Meet Ann D’Silva, an NRI influencer, author and entrepreneur making Indians proud in Turkey


For Ann D’Silva, dreams are the language the universe uses to speak to the soul. And it was her dream that took her to Istanbul and made her a best-selling author. Born and raised in Delhi, D’Silva fell in love with words at a very young age.

She later moved to Mumbai, and then made her maiden trip to Turkey and started work on her first book, ‘Sand and Sea: Footprints in the Sand’. She soon realised that Turkey was her calling and in 2019, moved to Istanbul to settle down.

D’Silva’s second book, ‘Sand and Sea: Child of Two Worlds’ was launched in 2021. ‘Verses: Of A Risen Phoenix’, a collection of women-centric poems, was published the same year. She is working on her third book in the Sand & Sea series. Excerpts from an interview with the influencer, author and entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur, writer, influencer … which version do you like the most?
Writer and storyteller. This gives me the opportunity to reach a wider audience with a message of hope in dark places while igniting energy in people to change the current narratives that are leading the world to a disturbing imbalance. This inspires and encourages people to come forward and contribute in thought, word and deed as a collective voice. For me, that’s social enterprise aligned with the SDGs I support and influence. Storytelling is a powerful tool to touch hearts and open the mind to new possibilities.

An Indian influencer in Turkey. Life must have been a roller-coaster ride. Was it hard to make a mark?
When you do what you love, you love what you do. That’s my philosophy, to pursue what makes you feel authentic and alive. Change is the only constant. I am intrigued and energised by change. Relocation to Turkey was the next part of my journey. All things new have their own challenges till one gets used to it.
Learning a new language was one, but Turkish is similar to Hindi with over 10,000 similar words. I am enjoying this part of my journey and as my work is remote, I can travel a lot and work from anywhere. One’s true self is revealed in a new environment and its ability to dive deep into the unknown. I have learnt and grown and thrived in this country for the last four and a half years.

What took you there and why did you stay back?
I came to Turkey to research my book ‘Sand and Sea: Footprints in the Sand’ in 2017. I returned four times as I was connected to the land and its mysticism. I finally relocated with my mother in May 2019 to live here. I believe in energy and journeys. I have a deep spiritual connection with Turkey and the people are warm and hospitable like us Indians. I feel at home here. My first book became a bestseller. The second book of the series, ‘Sand and Sea: Child of Two Worlds’ was also released. The book series is in discussion to be made into a film (one of the first Bollywood and Turkish cinema collaborations).

What’s your work with the Indian community in Turkey like?
Community is important. Only 500 Indian families live in Turkey. My advocacy is for inclusion and celebration of diversity.

Do you still maintain links with India? Mumbai is home. Do you feel connected still or have you moved on?
We carry the people we love and care in our hearts always. So yes, my friends are always there in spirit and they visit, too. I will always be connected to my roots, but my branches grow to include everyone. I love my country and my culture. I take it with me on my journey.

What projects are you working on currently?
I attended the Horasis Global Conference on October 22-23 in Gaziantep that was affected by the earthquakes in February 2023 to chair the panel ‘Reconstructing Hope’. I am also the Global Goodwill Ambassador for Universal Enlightenment and Flourishing, which is dedicated to enhancing religious literacy for peace and unity in diversity. I am also working on the final book of my series. The film project awaits us in 2024 for production. I also consult with a few organisations in the space of social change and sustainability and am working on a script for an international film on a socio-humanitarian subject.


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