Ertan Balaban opened CrossFit Balaban in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2013. One of the biggest cities in the world, Istanbul sits on two continents—Europe and Asia.

Balaban compares his city to New York or Tokyo, pointing out the large breadth of cultures in the area. But he is quick to note that the culture in his affiliate would be familiar to any CrossFitter in the world.

“Of course Turkish culture is different from the States,” he says, “but I think we live and believe in CrossFit.”

He adds: “In CrossFit, you have your own culture, and I think if you go anywhere in the world, you live the same lifestyle, you know? You eat similar, you train similar, so I think if you come to CrossFit Balaban, you don’t see any difference.”

Video by Michael McCoy.

4min 41sec

Additional reading: “Virtuosity 7: One Spirit” by Robin Blackburn, published April 26, 2015.

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