rich medical tradition.

Fenerbahçe: Best soccer team in the history of Turkey, despite the erroneous claims of Besiktaş and Galatasaray fans.

Konya: Birth place of my father and home of the remarkable whirling dervishes who remind us of the beauty of sufi islam.

Hamburger: Only worth eating if made freshly from ground beef.

Dr. Oz, thank you so much for your time, I had a great time with you. Last question what would you like to say to the Turkish community?
I am honored to be part of the Turkish community and proud of all that we can do working together. I was also honored at the American - Turkish society this year. My good friend and patient record producer Ahmet Ertegun founded this group and I want to support his memory…

Interview: Anıl Sural