I often write about my life here living with my Turkish Husband but I thought it was time I turned the tables and let my husband talk about life living with me and what it’s like living with a British Expat in Turkey.
A Little background, we met 7 years ago while I was on holiday here in Turkey and at the time I wasn’t interested in him and yet he didn’t give up on me, we dated for 4 years before marrying, only seeing each other a couple times a year. After we married we spent the first year of our marriage apart until I was able to move out to Turkey full time.
Ihsan was a little nervous about doing this interview as he wasn’t sure how I would maybe take some of the answers! However he has been honest and we managed to get through the interview without any arguments…..
What did your parents think about you dating a British non Muslim Girl?
At the beginning they were surprised and unsure about the relationship. Islam permits marriage between Muslim men and women who are ‘people of the book’ (Jews and Christians), but it’s always perceived better to marry a Muslim woman. But I had never found the right Muslim woman for me. I could have used Arab Lounge or a similar dating site to try and find someone, but I let fate do its thing and I ended up meeting Kerry. My parents know me well and understood that I was serious about her. They just wanted me to be happy and respected my decision. Once they met Kerry they were very happy for the relationship, but I can’t help feeling they wished I had a fully muslim marriage so we could carry on the line of full Muslims and have a family.
Were they happy when you decided to marry Kerry?
Yes of course, we had been together 4 years and understood it was a serious relationship and they just wanted me to be happy. They were a bit unhappy we didn’t have the traditional wedding after we decided to get married by ourselves in Bodrum.
What are the differences between British Girls and Turkish Girls?
Not much these days if I am honest, most Turkish girls want to be like Victoria Beckham and the Kardashians Girls and what I like about Kerry is she isn’t like that and not interested in parading around in tight fitting clothes and lots of make up going out drinking and partying late.
How have you managed with the language barrier?
Well I am a English Teachers which has made it very easy for us. I do struggle with sarcasm but I think I am getting to grips with it now and also some of the local sayings and words can be a bit confusing and have caused the odd upset, but overtime I am learning more and we almost never have any issues with language now. Except Kerrys lack of Turkish which certainly needs improving (I did nearly slapped him here!)
What about Cultural differences has there been any problems there?
I don’t think we really have had many problems regards culture, we respect and accept each others differences and have learned to give and take where needed and find the compromise. But I am often told by friends and people we meet they thought my wife was Turkish, until she speaks! and I think the reason for that is Kerry has adapted to culture and life here in Turkey very easily. (I am Blushing!)
You have just had your first child, how has that been and again has the culture differences raised any issues?
No, we raise him as we feel is right and we both have similar ideas on how we want to raise him. We have discussed most of the aspects of bring up a child in a mixed cultured family and have decided how we want to go about raising him.
You recently visited the UK, what difference did you notice?
It was really great to visit Scotland as it is a beautiful country with natural beauties and historical monuments. Certain things like keeping pets in the house and not taking your shoes off at the door bothered me a little but as they say do as the Romans do.
How is Kerry’s cooking does she cook Turkish food well and do you enjoy British food?
Kerry’s cooking has improved alot since we first starting dating, from cooking rice like pudding rice to making masterpiece rice now…… She has also mastered a lot of my favourite Turkish dishes though there has been a lot of mistakes. I really like British food, I used to think that it was just fish and chips. I enjoy Kerry’s roast chicken dinner and when we were in Scotland I tried out lots of other cuisines like Chinese and Indian which were interesting.
Would you like to add anything else about life living with a British Expat?
Well living with an expat is always very interesting because the cultural life you are used to living has been doubled and suddenly you are living in two cultures and mixing them together. Our child will be raised with both cultures and will speak two languages.
But I don’t see it as living with a British Expat, I see Kerry as my wife and I Love her for her and our differences is what makes our relationship work.
It was a really nice experience interviewing my husband and I found out a few things I had not known before.
I hope you enjoyed the interview, If you have a question you would like to ask my husband about life with me please leave your question in the comments below.
And I would love to hear about how you deal with your mixed culture relationships and how your other half deals with life as a mixed cultured couple.
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