Married to a Turk and Living in Turkey

By | on 18th May 2012 | 200 Comments

When I first moved to Turkey I struggled with my western ideas of marriage. I had been influenced with popular culture on what a marriage and relationships should be. That don’t need men and that men in general are there to do our bidding.

You often hear phrases like “What do you expect he’s a man!” Feminism is strong in the west and magazines, films and soaps constantly tell us what a marriage should be like. When in reality they are nothing like what we are told, and there is no such thing as the perfect marriage or partner.

 

These ides and thoughts mixed in with both our different cultures made life at the start a little hard for me and caused plenty arguments. But on thing we have always been clear on is that we love each other and we will do anything to make our marriage work.

 

This first thing being married to a Turk, is to remember you are not married to a Turk and you are not married to his family or his culture. You are married to the many you love, the individual who won your heart and who you respect and trust. You are married to the man you chose, your life partner.

 

When I first came to live in Turkey I looked down on certain things, and expected life to be like it was in the UK. I learned to accept things here in Turkey and accept the way of life here. After all if I am going to live here there is no point fighting against everything especially the small things. Once I learnt to go with the flow and relax life became easier and a lot happier.

 

I wrote recently about the small things I miss from home. I still miss them, but this is my life here in Turkey, I chose my life here. I can either hate it or I can look at all the good things I like here and be happy.

 

Since moving here I have learned a lot from the Turkish Culture. One of the biggest things I have learned is being a housewife is a job and I am not belittling myself by running the house and looking after my son. I don’t need a career to prove myself I am already doing the most important job in the world and that is raising my child, looking after my husband and family. My family is my biggest achievement and I am proud of it, I don’t need a fancy career with empty promises and stress to make me feel fulfilled at the end of the day.

 

My life here can be hard, I have no family nearby to help out when I need it, I a totally on my own. Some days I feel isolated and lonely. There is not another English expat in my neighbourhood and I don’t have a big social circle her that I can lean on. Most days it is just my husband and little boy I see and speak to on a daily basis. And yes there are days when it all gets to you and you feel down about life.

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But only I can make myself happy, not my husband or child. To be happy it is important to be grateful and accept all the good things in your life. I have a wonderful hard working husband, who provides for us and makes sure we have food to eat, clothes to wear and a roof over our head. We have a beautiful little boy and a lovely home. I don’t need anything else and these are things that make me happy.

 

I made a contract with my husband as we all do, when I married him and that contract is to love him, protect him, care for him and respect him. I have learnt that by sticking to the bargain I made when I married him, by doing my job as a housewife to my best ability, by caring and loving our and being happy in my myself and loving. I make my husband and our life happy because in return he keeps his side of the contract because he is happy in his marriage. And this in turn makes me happy.

 

If you are planning to marry your Turkish Partner and when you look at them you see a Turk, or their culture, you think life is going to be like what it is when you are on holiday in Turkey or you find you like the idea more than your partner. Then stop and take a good hard look at who you are marrying. Can you be happy with this person and most importantly can you make them happy. Marriage is the same in Turkey as it is anywhere else in the world, it’s about making the person you love happy and sharing that persons life. It’s not about being married to a Turk.

 Do you agree with me or do you disagree? What is your advice to others?

 

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200 Responses to “Married to a Turk and Living in Turkey”

  1. 18th May 2012

    carole Reply

    I’m married to a Turk but he is my second husband, I’ve already done the having children bit with my first husband and literally brought them up alone after divorcing him. So I’ve always had to work as I was on my own with 2 sons to provide for. They are 20 and 23 now and don’t need me so much. I lived in Turkey for 3 years with my husband and I found it difficult to settle into the culture and sometimes made to feel inferior. After being ill for 6 years I am now ready to get back to work so I’ve moved back to England to try and do that. Hasan will stay and work the
    season in Turkey then apply for a visa. I find his family too overwhelming, I don’t want every aspect of mine and Hasan’s life discussed by all the family and village. I don’t want to be asked repeatedly when I’m going to have a baby when they all know I can’t have anymore children, It is exhausting. My advice to anyone marrying a Turk and living in Turkey, get used to living in a gold fish bowl. Please don’t misunderstand me I love Hasan and I don’t regret marrying him, but i could do without the intrusion of his family.

    • 21st May 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Carole

      For me we are lucky and unlucky that we live away from my in laws. At times I could do with the help with my son but at the same time I am glad for the distance. It’s a shame for you that they have made you feel that way. I wish you all the luck in England and with Hasan’s visa application.

      Kerry xx

      • 24th December 2014

        Nada Reply

        Hi Kerry am on the way to marry Inshaallah To a turkish man am from Egypt I love him so much n can’t wait to b with him today before tomorrow but the moving thing leaving everyone I care about behind like my mom friends n family is intimidating especially I’ve been on a vacation to turkey for ten days n I imagined how hard to make friends there as I’ve unfortunately had seen people there r not so friendly any advice ? Thx
        Nel

        • 10th June 2017

          Reem Reda Reply

          hey nada , iam reem iam also from egypt and i have a turkish boyfriend , i feel so intersting to know what happend with u and how ur family accept him cause its so hard with me 🙁 i want to give me advice . what i have to do !!! :((((

    • 6th December 2014

      Theresa Kaplan Reply

      My wonderful ((((((Mehmet))))) and I married November 20. I do feel lonely at times because there are no Americans where we are. I speak a bit of Turkish and I learn more each day. Other than wanting to have more friends here I am very happy. ((((((Mehmet))))) treats me wonderfully well. I am so happy that his family and I love each other. It was a hard journey to get married because there are so many requirements. Every signature has to be stamped and some of the officials forgot to stamp our papers incuding the American Consulate General. Its a requirement for Americans to fill our a Elgibility To Marry form and have it signed and stamped at the American Consulate. Because of all the requirements and people forgetting to stamp our papers we had a lot of traveling to do. It was all more than well worth it. We are a very happy couple.

    • 6th December 2014

      Theresa Kaplan Reply

      I’m going to share the requirements for an American marrying a Turkish citizen here. There are medical tests which include blood test and X-rays. There is a test for mental stability if you are over 65. You have to have certified copies of your passport made. You have to show a certified copy of your divorce certificate if you are divorced or certified proof that your spouse passed away. You have to fill out a Eligibility To Marry Form and it has to be perfect. I had to fill it out a few times. You have to make sure every paper is signed and stamped.I strongly advice a certified translator if you don’t speak Turkish. You will have to have two witnesses at your wedding. I hope this helps .

      • 26th December 2014

        Nel Reply

        Thank you so much it’s really a big help am on the way to marry a turkish n needed to know the procedures that ill b having to go through am from Egypt n divorced so Wut about my Arabic documents who can translated the embassy or Wut ?

  2. 18th May 2012

    Livin' Istanbul Reply

    I, too, am married with a Turkish man. We currently live in Toronto but will soon be moving to Istanbul to live there. At first I wasn’t so keen on moving to Turkey. But when I visited the country it was then that I understood the reason why he wanted to go back.

    I feel anxious about the move to this new and oh so very different country…so different than what I’m used to. But then again, at the end of the day, who am I going to be with everyday for the rest of my life but the man I married and the man I love… everything else is just details… details which, somehow or the other, can be worked on eventually, whatever they may be.

    My life in Turkey has not even started yet, but the adventure has already begun. It began when I married my Turkish man. And the adventure has been great so far.

    I still don’t know what awaits in Turkey. All I know at the moment is that I’m following my Prince … following him to his kingdom far, far away…
    Whatever obstacles we may encounter along the way I’m sure he’s got a sword somewhere 🙂

    Jenn

    I still don’t know what awaits in Turkey. All I know at the moment is that I’m following my Prince … following him to his kingdom far, far away…
    Whatever obstacles we may encounter along the way I’m sure he’s got a sword somewhere 🙂

    Jenn

    I feel anxious about the move to this new and oh so very different country…so different than what I’m used to. But then again, at the end of the day, who am I going to be with everyday for the rest of my life but the man I married and the man I love… everything else is just details… details which, somehow or the other, can be worked on eventually, whatever they may be.

    My life in Turkey has not even started yet, but the adventure has already begun. It began when I married my Turkish man. And the adventure has been great so far.

    I still don’t know what awaits in Turkey. All I know at the moment is that I’m following my Prince … following him to his kingdom far, far away…
    Whatever obstacles we may encounter along the way I’m sure he’s got a sword somewhere 🙂

    Jenn

    • 21st May 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Jenn

      I think if you come with an open mind and try and stay relaxed about all the cultural differences instead of fighting against them go with the flow. Let the ones you don’t like wash over you and embrace the ones you do.

      If I had taken this advice at the start when I moved here full time life would have been a lot easier, but we learn from experience. Good luck with the move and keep in touch if there is anything you need to know ask I will see if I can help.

      Kerry xx

  3. 18th May 2012

    BacktoBodrum Reply

    I’ve been married to a Turkish man for 28 years. We’ve not only lived together but worked together for all that time. His family hasn’t played a big part in out lives and after the initial interest, left us very much to ourselves. I don’t think this is unusual my aquaintance circle.

    • 21st May 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Back to Bodrum

      Its nice when the family are relaxed and not in your face to much. I do know one or two people who’s in laws spend to much time around them and it can really have an affect on an relationship. 28 years married it must have been very different here in Turkey when you married and unusual for his family. I wish you many more happy years together. Kerry x

  4. 19th May 2012

    Natalie Reply

    From the women who I have met that have either been involved with a Turk or married to one, I find them quite flexible and they are willing to go with the flow on a majority of aspects. The problem starts when the Turk forgets he has married a western women and tries to change her. I am not talking about the women who still want to go down nightclubs and dress like they are single, I am talking about women that 100% want to make the marriage work

    • 26th January 2015

      Ekrem Reply

      hi natalie, maybe you are right about turkish men. but turkish men are jealous of their wiwes. its normal. cos we are like that. u want to marrya turkish man? I want to marry a foreign lady but I cant find:)

  5. 19th May 2012

    Natalie Reply

    Had to write two comments as comment box will not scroll down.

    Sometimes the Turk forgets that she has moved country and home for them. They set about trying to make them like a Turkish girl instead of realizing why they fell in love in the first place. I think your last sentence is a good summary but it only works if both partners remember that

    • 19th May 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Natalie thanks for your comments, yes it does have to work both ways, as everything in a marriage is a two way flow. When I was writing I was focused on it from my point of view as wife and how sometimes we can get caught up in the I am from the west and I am from here and this is my attitude to letting it going and focusing on each other.

      Will have a look into the comment box thanks for letting me know.

  6. 20th May 2012

    Ayak Reply

    I have been with my Turkish husband for 14 years, married for 13. We both have grown-up children from previous marriages, who are now leading their own lives. It’s not easy making a marriage work in this country. We have certainly had our ups and downs, split up for a time, but realised we were meant to be together. Families can sometimes be a bit overbearing, although we haven’t had too much interference from them, except from my father-in-law. It’s very important that a Turkish husband always supports his wife, first and foremost. Of course his family are important to him, but he should never side with them against his wife.

    To make any marriage work, whether mixed race or not, takes compromise on both sides, and respect above all else. There is a tendency for a Turkish husband to try and change their foreign wife into a Turkish one, but it’s important to make it clear that this will not happen, but at the same time being flexible enough to accept and live with cultural differences.

    I would advise anyone considering marrying a Turkish man to do as I did. Take your time. Don’t rush into it. Spend some time living here first…particularly in winter…life here isn’t one big holiday.

    I’m glad to have found your blog…good luck with it

    • 21st May 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Ayak

      Thats really good advice for anyone who is considering getting married to a Turkish Man. It’s all to easy to fall in love on a holiday and have your head in the clouds. It took us 5 years before we married and we lived apart for nearly all the time.

      Kerry xx

      • 7th November 2013

        melanie Reply

        I think it is good advice as well, I have known my finance for 2 years and got engaged April 2013 but will marry in November 2014. I have visited him many times and spent time with his family. We communicate well on many issues and often talked about how our culture differs and how we can live as a married couple with both western and Turkish lifestyles in the mix.. I think the key is to communicate how you both feel and not to go expecting what you experienced on holiday. You will be fine

        • 28th November 2013

          Kerry Arslan Reply

          Good luck Melanie its sounds like you both have a great relationship and yes communication is the key and compromise.

  7. 20th May 2012

    trish turkoglu Reply

    Hi Kerry,
    Firstly let me say how gorgeous your little boy is, I have 2 girls and they were beautiful babies too. Turkish babies seem to come out beautiful!
    I’ve been married to a Turkish man for 23 years but we decided to settle in the UK.It hasn’t always been easy, my husband has often felt isolated because of the much more distant social relationships that we have here.
    I lived in Turkey for a year and taught English in a language school. It was interesting that one of the things the Turkish men complained about was their role as breadwinner and how they had to come up with the goods: TV,s , fridges etc before they got married. I think part of the attraction of marrying a western woman is that this pressure is less.You mention Feminism but not having a career outside the home is not anti -feminist as long as it is your choice. Let’s face it , there are few more difficult jobs than bringing up children.I think traditionally in Turkey women have stayed at home , looked after children and home because everything in daily life there centres around receiving visitors. Certainly when we visit family, the women never stop. I know now more and more Turkish women are going to work outside but I wonder whether , like here,they are put in the position of juggling everything. If you look closely at families in the UK you will usually find that women still do more than their fair share of the household chores even though they work outside the home.
    Although unlike you I haven’t lived for a long period in Turkey I found our relatives there incredibly loving and supportive. I do however think that I would have found the constant welcoming of visitors exhausting.
    My husband is from Yenipazar, Aydin but was living in Ankara when I met him. We usually stay around Kusadasi when we visit and this is the region that I know best.

    • 21st May 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Trish thank you for your comment. The one thing I like about writing an article like this is it creates such a good discussion and so many points of view and you learn so much. I think from what I know of is most Turkish woman are still expected to juggle everything. Men are mainly in my experience brought up to expect this. I think at time Turkish relatives are better at a distance some can be a little over bearing but every family is different.

      Our nephew will marry this weekend and his family have had to buy everything for the new room before his bride arrives, when we heard the cost we nearly fainted we didn’t even spend half of the cost on all our furniture and white goods for our home. We also decided to marry quietly in order to save money.

      Thank you for your kind words on our little boy, he is of course beautiful to us 🙂

      Kerry xx

  8. 26th May 2012

    Turkey's For Life Reply

    Loved this post Kerry. Unlike the other people who have commented, I can’t offer any insights with my own experiences as my partner is English. 😉 Thanks for a really honest article though and hope you’ll continue to be happy. 🙂
    Julia

    • 26th May 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Thank you Julia, I wish you and your partner many happy years together 🙂 x

  9. 28th May 2012

    lovemyturk Reply

    ım marrıed to a turk as well, almost 1 1/2 years marrıed and sınce the new year we have lıved ın ıstanbul. not only are we a stones throw from hıs parents house but we actually lıve ın theır old house and have all theır old(broken, torn, wornout) furnıture. sınce my husband sees all thıs (ın my opinion, junk) stuff as a gıft and refuses to get rıd of any of ıt even though we have our own belongıngs ın storage whıch we paıd to brıng over from the States ı fınd ıt beyond frusteratıng. whenever hıs famıly comes over(to theır old house) they are goıng ınto our prıvate space(whıch was once theırs), smokıng ınsıde our apartment and completely ıgnorıng my request/demand that they go outsıde(why would they thıs ıs theır old house seems to be theır motto) and rearrange my kıtchen to the way they want ıt. my husband wont speak up to them about thıs cause he sees them as hıs elders and ‘respects’ them. ıt has gotten to the poınt where ıf ı never see them agaın ı wıll be a very very happy person. ı dont feel lıke thıs ıs my home sınce ım unable to make ıt so. ım even now pregnant wıth our fırst chıld and he refuses to let me clean out one of the spare bedrooms of theır stuff so that ı can make ıt ınto a baby room. he has even gone so far as to say that the baby wıll lıve around the stuff. at my wıts end and about ready to hıre some person off the street to throw everythıng away whıle he ıs at work.
    yes ı stıll love hım to tears, but ı just dont know what to do anymore about hıs ıntrusıve famıly. ıve even gone so far as to pretend not to be home when they rang the door bell and ı never answer the phone anymore when they call.

    • 30th May 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Love My Turk

      I am sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time just now. I had problems with my MIL not that long ago and I understand how you are feeling. My advice would be to make sure he knows how you are feeling, sit down together and calmly tell him how your feeling and what you think needs to happen to make you feel better about life here.

      Listen to his side of things and then work together to find a comprimise, remember family is really important here and they kind of live in each others pockets its just the culture. But they have to learn to respect you as well but to make it fair for both of you, you need to talk it through and find the middle ground.

      I would insist on getting your furniture, we have loads of stuff given to us by my MIL and she acted like it was still hers when she was staying, I nearly put the whole lot in the bin!! If you have your own furniture and see if you can decorate and make it yours and put your stamp on the house then they will also get a feeling that its your home. If your husband married a Turkish women the house would have been decorated and new furniture and things would have been bought. Your husband on this point should respect your wishes to make your home as you want it.

      But you must above all make sure your husband understands how you feel and that there has to be something done about it. If he lived in the States he has to understand what your life style was.

      The other thing you have to get him to understand is you are going to have a child soon and his priority will be you and his baby, you will be his family and that is the family that counts now, he has to let go of his mother, Turkish men are such big mummy boys its scary and you have to get him to understand its time to cut the apron strings. I had the same issue as you and it was so hard but eventually he understood.

      I will message you on email privately if you need someone to chat to

      Kerry xx

    • 13th April 2013

      Laura Reply

      So sorry to hear that you are in exactly the same situation I am in; I know how awful it is. I know that it’s quite a strong word, but I absolutely despise my MIL. She once told me that if I didn’t convert to Islam, she would steal my children! (I didn’t, and I won’t.) She is a pushy, overbearing, lying meddler who insists that everyone do everything exactly the same way she would. I sometimes wonder if, as I am highly educated and she works as a maid, she feels that she needs to be better than me at “her” job. I don’t lord my law training over her or act superior to her, but I did live on my own for 8 years before marrying her son, and I don’t need her “help” keeping house. She comes and rearranges the kitchen as she sees fit, tells me which foods I should cook, which setting to wash my clothes on, how to load the dishwasher (which I’ve been doing 20 years longer than she has!), what to wear, and how to cut my hair. She tries to tell me when I can and cannot talk to my husband, and what *he* has to do with *his* money (and the things that I/we consequently cannot do). She’s asked me before to lie to my husband to get him to do something that he had explicitly said that he didn’t want to do, because she thinks she knows best. Unfortunately, his family lives a 5-minute walk from us. I am pregnant with our first child, and dreading the future. I am planning to move to another town before the baby comes, but I still fully expect her to try to interfere in every aspect of my child’s life. I’ve put up with her for 4 years, but I am also to the point where I will ignore any calls from her or pretend I am not at home if she manages to show up without calling first (as generally Turkish people, annoyingly, love to do). I will not take the baby to see them if my husband is not present. The worst part is that I genuinely love the rest of his family. His younger sister loves children and would make an excellent babysitter, but with her comes the mother, and thus she and the father, brother, and older sister will also be cut off to a certain degree. (Lest you think I exaggerate, her own daughter had a child and didn’t tell her mother for 2 1/2 years!) Her interference has angered me and stressed me out, and has caused tension in my marriage, which has only magnified my hatred for her. Add to that the fact that I live in a very small town with no friends or family, no job, no car, nowhere to go and nothing to do, and I am unenthusiastic about the future. My husband does not want to leave his town for somewhere where I could have a life of my own and some distance from his family. I love my husband very much, but often think it would have been better if we had never met. If tensions return once the baby is born, I will likely leave and take the baby back to the U.S.

      • 18th April 2013

        Kerry Arslan Reply

        Hi Laura

        Wow she sounds a complete nightmare, I am only grateful we live far enough away from mine not to have to many problems though we did have issues when she came to stay during my pregnancy and it has ruined her and mine relationship and nearly end my marriage.

        Thankful my husband appreciates we wouldn’t be happy living near to them though I know in his heart he would love to live near to home. Maybe someday I will give in.

        I really hope all works out for you and your little family, having your first child or any child should be a happy exciting time, but I really understand and feel for your current situation.

        If you ever need to chat and vent look me up on facebook always happy to chat.

        Kerry

  10. 24th July 2012

    Natasha Reply

    I’m 29 yrs old and I’ve been married to my Turkish husband for 3 yrs now we decided to start our life in the uk. I often wonder if we have made the right decision as my husband is quite unhappy. I’ve been thinking whether or not we should stay here or make the move to turkey next year but it’s such a risk in the fact I have a good job here and our house (although we could remt it out) if I move to there it will be up to him to make the money and support us. I’m worried I would just spend all my time on my own as i think he will work longer and more days then he does here. I haven’t got many friends here and I have a small family that I hope will come out to me. I just don’t know what to do part of me thinks if my husband would be happy things would be alot better but I just feel its a bit of a gamble and what if it all goes wrong !!! I just hate seeing him how he is and it feels like he is slowly losing himself. Does anyone know how long it usually takes for someone to settle into a new country and culture? Is he still settling or are things just going to get worse ?

    • 16th August 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Natasha

      Sorry for not replying sooner to your message. If you are on facebook add yourself to this group https://www.facebook.com/groups/300500159962910 if you can’t find it or won’t let you add yourself let me know. The group is for UK nationals married to a Turk either living in the UK or Turkey and there are lots of us ladies who are all lovely and will be able to give you some support and help out with any questions.

      I hope your husband is starting to settle. With moving to Turkey I’ve been their just 3 years now and I am only just starting to settle in and get used to life there. I think though it probably all depends on the person and the situation regards to find their way. Also I found living with my husband really for the first time in our relationship we had a lot of bumps along the way and we are just now find our way with each other and learning each others habits etc.

      Try and join the group they are a great bunch and very supportive.

  11. 2nd October 2012

    Beth Reply

    Hi Ladies,

    I have just re started a relationship with a Turkish guy I met on holidays 3 years ago, I felt then I wasn’t ready to commit and found his talk of love, marriage and family a little overwhealming. However 3 years later I have realised I made a mistake and should have given it a chance, I love him pure and simple, however I am in the UK and he’s finishing the season over there. He talks of how he will give his life and love only to a woman who is prepared to give him everything, he wants a family and to be the breadwinner, with a wife who he can love and support, but will only give this once he is 110% convinced she has given everything to be with him. I want to be with him but can’t seem to make him understand that I have a great job, house and life here and that I am also logical and sensible. The other major factor is am 36 and so time for kids is ticking!! Can I really believe that if I make the move and the sacrifice that he will really be this perfect husband and father? What if I cannot give him children? I do not want to loose this man but sometimes the whole thing just seems too hard. He calls me typically negative english girl!! I suppose what Im asking is do I give up my life here and risk failure…. (this is the attitude he hates!) xx

    • 3rd October 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Beth

      No relationship is perfect and no man can be perfect, it’s hard being married to anyone. You both have to work at it and if you do marry your Turkish guy then there will be lots of other little things that come up to do with culture and different life styles.

      Turkish men are very proud and if he came to the UK to live with you while you are the main bread winner and provider would hurt his pride and cause fights.

      You can’t live life with what if’s and if this is the Man you really want and there is no other for you then no job, money house etc can be more important than him. We all like security but what has that ever gained us in life, life is short and if you don’t live it then what will you have to show at the end.

      As for the kids issue talk to him and ask him to be honest with (which turks are very good at) would he still be with you if you couldn’t have kids. You are only 36 and my cousin who is 45 just had her first child so you have time yet.

      Be as honest as you can with him and tell him your fears and thoughts. If you really love it each other and you are meant to be you will find a solution and compromise just don’t put money and security in front of your happiness.

      Kerry

      (if you want to add me on facebook you can you will find me under kerry arslan)

  12. 1st March 2013

    Sib Ling Reply

    Hello Kerry,

    I ‘ve been married to my Turkish Husband for fourteen years and we were “courting” for seven years before that in a long distance relationship.- yes the proverbial “holiday romance!”

    He was in Istanbul and i was living in London. We are soul mates and grew our relationship over letters ,phone calls,periodic brief visits ( “three months-either way) , various career changes, “doubting Thomases” and secretly jealous so-called “friends” and even v. worried parents .We eventually got so fed up with listening to everybody else and “doing the right thing”; that we decided to elope! We married in Istanbul -1999. We now both live in London and are Parents to three gorgeous children aged 11,9 and 5 .

    We are a mixed couple in more ways than one. First Muslim /Roman Catholic and secondly white/black.Our children are mixed race and very beautiful. They have visited and know their TURKISH cousins, uncles ,aunts and Buyukbaba (dad’sdad) in Turkey and we have had no problems during our stay.They also know their NIGERIAN cousins ,uncles,aunts and Nne-Nne (Mum’s mum in Igbo).They are tri-lingual – but prefer ENGLISH. They also prefer the freedom of adventure and playing outside safely with so many cousins and friends in Istanbul and in Belek more so than in London where they are not allowed ! There’s more security and community over there..

    It has not been easy – Different cultures /personalities , both very proud and strong willed ! Sometimes it ‘s other people who try to interfere – Sometimes we find London life and children are too expensive but we Iove both and simply manage! We have been through so much together .I trust ,love and respect him and he is proud of me and my career / mummy “combi.” He has worked very hard and achieved so much . Even when tempted to move us back to Istanbul,he never stopped trying. He is now managing a successful business. I am v. proud of him and he is truly my best friend. He always tells me and our children that he loves us and that we are his whole life.This is why WE are happy with our famliy unit – no matter what or where !

    Be brutally honest .Trust each other totally by truly believing there’s no going too far not to comeback and enjoy resolving before retiring. I agree It is all about mutual compromise. You’ll be fine and dandy !

    Best Wishes Flo.

    • 9th March 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Flo

      Thanks for your message such a multicultural family 🙂 It shows that it doesn’t matter where your from or your views that people can come together from all walks in life and be happy. I wish you and your family all the best in the future and thank you for the great words of advice Trust and compromise is what its all about.

      Kerry xx

    • 31st January 2015

      Chinemenma Njideka Udokwu Reply

      Hello Flo,

      I feel lucky to have seen your post! I too am a Igbo Nigerian woman with a Turkish man. We are engaged and I sometimes worry about how things will turn out for us, with his very traditional family and my more modern one. Our biggest challenges I believe will be finding a way to meld our two different faiths (Sunni and Episcopalianism)and cope with differing levels of support coming from family members. However, your post has given me hope for the best! If you have any advice or suggestions I would be more than grateful.

      Best,

      Chinny

  13. 7th March 2013

    sunnymcgSelina Reply

    Nice to hear all these stories but i sorry my name is selina by the way. I have been married since one and a half years but together since 7years. As w have some problems in our marriage, i am not sure if we can mend it, but i want to apply for a residence visa as over the last 7years i become to love the country and its people. Could i apply for a residence visa without my husbands permission? I do not know who i can ask…..

    • 9th March 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Anyone may apply for residents visa you do not need your husbands permission. If you are still married then you do not need to provide evidence that you can support yourself financially as it is expect that your husband supports you. If you are separated or divorced then you will need to provide evidence that you can support yourself here you can find details about what you need. http://www.earthlaughsinflowers.info/turkish-living/residency-permit-for-turkey-applying-for-a-residents-permit/ If you wish to become a Turkish Citizen then you will need the support of your husband as it makes the process easier.

      I hope you manage to find a way forward in your marriage it can be very hard being married to a Turkish man especially if you have different cultures and expectations. I wish you all the luck in your future.

  14. 16th April 2013

    Celena Reply

    Hello Kerry,

    My name is Celena and I am considering marrying a Turkish man at this moment. I read through your blog and found a lot of insightful opinions and wanted to share my situation and hear your thoughts.

    I meet a Turk (Erhan – age 29) about 8 months ago when he came U.S for training. We spend about 6 months together before he have to go back to his country. He is now gone for 2 months and due to time differences he is making an effort to wake up everyday in the am to chat with me for an hour or 2 before he has to go work. With that said I can see his effort and is appreciative of it. But what he is asking from me is to move to Turkey with him at the end of the year. I think he is a great man and love him dearly, but I have a consistent battle inside myself.

    I am a 28 year old Asian-American, born in Asia but raised in America. My Asian background made it easy for me to understand his culture and tradition as some of the conservative and family mentality is very similar. But being brought up in America I have a fair share of feministic mind set. I am also higher educated and have a wonderful profession here. If I were to go Turkey I will lose (1) My family as a close support network as they are far and away (2) My friends which I grew up with and shared a big part of my life with (3) the many years of my education may go to a waste as I cannot perform the same profession in Turkey (4) I will lose my earning power and hence relay on a man to support me and my future children (that thought really brothers me). I just feel I am bearing so much risk and even if he loves and care for me today, no one can predict the future. Reading your blog I feel you had the same dilemma, so happened to allow you to make the jump?

    Erhan has attained his master degree recently and is working as an officer, he is open minded, relaxed and easy going. But I feel he is looking at life too simply and like to sweet talk too much which makes me wonder if he is mature enough to know what life will be like ahead.

    Thanks,

    Celena

    • 18th April 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Celena

      I understand your dilemma its really hard to give up a life you love to something toatally unknown. Turkish men are always in a rush, the want to fall in love and marry and be done with it all!

      It took us nearly 5 years before we married, my hubby had army to finish and where he was working and living wasn’t so nice. This time gave us the space to know we were 100% committed to the relationship and not just in the first flush of love.

      Life hasn’t been easy we didn’t spend much time together so getting to know each others habits and ways has taken a lot of time for us to adjust. But it is worth it for us as we know we are in love and are committed to each other.

      What I think you should consider is coming here for a few months and see how life would be, see if could move and live here and how you feel not working and being a little less independent. I don’t think who you marry from where, you have to loose a little of Independence and learn to be a little more dependent on your other half, whats important is not to loose who you are.

      Depending on what your qualifications are you may find what you do is in demand here, it may be worth searching to see what work is available for you to do and there is also online, though the rules are a little grey regards working online you may be able still work remotely.

      At the end of the day what made me move was I knew I couldn’t live with out him and moving to the UK was out of the question for us. If we were to be together then I had to make the move.

      Take your time don’t rush, its easy to get caught up. But don’t leave yourself wondering what if! Sometimes you just have to take that jump and see where life takes you.

      Always feel free to message me Kerry.

      • 21st May 2013

        Celena Reply

        Hi Kerry,

        Hope all is going well for you.

        Thanks for you advise. I also wanted to take a few months off and observe in more detail personally what I like and what maybe problem for me. But I will not be able to take that amount of time off from work. With that said, I was able to take 3 weeks off and is visiting my bf next week. If this trip goes well, then I will consider taking more time off once my contract finishes :).

        He has planned out what we will be doing and the logistic. I am excited yet nervous.

        He made plans to visit his immediate family and some extended family over our trip. With that said, is there anything I should look out for?

        Cheers,

        Celena

        • 26th May 2013

          Kerry Arslan Reply

          Hi Celena

          Just relax and enjoy your visit with your BF and his family. It tends to be if your looking for something you will find it anyway and sometimes we bend the facts to make them fit! Take your time and see where everything leads to. If you are meant to be together you will be. I made these rules with my Husband my then BF, don’t ask me for money, visa or gifts. If I want to give a gift for Bday or something special then that was my decision.

          I also keep this rule with me always if he treats you any different from what you would expect from any Boyfriend then he is not for you, do not get caught up with the culture, him being Turkish and so on. He is a Man and you are a Woman and if treats you different (in a bad way) to your expectations and standards then he is not for you. Don’t lower your standards.

          Have fun enjoy and let me know how it all works out.

          Kerry x

        • 7th December 2014

          Theresa Kaplan Reply

          Hı Kerry,
          Thank you very much for your wonderful blog. ((((((Mehmet)))) and I are amused about your comment about Turkish men wanting to fall in love and get married in a hurry. He proposed to me about a month-and-a-half after we met at an online card game. Quıte a few other men had proposed to me but they were scammers. I knew in my heart that (((((Mehmet)))) was the right man for me and he proved me to be right. We did a lot of chatting online and on the phone. Then we video chatted. That he told me he loves me on our first phone chat when his family and friends were in the same room with him saıd a lot. He also posted messages of loving me on my Facebook page. I came to İstanbul Turkey in May and stayed for three months. I came back at the end of October. Like many of the ladies here. I have found it very hard to lose my ındependence. I have a beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood. I grew up in that home and inherited it. I could drive to where I needed to go. Here I’m afraid to even attempt to drive a block. You all know Istanbul traffic! LOL! Now I have to depend upon my husband to take me where I need to go. I did not lose my friends as I keep in touch with them on Facebook and on the phone. I had a bıg choice to make. I could have stayed in my beautiful home in my beauttıful neighborhood. I could have stayed there and stared at the four walls or I could be with my wonderful husband (((((((Mehmet))))). I chose love!

  15. 4th May 2013

    Sophie Dave Reply

    Hello, i have not yet got married to my Turkish man we plan to do so next year at some point. I was just wondering if there was anyway that i could have your email or something so i can talk with you about things like visa’s etc for living in Turkey full time. That is what i wish to do as soon as i marry him. Would be lovely to be able to get someone else’s point of view from what they have lived 🙂

    Sophie.x

    • 5th May 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Sophie I have sent you a message via your hotmail with an email you can reach me on 🙂

      • 4th July 2013

        Sibel Reply

        Hi, Kerry!
        I wish you can find time to find me on Facebook, Sibel Ashika or zyrabellesibelashikalitao@ymail.com
        I’d love to talk with you more personally. I know you can help me big time.
        Lots of Love,
        Sibel

        • 7th July 2013

          Kerry Arslan Reply

          Hi Sibel I looked you up on facebook but I wasn’t sure if I had the right person. I will email you and we can connect there.

          Kerry

  16. 16th May 2013

    Leo Reply

    Hi Kerry,

    I have a sad experience, i met this guy during my exchange student in usa. He said he felt in love with me only in one week. Im indonesian n it was hard for me to trust him, because i use my logic that we didnt know each other to love. He has a gf and so do i, during our life in usa, he asked me a future. I ignored him cause he has a gf, so do i have bf. my bf was coming on winter break. We spend time together for one month after that. My turk guy is changing afterthat, we still together but his attitude not as romantic as before. Yes we have ouble relationhip. He has gf in german, a turk one, i also have bf in german.

    Our exchange student was ending, by the time i realized i love him so much, but now he is changing his mind, he said he loved me but he cannot e with me because he need to tke care someone else, his gf, he wanted me to be happy with my bf but in fact, time make me love my turk bf. he said it is not because of love, but something else he cannot say. He promised to marry his gf when they re 18 years old.

    If so, why he ever asked me to leave my bf, and during our usa time he never wanted to break up and he said he loves me so much. If he love me that much, why he choose to be with his gf. I made miske of rejected him at the beginning, but i accept it, i still want to be with him but i dont know how, when he already make up his mind. He said its imposibble.

    Do u believe if we meant to be together we will be together? What should i do? I just need to forget him? Thanks.

    • 19th May 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Leo

      Sorry to hear about your sad experience. It may have been it was an arrange marriage or he felt he had to marry someone Turkish, there can be so many cultural preassure that could have made him decide to stay with his GF. But also he may have felt you were not committed enough to the relationship. If there is one thing with Men no matter where they are uncomplicated they don’t have the mad range of emotional thoughts us girls have running through our minds and he may just have felt more connected to the other girl.

      You must be heart broken but as they say it is better to have loved than never to have loved and yes I do believe if it’s meant to be it will be. You could email him and tell him your true feelings and ask him to tell you why he choose the other girl. But maybe it is time to close the door on this one and wait for that special guy to come along because he will.

      Hugs Kerry x

  17. 16th May 2013

    Leo Reply

    He is 23 and im 28, when i talk about married he said he never think to marry me but other girl, at that time he didn’t want to see my eyes. He said he love me and asked me to understand him.

  18. 16th May 2013

    Maki Reply

    Hi Kerry, I am also new just moved here with my husband in January, we previously lived in London UK. We will have a baby soon, and I was hoping here there are also antenatal classes or at least meet ups with other expectant parents, not sure if this exists here? Anyone lives near Bakirkoy, Yesilyurt area?

    • 19th May 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Maki I will email you this week and see if I can find anyone in your area 🙂

  19. 16th May 2013

    Maki Reply

    Hi Kerry is me again, I would love if you could reply to me via my email, as I am not too fond of blogging my private information. Thanks so much, looking forward to hear from you. Maki

    • 19th May 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Maki

      I will get in touch this week. Kerry

    • 26th May 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi I’ve emailed you but please check your spam in case it has landed in there. x

  20. 16th May 2013

    Maki Reply

    Sorry I seem to have given you a wrong email, I’ve corrected it now on the reply form below. Sorry again, Maki

  21. 17th May 2013

    Giselle Habibi Reply

    I was married to a Turkish guy for less than a year. He came to live with me in my country. It was a total disaster, mainly because we didn’t have the same understanding about Islam. As a new convert, I had trouble in quitting my old life style. And he was truly obssessed with religious things. Also, he didn’t help me enough at home even though I was the one working for both of us because he is a musician. I found him selfish and ungrateful. And I strongly disliked his “I am permanently unsatisfied attitude”. Of course, that is just my experience, I am sure not all Turkish guys are the same. He was great in bed though.

    • 19th May 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Sorry to hear that your marriage didn’t work out Giselle, you know there are men like that all over the world. Helping out at home is a kind of cultural thing I really have to nag my husband at times and then I get I go out to work all day grrrr they are raised like little princes and taught that women do the work, its a bit of shock to the system if they marry outside of Turkey. But it sounds like you are better off without him and I hope you find some happiness and a good man some day soon. x

  22. 21st May 2013

    Eman Eissa Reply

    Hi Kerry,
    Well, ı am happy kind of to find my same situation here in turkey, İ am an Egyptian girl who fall in love with a Turkish, and ı am really very lucky because ı can speak Turkish ı was working with Turkish in Egypt, He came to learn Arabic and it was destiny, We got married almost two years ago and i live in turkey now. may be i don’t have the same problem as most of you here as i am a Muslim too, but sure we have different culture, i miss home a lot especially family and friends, ı know the people of turkey are very warm but you may not believe me Egypt is more warmer every one smile to you in Egypt when you just say hi to anyone when you walk, we sure have more troubles in Egypt than Turkey but ı do miss it, ı was working too there and since i came here ı loved my husband more and more we still don’t have kids, but some how Kerry i feel that i am lost i still don’t know what i want to do here! i can’t find work till now, and actually i am not sure what do i want?!, yes i want him of course but i want to build my self too to be able to help him to walk together, but some times i am very lonely, and yes we live far too from his family. they are a nice people may be i don’t agree with them all the time but i respect them some time i got confused by trying to make them happy by doing things i do not wanna do but i am hoping that we are all gonna find our way together some how…I think i just have to wait..

    • 26th May 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Eman, I used to try and please my family and then I had a row with my MIL in law and I felt much better very odd, but I found out I didn’t have to be prefect for them to like or love me, but that I had my ways, they have theirs and you have to find the compromise. Don’t get to caught up in trying to please them just be yourself.

      Work is a hard one, though I don’t miss work 🙂 but I used to have horses back home and I was with them everyday till the day I left for turkey I miss working with them everyday and bring on young horses and competing. Some days I could scream for missing them, but I tell myself this is the life I chose for myself, this is my world now and if horses are meant to be in my life again I will find my path back to them. What was your previous profession? If it was a job that is in demand in Turkey it may be easy to find work and get the golden work permit, but if not is there a way you can use your skills that you have to work online then you can be at home and still work and keep developing yourself. The other thing to do is reach out into the community around you and see if there are any girls/ladies who are in a similar situation to you and meet up now and again to have a good chat and sometime out. You can email me at articles@earthlaughsinflowers.info, tell me where you are etc and I will see if I can find anyone in your area 🙂

      Kerry

  23. 27th May 2013

    sarah Reply

    Hi everyone,
    I have been with a Turk for 16 years, married for 13. We met in Africa, where we lived together, mostly happily, ups and downs, you know how it is. Then I had the idea to move to Turkey last year, so that our children could grow up with their family, and because I was bored of Africa etc etc. (there were a few reasons)
    BIG MISTAKE!! It has been an absolute nightmare, the in-laws have never left us alone, I have been constantly criticized about everything I do, his character has changed here, he spends all his time with his mother, it has been beyond bizarre. Our relationship has almost completely broken down, we have been arguing constantly, to say it has been hell here is not an exaggeration.
    Luckily we are going back to live in Africa, (he couldn’t find work here) I don’t think I will ever live here again.
    Women are definitely seen as second class citizens. Men listen to their mothers before their partners, my husband is hugely influenced by his mother. She is not a very nice woman. He has said and done things here he would never have done when we were abroad.
    This has been my experience, I don’t know if it will help anyone.
    (It’s hard to put 16 years into a couple of paragraphs!)

    • 29th May 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Sarah, I have the same issues with my husband when we visit his home, he completely change and its gotten to the point I dread going and we argue about how long we will spend there, then I feel horrible for seeming like I want to keep him away from his family. He goes into some caveman barely speaks to me, wont hold my hand in front of anyone and everything his Mum says is right and even with our little boy I get so mad with him. I could never live near them as I know it would be the end of eventually and I have been very straight with him on this and he knows my position so hopefully it will never happen.

      I can really feel for you and can understand your need to get some distance again. I hope when you return to Africa that you find the peace in your relationship you are looking for and you can all be happy.

      Kerry

      • 29th May 2013

        sarah Reply

        thanks so much for your reply
        I felt embarrassed after I left the previous message here, I don’t really leave comments on websites but I was at the ‘end of my tether’. I don’t know anyone in my situation and have no one to talk to about it, anyway, I know everything will be ‘fine’ after we go back to Africa. Good luck to you too.

        Sarah

        • 31st May 2013

          Kerry Arslan Reply

          Sarah, never feel embarrassed sometimes we just need to reach out when we are at a low point. Come and chat any time always happy to listen.

          Kerry

        • 22nd September 2013

          sarah Reply

          I wanted to leave an update to the above post. I have discovered that (in my opinion) my mother in law is in fact ‘suffering’ from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. She is very mentally ill, so my case is not at all typical and nothing to do with cultural differences actually.
          We are back in Africa now, it’s going to take time to work it all out.

          • 1st October 2013

            Kerry Arslan

            Glad you are back in Africa and working things out, sorry to hear about your MIL but glad you are out of it all. I wish you and your family all the best in the future x

  24. 29th May 2013

    Yamilet Reply

    I’m sorry if this is rather late I just had seen the date above before I wrote this comment. I agree with you about marriage the fact that the man I am seeing is turkish doesn’t matter to me. I see him as I would anyone else who you can fall in love with. Marriage is just that ,between a man and a woman you don’t marry the family you marry the man. He fell in love with you. I haven’t been with mine quite as long as you have with yours. We are trying to work out ours. His family is very important to him and I have no idea of the turkish culture. I’m American. All I read is that turkish men can’t marry foreigners .. That it is frowned upon. Their family will disown them. That turkish men are cheaters and that they cannot stay faithful. I’ve read good things too that they are hard workers and they provide for their families. That they hold true to their word. These are all things you read on the Internet but seeing yours was a breath of fresh air. Yes you are married to a Turk and yes you do say it but you also ring true to the fact that he is a man and you are a woman. The nationalities don’t matter in that sense because the bond was made in between the two of you… I hope if you read this you can help me…with his family do you speak to them? Have you learned their language? How long did it take you if you did? Do they accept you and your child? I’m sorry if these questions are rather personal and if you do get to reply please reply to whatever you feel comfortable replying to.

    • 29th May 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Yamilet

      Sorry you haven’t found any positive information out there on the web. Well if a marriage to foreigner is frowned upon here then there is going to be big trouble, there are so many expats married to Turkish men/women we are certainly not the first.

      It is true that some families would rather they married with in their own but isn’t that the case in many families. Could you imagine a strong Christian family being happy if they child married a Muslim! Think on it that way.

      When it comes to family yes his family accept me and are happy to have me as their daughter and they adore our son, he isn’t talking yet but he baby talks away to his Gran on the phone and he is spoiled rotten when we visit. When it comes down to the Mother in Law its pot luck! You either get a good one or a nightmare but again that happens all over the world if you love each other then she doesn’t really matter! I have had ups and downs with mine and I refuse to live near them but when I visit I am welcomed with open arms.

      Turkish well its a bit of hard language for me I am studying hard and have the basics maybe you will fair better than me, its good to learn and be able to interact with family and friends then you will never feel on the outside. I have the added disadvantage of them speaking Kurdish so I never understand half of what is going on but I just go with the flow no point stressing.

      Never feel bad about asking questions if you don’t ask you will never know and the whole point of this type of article is to help others out and help. If you want to chat more email me at articles@earthlaughsinflowers.info or track me down on facebook Kerry Arslan.

      Take care for now and when you do meet his family just be yourself thats all you can do x

  25. 19th June 2013

    Lucy Reply

    I went on holiday earlier this year and never expected to meet or even fall for a Turkish guy, but I did. I have been back as much as I can to see him and we speak and whatsapp everyday. It is incredibly hard.

    He works and will finish the season in November and has asked me to go and stay with him and do some travelling and spend time together etc. For me I have to think about what decision I make and I am struggling. It means either leaving my job or taking a sabbatical from work for some months and I just can’t work out what is best. I know we genuinely like each other and we have talked about all the things we want to do together and yes it is early days. We both know that at some point we have to decide whether we walk away ot whether we give it a go.

    He has said he doesn’t want to come to England to live and I don’t necessarily have a problem with that. In the early days of meeting your husband – how did you do it? How long until you made that life changing decision.

    It has only been 5 months for me, but it gets harder every day, the last time I went over (last week), was the hardest to say good bye and I am still struggling now. Each time and each day we learn more about each other and we are already incredibly close.

    Any advice would be great.

    • 19th June 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Lucy

      Long distance relationships are very hard. But if you survive the time until you can be together in my mind makes for a very strong relationship.

      I think I should write an article about how we survived so thanks for your comment you have given me a little inspiration.

      How we survived was constant chatting on MSN which is no longer and skype. We talked everyday probably a bit excessive really but we chatted in the evening for a couple of hours. He is a teacher and was working in Van in the East of Turkey and it is not easy to get to. So we would see each other in the summer months, I would take a month or two off but being self employed it was easier to do. Then during the Turkish Schools winter break I would visit him in Istanbul for two weeks. Probably if you add up the time we spent together it would be less than a year. We have been together now 7 years and only 3 years married. I didn’t make the move till after the 1st year of our marriage as my husband was waiting on a school transfer to a better place and then I moved out.

      It was basically move here or not be together as we couldn’t survive on my wages. We spent 5 years apart and it wasn’t easy but I am glad we had that time if we had rushed into things despite or feelings and commitments together, I don’t think we would have the relationship we have now.

      I don’t think giving up your job at this moment is a wise decision, I know you are in love and feel very strongly about each other but it is still early days and you do not know what may happen and you have to give yourself a bit of security while you both figure things out. You also need to visit his home and meet his family, discuss where you would live, what sort of life you would have here. Its very difficult to get work here as a foreigner so you will need to decide if staying at home all day is something you would be ok with and if you both can survive on his wages. Real life here is very different to what you see when on holiday. My normal advice is take the rose tinted glasses off and have a hard look at life here, the culture and if you could see yourself here. Also find out what his views on how he sees your future and what his expectations of your life would be. Really get to know him and his family.

      A Long Distance relationship takes a lot of commitment and a lot of trust. But at the same time you most likely wouldn’t give up your life to be with a guy from home at the start, so don’t do it for someone from another country. Always remember this is a relationship with a man the same as any, keep the same expectations you would have if you were dating a man from home and be true to yourself. Don’t get swept up in the romance of it all.

      Good luck and I really wish you both the best in the future. Feel free to ask anything you want to know or if you need to chat, it can be hard for family and friends to understand what your going through.

      Kerry

      I

  26. 26th June 2013

    Danielle Reply

    Really enjoyed reading this post, myself and turkish partner have a baby and due to be married next year, I lived out their befor having our daughter and I am in 2 minds if I want to move back or try for his visa here, tha Karen for this post 🙂

    • 29th June 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Danielle

      Its not an easy decision to make, the visa process is I am told is very hard and stressful and you have to think what he would do when he moved to your home and how he would adjust. And on the same side having already lived here is it something you want, can you see yourself being happy here. Good Luck and feel free to ask questions or chat any time Kerry

  27. 29th June 2013

    IA Reply

    Hi, thanks for a nice article. Just a pleasure reading:). I am Russian and being married to a Turkish man for more than 8 years now. We have two beautiful kids, many years of happiness but now I am struggling with finding the reason to continue this marriage. Since we’ve been marred I was always working and supporting my husband’s attempts for a dreamed career/business. The idea was very good and attractive and I was happy to help him to achieve something what he really wants even if it meant debt and long hours at work. But since I had my first child everything changed, I started realising that I just unable to cope with City career requirements, having baby in London and constant disappointments from my husband’s attempts to bring at least some income on the family table.When I got pregnant second time we decided to go Turkey and try to build a new life there. Secretly, I was hoping that being back home will influence my husband to become more proactive and actually do something for us, for me and my kids. But I was so wrong again, as soon as my maternity leave was over I was forced to go back to UK and start working again to pay bills and credit cards. My husband still in Istanbul trying to study for some exams, hoping to pass them in 3 months time and hoping to get job later. Why I am writing here? I need your advice. My mother in law blames me to be too strong women, that I am the reason why her son is not able to look after his family. That I need to stop working, leave London, get kids and go to Istanbul and just pray that things will work out. That is how Turkish wife should do. But I just can not do this, I am not trusting my husband at all, I am scared of ending up without anything with 2 kids in foreign country. This is not how wife should feel about her partner. This is not how family should be build. At the moment I really feel to be better off by myself. Is this really the difference in cultures? Is it really problem with me? I do not want my kids be without father, but I can not see myself next to him any more. I feel so much anger towards him for not being able to make any money for many years.I just feel that I being used. Am I wrong? I am so confused. Please don’t be too judgemental. I just hope for a honest advice from women who can understand me.

    • 29th June 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi

      Well for a start who I am I to judge you, you are hard working and supporting your family a role that many woman take now and the men stay at home.

      It can’t be easy with two kids and being apart. But I also understand that it is unfair that he expects you to still be doing all the work even if he has been studying or looking for the big break he still could have been doing a lesser job to help support you both especially after you had kids. Its not unusual for men to be lazy but often the Turkish pride of caring for the family makes them a little better than their UK counterparts in my experience!

      His mother of course is completely wrong and should be giving her son a big kick up the arse and telling him to get a job and support his family, why should you return here and wait for him to make while living on what? with two kids to provide?

      I don’t think this is a culture thing, just a lazy person or someone who blunders through life trying but not succeeding. I suppose what it comes down to is, do you love this man? And what would your life be like without him? Is it better with him in it or would it better without him? forget all the material things like money, job, house etc just think about the man himself and your relationship.

      It is not your fault, the blame entirely rests on his shoulders and he has to be man enough to deal with this issue. Also have you spoken to him and told him how you feel and how this endless pattern is affecting you?

      Another question would be if he passes his exams in 3 months and gets a good job, would that change everything for you? If it would then maybe you have to hang in there for a little while longer and see what happens.

      Do what is right for you, the kids are already living without a father and with such a strong mother I am sure they will be fine. But consider my questions and see where they take you and feel free to chat to me more at articles@earthlaughsinflowers.info

      You should be proud of yourself and respect yourself for all you have done for your family, and don’t let anyone take that away from you.

  28. 27th July 2013

    IA Reply

    Thank you from all my heart. Your words make me feel better, not sure why..I guess I needed some support. I need to think. May be God with me and give me right answers. All the best to your little family. I will pray for you 🙂

    • 4th September 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Glad I could help. Please message any time if you need to chat.

  29. 25th August 2013

    Firoza Reply

    A lot of wisdom in your article. Masha Allah I am married to a turk and happy because I make my husband happy. I have given up a lucrative carrer to be with my husband in Turkey. I was thinking of exploring the possibility of working here to compensate to the lost job abroad. However changed my mind after reading your article. What guarantee do I have that fancy jobs will give me extra happiness? It is so much a joy to take care of the man who is providing me with everything with love and care. Thanks to Allah.

    • 4th September 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      I wish you and your husband more happiness and forever happiness as well. Work isn’t the only thing in life that can give you fulfillment and if what your doing now makes you happy then stick at it. xx

  30. 10th September 2013

    ne isim olur gavur kiziyla ;) Reply

    I’m turk. and i hope i ll never married with a non turkish girl. I live in france, and i see and hear a lot of couple (wife is french) that his son doesn’t speak turk. for me it’s horrible and unthinkable. i love too much my country. and moreover i think we haven’t got the same culture, the same religion. so show me best girl in the world i always prefer TURKISH GIRL. i love them so cut for me.

    • 10th September 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Never say never in life, I didn’t want to marry a Turk but look at me now 😉 I hope you ever you marry you will have a happy life.

    • 8th November 2017

      Rei Reply

      Don’t be so arrogant, many ladies also don’t wanna married with turkish men. Good for you then if you don’t interest marry with non turkish girl. But this article is about married with turkish men. So I guess you should make your own article ! You came to the wrong door! LOL

  31. 14th September 2013

    Hani Raiha Reply

    I read your post and really amazed of your story. I was looking on some successful story of foreign women married turkish men. Because now i am dating turkish man, we are so in love even we only know each other in very short time, about one month. And we are already talking about getting married. This is sound too good to be true but it possible to happen. I hope your story inspired me until the wedding day come.

    • 1st October 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Thanks Hani, I wish you all the luck in your relationship. A bit of advice take each day at a time and don’t rush things but enjoy each day x

  32. 28th September 2013

    Sharonwheatley Reply

    Hi iv been married to my Turkish husband for 7 years. He is unable to get a visa. I am English living alone in the uk in this hopeless situation. He does not make contact with me often. Iv been back and forth to see him. Iv told him to divorce me and move on. But he said no. What’s the point in staying married to someone I can’t be with. I’m ill and cannot live in turkey as I need my cancer treatment. I haven’t not ever received a small gift from him in all this time. Now I can’t travel to see him as too ill. From Sharon

    • 1st October 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Sharon so sorry to hear you are ill, I hope you keep fighting and beat it. It must be so hard living apart though I can’t understand why he is not in touch more and wont divorce. Having not gone down the visa route for hubby to live in the UK, I know its not an easy process. I really hope you find some resolve x

  33. 21st October 2013

    Sharon Reply

    Thank you Kerry. X

  34. 29th November 2013

    Mara Reply

    Hi Kerry! Im so glad i found your blog.
    Im having a relationship with a sweet Turkish guy. He was previously married with no children, as his ex wife doesnt like kids. We are working in the Middle East, so we cannot go out and meet each other. We only met once in a mall, but we see each othe everyday on skype, talking for hours.
    I am currently on vacation in my country (Im Asian), and when i come back to the Mid East, he said he will pick me up in the airport and bring me to a mosque and marry me. I wAnt to be with him, as i love so dearly, but, no offense, i dont want to convert to Islam. He said he is willing to convert to my religion, but i dont want him to, thinking this will fire back at me in the long run. What i want is for us to get married without any one of us changing our religions. Btw, im a Catholic, he knew it right from the start, and he said its not a problem on his side, that i dont have to convert to Islam if i dont want to.
    Do all women married to Turks convert to Islam?

    • 4th December 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Mara, I would say only about 1 or 2 percent of woman convert when they marry a Turkish man. And you don’t have to as it is seen that the child will take his father religion however if you were a man marrying Muslim girl there would maybe be more pressure to convert.

      Marrying in a Mosque is not the same as getting married in the Catholic church, it is just a blessing and in no way legal, civil marriage is the only recognised marriage in Turkey and he can literally turn up to the Mosque and say you are divorced without your knowledge. Being married in the Mosque means you have no rights as his wife.

      Maybe you can both keep your religions I know of a few couples who have and work well together. Take your time together there is no rush and get to know each other well being in a mixed culture relationship can be hard at times and you need to make sure your foundations are strong.

      I wish you both all the best and feel free to message anytime.

  35. 19th December 2013

    Fiona McArthur Reply

    hi. i applaud your positive helpful attitude. i fell in love with turkish man 3 years ago. he started by saying he broke his phone can i buy him another one. then he wants me to let him use my credit card, he can speak the language, hire us a car etc. 3 years later he has told me, hospital bills, work permit, broken leg, keep him out of prison for not paying electric, roof flew off house, him going blind, need operation, need new teeth, no food for the family, wood and coal for the family for winter. etc. i have put myself in debt for £45000.00. when i speak on the phone i believe the stories, he cries on the phone. a turkish girl called me last year she says she is pregnant from him and she has lived with him for 6 years. he says she is lying and wants to cause trouble because she is a belly dancer and he didnt pay her. i seem to be under his spell i still want him but he wants me to go there and pay for renting a house for us. i am a widow and have nothing in my life without him. i need help because i believe him but i can never prove that what he says is lies and so my conscience wont let me abandon him. he wants marriage but i am worried in case he has rights to take my house in uk and take my income. i want marriage because i love him. he says he loves me but i never see proof of that, only requests for money. is there a counselling service which can help me or some way to catch him out to prove his stories are lies? i hope you can help. i have been told by friends to cut him off. i cannot do this. what can i do Kerry. i hope to hear a reply some time. i am 66 but look younger, he is 40. he says he cant look after himself and that his family have told him to go out of the house as he has a girlfriend (me).

    “fiona”

    • 27th December 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Fiona

      I must apologize for my late reply.

      I think you know yourself what the truth is in the this situation and by writing to me your not really looking for my help but maybe more for me to tell you that your thoughts about this are wrong. Even though you know the truth yourself.

      You have to have some respect for yourself and decide what you really want from this relationship and if this man is really giving you that. I think that may be a good idea to find a counselor or life coach via your local GP and talk through all of this with a professional. I think most likely if you feel better about yourself then maybe you won’t need this man in your life and be able to be happy.

      I am sorry I can’t help you more and I hope you can find some happiness in life.

      Kerry

      • 27th December 2013

        Fiona McArthur Reply

        thank you for replying to me Kerry. i feel very sad, as in spite of your hints and tips for sustaining a relationship with a turkish man which i have read in your very positive blogs, in view of your comments in your reply to me about my situation and also those of my friends and family, it seems that i am deluding myself that i could have a successful life with this man because although i dearly love him and would give my life for him, and he swears he would do the same for me, the fact that so much money is involved indicates to the contrary on his part.
        my problem is accepting the truth that he is using me for money. i find this very very difficult, almost impossible, to accept. perhaps a professional viewpoint could help to clarify to me that there is deception on his part and that i have been naive to be happy to be told that i am loved by this man and to be willing to pay out vast sums of money to him for whatever reason he tells me.

        • 30th December 2013

          Kerry Arslan Reply

          Fiona, I will not lie to anyone who asks for advice, of course there is always positives and negatives with all relationships. What you have to decide is if you are happy with the way your relationship is? Are you happy to keep spending money? Do you see a future with this man? Does he love you? Would you allow any other man to do the same? I can’t tell you to stay or leave him. And I can only go by what you tell me on here, I have no idea who you or he is, or what your characters are. Only you do. Often we need to speak to someone outside of our family and friends to find a way forward. Maybe you can stop giving him money, be a little distant and see how he reacts, its often a good tell of what someone wants. Don’t see him as a Turk, but see him as a man and ask yourself is this how you want a man to treat you? If it makes you happy then stay with him, but if he does not then why make your self unhappy. Life it to short. I really do wish I could paint you a rose tinted glasses view of it all, but I am an honest person and I giving you my honest thoughts.

  36. 30th December 2013

    Danique Reply

    hi kerry!

    what a difficult story!
    i am a 20 year old girl from holland, and i am now married wirh myy turkish husband and i live for 11 months in turkey!
    well i have some problems too.. actually i am now in the midel of a fifht! he didnt spoke to me for 6 days now, he pretends like i am only air, he dont look to me and how i see it is he dont care me at all.The reason behind this fight is because of money, i gave a normal answere at a normal question and he went crazy! i told him that he wrong understood me but that wouldnt make any sense.. my home is a priaon and if i want go out of the house he say things like: “if you going out of the house, then never come back. tomorrow i tell you more x

    • 30th December 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Danique, I hope you have managed to sort through the problems, if not please do message me again. I hope all is ok. Often in fights we say things we don’t mean, like get out, maybe you should just go for a walk when he says this, he may get a fright! Money is such a big issue in many relationships and Turkish men are so proud they hate feeling the can’t provide. I have several of these discussion one recent with my own husband. Stay strong.

  37. 30th December 2013

    Fiona McArthur Reply

    oh dear. i feel very sorry for your story. you are having heartbreak. i hope to hear more of your story later. take heart you have friends and support here on the internet.

  38. 30th December 2013

    Danique Reply

    Hi everyone!

    I am sorry about last night, I heard my husband came into our room so i closed my phone, to pretended i was sleeping.
    Well a magic happened last night, while i pretended to sleep, he came to my side and gave me a hug, i didnt know what to expect so i stil pretended i was sleeping. Then he suddenly gave me a kiss..
    But he never said sorry to me.
    I thought it was a dream so i said that i loved him, he said he loved me too.
    But you know, my heart is still broken… So i waited untill the morning, i looked how he reacts to me and stuff. I know he could see on my face that my heart is still broken and i didnt talk to him, why is the question? Well this happens every time and i am sick of it, I am not a dog, you dont treat me like this. Now he went outside, so i will send you a message back in the evening, to look how he reacts to me.
    Maybe I said stupid things about the money, yes that is possible and i know that. but goshh why would he do something like this, dont talk to me for 6 days!!
    And Kerry, 2 days before i wanted to go outside and have a walk by myself, but he didnt let me go and he said: If you go outside, i wil beat you and never come back again.
    I am not scared at all so i said to him: well i dont care, if you beat me i beat you twice as hard and i dont want to come back. (Yes i was angry too so i said things i actually didnt wanted to say) By the way, he never beats me and he never calls me bad names, this is the first time..

    Blah, without men in our life it would be a lot more easier
    thankyou for reading my story and give a reaction back, it really helps me 🙂 You know i am only 20 years old and i am alone in a different country with no family, no friends… nothing. Just he and me.

    I send tonight an update about us 🙂

    • 30th December 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      I think in his way the kiss is his way of saying sorry. Its sounds a bit like us when we fight, we say and do things we don’t mean but it can easily get out of control if you don’t stop it. I think you need to both relax and find a time to sit down and talk through the issues. He can’t keep you locked up or threaten you with beating you, it might not be physically hurting you but mentally it does. Like you say he has broken your heart, I know that feeling and only time will mend it but you have to both learn to forgive and let go and move on from this or it will hurt you more than it needs to.

      Where about are you? If you want message me privately on my email articles@earthlaughsinflowers.info and we can chat when you need.

      It is very hard when its just you and him, being together a lot with no one else to talk to makes fights happen more. Stay strong and message me on my email x

  39. 11th January 2014

    Maha Khan Reply

    Wonderful blog Kerry. God bless you. I was in Turkey in 2005 or 2006 , I can’t remember the year now. It’s not easy settling into a different and you have done well. I love your advice and I wish you plenty of happiness and joy.

  40. 2nd February 2014

    ana Reply

    I liked very much what you wrote about your life in Turkey. You seem a wonderful woman with a wonderful husband and a lovely child. Only a woman in love can leave her own country and renounce at everything for her man. You are so lucky to have such a husband and wonderful family. I like to visit Istanbul every year as a tourist. No personal connection. I wish you to be always very happy. You are a beautiful couple.

  41. 22nd March 2014

    Inam khan Reply

    Hey !!
    I read your story and i liked it pretty much…These days i am also stuck with a decision. I am a Pakistani guy living in Turkey and i like a turkish girl pretty much. She is nice, Simple and a decent human being. I like her alot but am not sure with the idea of marrying her. Actually i was interested in it but modern turks are getting westernized and more towards short term relationships. The girl i am talking about is “kapali” like she takes scarf, covers herself and is very different (kinda strict lol ) in terms of relationships. She likes me too, we met a couple of times.. but we never touched each other…. i mean over all we like each other but when i see around the turkish girls they are always in the process of breaking up, getting divorced etc etc from their former boy friends and husbands. Faithfulness is my issue, Pakistani women are also getting modernized but no matter what they are very faithful (like sticking to one guy and not jumping from one to another) …

    I need your advice… Your experience is much more than me coz u have also left everything behind for ur husband.

    • 26th March 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Inam

      How to answer you, first and foremost I don’t think anyone goes into marriage thinking they will divorce, you fall in love you marry, you think it will last forever and it falls apart. You also don’t want to life life with ‘what ifs’ sometimes you just have to take a chance in life.

      I do agree divorce is the easy way out now, it harder to work at a marriage than to give up at the first issue. We have had our ups and downs in our marriage, but we have kept working together and believe in our love for each and each time it has made us stronger.

      Take your time with this girl, get to know her and her family if possible. It took us nearly 5 years before we married, you don’t have to take so long but give yourself time so you know each other and what your thoughts and dreams are for life. If she is not the girl for you, you will soon know.

      One other thing, don’t over think things, let destiny (kismet) do a little work for you, sometimes when we analyze and over think things, we miss our gut instincts and thing that is right in front of us.

      Good luck and message any time.

  42. 24th March 2014

    Celena Reply

    Hello Kerry,

    its been over a year since I last wrote on your blog. In the last year my bf and I and spend time flying back and forth from America. And I had the chance to live in turkey while working offsite for about 3 months.

    with that said, I made the decision to move to turkey this summer.

    it is an exciting time, but also understand there are a lot coming. But we will take it with a light heart and enjoy every moment.

    just wanted to let you know, and say thank you.

    on a second note, are there any blogs or meetup groups for foreign woman living in turkey?

    it will be great to meet a few other friends, and start building a support network for myself too

    • 26th March 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Firstly good luck with the move and I really hope you will like life here in Turkey. Next join this group on facebook, https://www.facebook.com/groups/300500159962910/ It says UK nationals but don’t worry there are people from all over, just we can’t change the name now! Everyone on the group is lovely and very helpful and you can find people in the area you plan to stay. Also look me up on FB to and add me and we can keep in touch. (I am assuming of course you have facebook!) Also always feel free to email me any time. Kerry

  43. 27th March 2014

    Inam khan Reply

    Hey kerry!!

    First of all Thank u soo much for replying… and secondly , i totally agree with ur statement “Take your time with this girl, get to know her and her family if possible” … i know her for like 2 months hardly and i was thinking all these “what-ifs” as u mentioned… i do like her…but she “my girl” or not…thats what i have to feel…thats what my inner-self should say….
    Kerry i owe u this one…
    The hard part is, her family lives in a city 10 hours far from here…so cant visit them or meet them…they are village people and kinda reserve too… Probably they gonna shoot me if they find i met their daughter a couple of times…
    All that u have said…i’ll keep that in mind… Over and Out !! 😀

    Take lots of care and i wish u success in all aspects of ur life 🙂

  44. 3rd May 2014

    mmcjewelry Reply

    Hi Kerry,

    Thank you for sharing your story on behave of all of us seeking advice and information!

    I am having a long distance relationship with my Turk. Reading everyone’s comments and your responses to their questions, has answered some questions for me. My partner loves his country. He’s hinted of moving me to Turkey all the time. This thought scares me because I love my family, and everything that I’m use to. It’s almost a guarantee that he’ll to Turkey after he and I are married. I have to decide now, if this is a decision I can live with before marriage. Also, I’m a black woman…and how many black western women live in Turkey??? Lol. I plan on visiting for about 2 months, to see if I could live there. It will be very different experience for his parents who live 15 minutes away and myself. His family including my partner do not have black friends or interactions. Part of me just thinks it would be easier if he would just get a turkish partner to marry and live in Turkey, but he doesn’t want that. Also, quick question, does your husband still smoke? I see most Turks smoke cigerattes.

    Again, I enjoyed reading all of your posts. Please continue!

    • 3rd June 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi mmcjewelry

      Sorry for the late reply, my little boy broke his leg and life has centered around him for that time. Ok yes being a black woman will be a novelty but not sure if you read my latest post about being proud to be a Yabanci (a foreginer) let go of this forget it, just be you, let them see you shine through, if they have a problem with who you are let them have it, its not your problem. If he really wants you to go and live near his family or with them, they must be happy to accept you into their family and if that is the case they will love you and see you and not all the other stuff.

      As Yabancis we are novelties in certain areas, like mine, I used to get invited to all the tea and gossip sessions when I first arrived to show off they had the Yabanci at their house and I was the center of attention, which I hated! but I went along and I found out who was nice and who I wanted to get to know more. Now 4 years on I am just another house wife. So you see it wears off and they get bored of you.

      It’s great your going for 2 months best thing you can do, but go with an open mind and ready to accept life here, don’t go with all your hang ups and worries, enjoy your time here experience it as freely as you can and get really feel for life here, its different its going to be but don’t let your worries about life here over shadow everything and turn it into a bad experience because you want it to be.

      Of course he’s not going to get a Turkish partner he loves you silly! He wants to be with you, stop over thinking it. Have you thought about him coming to live with you, is there work he could do is that a possibility?

      Being away from family is the hardest part of it all, but with technology today your never far from each other, facebook, skype, twitter social media is the blessing to the expat where you can interact with family on a daily basis and you don’t feel the distance to much.

      Don’t give up not, yet.

      I am always here if you need to talk and again sorry for the late reply x

      • 14th August 2014

        mmcjewelry Reply

        Kerry thanks for replying! Hope your son healed quickly. Sorry for my late reply. Your feedback is great. I adore my Turk’s simplicity and humble character. He doesn’t need or want to impress anyone. Our characters compliment each other in many ways, but the cultural differences…well…that’s a hurdle. I look on his Facebook, and his family, and friends facebook photos of people at restaurants…and everyone has a cigarette in their hand. And, I’m not a smoker, lol. In the United States, smoking is taboo, but it’s the norm in Turkey. This difference and a few other cultural differences gives reason to pause.

        Will keep you posted. Thanks again for the blogs!

    • 10th June 2014

      Laura Reply

      Hi mmcjewelry – My name is Laura. I wrote one of the messages above, and have been meaning to thank Kerry for her reply for a long time! I agree with her that you should spend some time with an open mind, but I feel that I should give you some caveats that I wish I had known before I moved to Turkey.

      You will almost certainly never get a sense of what it’s really like to live there in 2 months. This is partially because we tend not to miss things at home as much when we know we’re going straight back in a relatively short period of time (some things we don’t even notice are “missing” for a long time, until we need them), and partially because people will treat you as a guest and not as they would treat a family member or someone who lives there permanently. My MIL and I got along so well for the first 2 years I was coming and going that she would cry when I left, and after 5 1/2 years and a lot of her interfering in my marriage and trying to control various aspects of my life, we are now barely on speaking terms, and I avoid visiting or even answering the phone when she calls. You won’t get a sense of what life would be like, because you won’t have a routine – no job, no place to live, no friends, etc., so you won’t know what all of these elements of your life would be like if you do move there. What kind of job could you get? How much money would you make? Salaries in Turkey are extremely low, and the lira isn’t worth much when you go back to visit your own country – so you’d better be sure you want to retire there, unless you are independently wealthy, because you probably won’t be able to afford to retire at home. Do you speak and write Turkish? If not, what kind of job can you expect to get? Does your husband know people who speak English who would become your new friends? Most people in Turkey don’t speak English very well or at all, though if your husband is educated and lives abroad, it’s likely that his contacts do. It also depends where you would live. Would you be comfortable walking around, shopping, etc. without knowing the language (if you don’t)? Where would you live? What would your living space be like? My apartment is nice enough, but it’s nothing like the house and lawn I had before moving there. I have asthma, and the coal that people burn in the winter and the dirty exhaust from old cars means I can’t even walk around our town, though I haven’t noticed the awful exhaust as much in Istanbul or on the coasts. And yes, most men smoke, anywhere and everywhere. I can’t eat outside anywhere, and I can’t go into most office buildings. (The developed cities are probably much better with the smoking inside offices, but expect to smell and breathe it everywhere else.) How close do you want to be to your neighbors? Are you comfortable with people showing up at your house at any given time without calling first or asking if you have plans? Giving advice about absolutely everything without being asked? Are you an open person that can handle comments and questions that by Western standards would be extremely rude or inappropriate? This goes doubly for family – are you comfortable with your in-laws being very involved in your life and marriage? Have you asked your boyfriend what his family is like and whether they will respect your boundaries as a couple? Where is he from? What are the people like there? Are they ultra-conservative? Will they expect you to convert to Islam or raise your children as Muslims? My husband is not very religious and never cared at all that I didn’t want to convert, but I was not prepared for the onslaught of family, extended relatives, and even neighbors all pushing me to convert and be just like them. There isn’t a ton of diversity in Turkey, ethnic or religious, though it’s better in Istanbul and on the Aegean/Mediterranean coasts, where a decent number of foreigners have settled or have second homes. But black people are still very, very few and far between. People have been very kind to my black friends who have visited, but are you prepared for people to stare at you everywhere you go, all the time? I’m not black, but I have blonde hair and blue eyes (very rare in the Turkish population), and I’ve had everything from just plain staring to men propositioning me for sex on the street in the middle of the day to women I don’t know pushing me and knocking my water bottle out of my hand for who knows what reason. And not just in the medium-conservative area where we live, but on the streets of Istanbul. Do you like ethnic food? Do you like Turkish food enough to eat it all the time, or will you be able to find the ingredients to cook food you like? I can usually make things I like, but often there are ingredients I just can’t find for ethnic foods, and even in Istanbul, ethnic restaurants are limited and frankly mostly not that good. What about holidays? I always come home for Christmas, but now that I am a mom, I realize how much I miss Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving (I’m American). Do you want kids? Would they be raised Muslim? Would they celebrate your holidays? If you have a boy, would your husband want the full sunnet ceremony (circumcision at 5 or 6 years old, possibly with family members watching, taking pictures, and videotaping)? I’m not saying that all of these things would apply to your situation; they are just a few of the problems that I have encountered, many of which I never fully thought through or anticipated before moving. I think you should have a very serious discussion about them with your husband, and find out what you might be in for as a RESIDENT… because you won’t get a feel for them as a guest. Tbh, if you are already feeling that it might be easier for you each to find someone in your respective cultures, you might be on to something. As much as I love my husband, the constant stress of dealing with his family, the cultural differences, and living in a place that isn’t yet part of the developed world sometimes make me think we’d both have been better off if we had ended it before we got married. In fact, I nearly left 18 months ago, but I found out I was pregnant.

      Let me be clear that I don’t think that the U.S. is “better” than Turkey – Turkey is a beautiful country with a lot of things we don’t have. With just a short drive, you can go from mountains to a salt lake or to the ocean. It’s home to some of the oldest ruins, castles, ancient cities, and monuments in the world. The architecture is varied and amazing. The food is excellent, and produce is cheaper and fresher than what we get in our cities. The music is great. It’s close to a lot of other interesting countries. Healthcare isn’t outrageously expensive, even without top of the line insurance, and it’s very good (though not as good as in the U.S. for most complicated specialty areas, which you will hopefully never need). Universities are MUCH cheaper, though as in the U.S., some are not very good schools. But (this is the UN talking, not me) – it’s a developing country, not a developed country. There are a lot of things that I took for granted in the U.S. – higher wages and fewer hours; a stronger currency; higher quality, cheaper goods; cheaper gas; larger and more modern homes; fewer/lower taxes on imports, cars, etc.; more ethnic, racial, and religious diversity (at least where I live); more educational and extracurricular opportunities for my son… I could probably name more if I thought about it. Your husband apparently has had the benefit of experiencing life in your country, so perhaps you could discuss any problems that he might have living there and consider the pros and cons of living in each place. You might also want to consider what each of you would be willing to give up to make it easier for the other person to adapt. Will he stand up to his family and put you first? Sacrifice time with friends to spend more time with you than he did in your country since he’s all you have there? If he moves to your country, would you spend all of your vacation time going to visit his family? Will you be equal partners in marriage and make major decisions together without his family interfering, even though this isn’t the norm in many parts of Turkey?

      It’s not a decision to take lightly. Also think about what would happen if you move there and it doesn’t work out, and have a contingency plan. Would you be able to come back and find a job? Would you have money saved up to come back and pay for rent, insurance, utilities, food, etc. while you search?

      Good luck, you have a tough decision to make!

      • 14th August 2014

        mmcjewelry Reply

        Laura thank you for replying. Your feedback was very much appreciated and thought provoking. I agree, the ethnic and religious diversity would be missed by moving to Turkey. Plus, my life in U.S. is not perfect, but it’s great. Moving for love is not enough of a reason. He has agreed to live in U.S. and we would travel to Turkey on holidays. However, he is saying this as a boyfriend, when he is a husband, there’s at least 50% chance he would want to move us to Turkey.

        And, my family is originally from the Caribbean, where women are naturally very sexy with hour-glass figures. To give you an idea, my mother is from Haiti and my step father is from Hungary, and he accepts my mothers “Beyonce curves”. I dress semi-casual with form fitting dresses(even to church on Sunday), no cleavage showing…this is another cultural difference, In my culture, my dress code is not too sexy or revealing. His culture deems it as looking for attention. He said to me, “when you are married with children, do you still want to dress to have men look at you? Is it appropriate?…” He admits that I dress respectively, but stresses that I will need to adapt to a different dress code in Turkey, because the men in Turkey will stare and may act inappropriately. Changing my dress code is like changing me. We clearly have cultural differences that were not apparent in the beginning of our relationship.

        Thanks for sharing your experience with me.

      • 7th January 2015

        mmcjewelry Reply

        Thank you Laura! I commented a while ago, it seems the comment got lost in cyberspace? But I would like to update you, Kerry, and anyone interested in my status. I decided to end the relationship with my Turk, because leaving the U.S. is not in my plans, and there were also major cultural differences. I am happy, and he is fine also. The cultural differences can never be avoided if someone is looking info dating someone outside of their culture. It took courage to come to this decision, and I wish everyone here well!!!

        • 9th January 2015

          Kerry Arslan Reply

          Hi I wish you luck and you find someone who will make you happy. It must have been a hard decision, but in life we have to do what is right for us life is short and living a life in which we are unhappy in is pointless.

          Thank you for sharing your story and letting me know the outcome. Good luck xx

          • 11th January 2015

            mmcjewelry

            Thank you Kerry!!!! God bless xo

        • 12th January 2015

          Laura Reply

          Glad to hear you are both happy with your decision! It’s a tough one! My husband and I are still together, and our son is now 15 months. We have decided to move to the U.S. for economic reasons, and because I never adjusted to life in small town Turkey. We are happy at the moment, though we won’t be moving for a few years yet. But now my husband will have to try to adjust, and I am sure that will be a little challenging for him. I am happy that we stuck it out, but it is extremely tough and i hope you find the right person and have smooth sailing in your future relationship without all of the cultural hurdles! Best of luck 🙂

          • 22nd January 2015

            mmcjewelry

            I am so happy for you and your husband Laura! Moving to the U.S. will be great for you guys. Thank you for your well wishes, I pray for the right person too!

  45. 4th July 2014

    Brandy Reply

    Hello , My name is Brandy.
    I’m here for a little advice really. I’ve been in a relationship with a Turk man for about 2 years now. We have talked about getting married for quite some time now. And everything seemed fine until recently he hit me with a dilemma about converting religion. I would like to know if anyone married has done this and just get there whole point of view of converting for marriage. If some didn’t convert, can you tell me if there are any difficulties in the marriage because you didn’t ?

    Thank you

    • 13th July 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Brandy,

      Sorry for my late reply, religion should be a personal matter and not something your husband should expect you to change. It tends to be more important for a man marrying a Muslim woman to convert as it is thought the children take the husbands religion, but a lot of families feel happier if the women also converts. If its something the family is asking and your husband hasn’t any issue then some ladies do ceremony, which is just a little prayer with the Imam and leave it at the family are happy and stop pressuring you to convert. On the other hand if he is looking for you to convert and fully accept Islam then I think its something you both need to discuss and that you need to think about. Do some research and read the Koran decide if it is something you in your heart are happy to do. If it is not then your partner should accept your wishes as it is Haram (against the Koran) to force anyone to become a Muslim.

      Most girls do not decide to convert and have never had any real issues, but if there is pressure then yes it can cause problems withing the family and this is something you and your partner really need to discuss.

      Feel free to message me any time Kerry

  46. 10th July 2014

    Irene Bulut Reply

    Hi, I have been with a Turkish man 6 years and we was married in February of this year 2014 we have been both married before and both have children to our first marriages, we have just come back from Turkey on the 3rd July, this was my second visit. while we were there we had a service in his mothers house so I’m now Muslim, don’t really know why this was done as I don’t know anything about it but we did it as it made his mother happy. My husband wants us both to move to turkey as our boys are all grown up, my youngest son is now 18′ so I’m going to give it ago, within the next 2 years but at the moment we are looking at buying a summer house in Samsun turkey near the Black Sea, at the moment we have our eye on a few properties.
    my husband has said before we buy a house we need to pay off his pension over there witch is the amount of just over £12000 ( English pounds) although I can’t speak any turkish very very little, my husband and his family have said if I did want to work in Turkey I would make a fortune, but how if I can’t speak the lingo…. I have a beauty salon in the Uk and have worked very hard to get this as busy as it is, I don’t know if I will sell the business or keep it, my head is all over. but my husband said to make me feel more secure that we should just put my name on the house, for tax reasons. Apparently is better as I’m English. I’m a little concerned about why he has said this. Please could someone give me little advise

  47. 23rd July 2014

    idiot Reply

    i have been married to a turkish man for 14 years and all he has done is manipulate and deceive, his h ole family were involved he was going back to turkey maybe every 3 years , i found a pic of him and a little girl who was the image of him bearing in mind i had already been married 7 years , he passed the child off for his niece , to cut a long story short he is now back in turkey he went on holiday about 5 weeks ago , got a call yesterday from him to tell me he wasnt coming back and he has a wife and child of 9 in turkey, mortified, he has only just got his british citezenship , i will be digging to find out if he is married and i will have him on bygamy charge and giving false ifo for visa

    • 4th November 2016

      Erol Reply

      I hope he lose his citizenship. What a prick. As a Turkish man I don’t recommend foreigner woman to come here. This country is too hard to live for foreigners. Keep trying to settle your country or anywhere except Turkey.

  48. 3rd August 2014

    Lincx Ryan Reply

    I was married for 8years with out any child,because of this my husband start acting very strange at home,coming home late and not spending time with me any more.So i became very sad and lost in life because my doctor told me there is no way for me to get pregnant this really make life so hard for me and my family.my sister in law told me about Prophet Osaze from the Internet,how he has helped people with this similar problem that i am going through so i contacted him and explain to him.he cast a spell and it was a miracle three days later my husband can back to apologize for all he has done and told me he is fully ready to support me in any thing i want,few month later i got pregnant and gave birth to twins (girls) we are happy with ourselves. Thanks to Prophet Osaze for saving my relationship and for also saving others too. continue your good work, If you are interested to contact him and testify this blessings like me, the great spell caster email address:”spirituallove@hotmail. com”

  49. 19th August 2014

    Angel Reply

    I wonder if anyone can advise me…I met my now husband in Bodrum 2006 after many visits back to Turkey we married in London 2010. My husband had to leave straight after our wedding to sort out family legal stuff…so we didn’t register our marriage at the turkish embassy. I arrived a few weeks later on a normal 90day visa…so we set about looking into my residency visa…found website but it said everything needs to match..my passport was in my maiden name…so we completed it all as a single woman…3 year residency…this comes to an end soon…I don’t want my new residency in single status. British embassy said my husband has to go to London to register our marriage…but he might not get a visa..his visa before was a 1 year study visa…I’m twice my hubbys age and our marriage is lovely btw. We have a nice home together and a nice life….my MIL was also a nightmare..my hubby had a breakdown and ended up in hospital…I wasn’t in when his mother took him to hospital…2 days of searching by his brother we found him…his mother had told doctors he was single…she also came to the apartment and told me my husband wanted a divorce and to be out of the apartment in 3 days….I managed to talk to doctors prove I was his wife..my husband was so happy to see me, knew nothing of his mums actions. She had in fact told him I had gone back to London to divorce him.Evil woman.But to her own undoing because she was barred by hospital doctors and her son from visiting who now doesn’t speak to her. But what do I do about legalising our marriage here in Istanbul. Ideas ?

    • 25th September 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Angel I don’t understand the residency because, all my paperwork is still in my madien name and I went through my citzenship with the same details. If you haven’t sorted this out please email me and I will see if I can help. Also join this group https://www.facebook.com/groups/300500159962910/ U.K. nationals with Turkish Husbands/wifes/partners there will be a host of people there happy you.

  50. 19th August 2014

    Angel Reply

    Just like to add we did try to marry here but I’m adopted and turk authority here hadn’t a clue what my adoption papers were…just kept holding it up to the light and looking at the watermarks…saying wheres your birth certificate. Marriage in London was hassle free.

    • 25th September 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Glad you got married, yes they can be a pain in the arse with paperwork, I had to get my birth cert, notarised in the UK for my citizenship and it cost a fortune. They can drive you insane here.

  51. 6th September 2014

    pamela Reply

    Hi Kerry,
    Thanks for this lovely blog now i feel better im not alone with my MIL situation and lets add up with SIL sister n law. She is throwing a lavish baby shower orbeach holidays but my husband money is always involved plus we are supporting his parents as well. Is it part of turkish culture that a brothershould buy a baby crib and stroller for his sisters baby and not her husband?Coz my sisterin law withdraw $2000 dollars from our account for these stuff and for her baby shower. I am very stress right now and i left my career in middle east just to stay here in turkey although my husband is temporarily working in saudi. We are married for two years but i moved here last june. My MIL is so controlling i tried my best to follow her, almost everyday there is tea or kahve partisi and min. 3 houses we are visiting at first its not a problem with me but for almost everyday i kinda irritating listening to their gossips and loud voices almost filled the entire room and irritates my ear drum. I always try to understand them 200% but still not enough. Mil choose what i want to eat what i will dress and so on. It really hurts me i even gave up everything converted to Islam,i am a career woman with good position back in middle east i travelled in many countries and i am a former fashion model. here MIL controls me i cannot go out without supervision, i dont keep our money but my husband SIL at first it is ok for me but now i realised that she also part of our money and she doesn`t care to spent it all. I always complained to my husband but he always said wait when he comes back and will return to middle east. For now our love and trust sustain this relationship. I will still hold on i hope i will never give up and i will try to convince my husband to live miles away from his village.

    • 25th September 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Pamela, you know a Turkish woman would not put up with what you are putting up with. You are are a careet woman and I am sure you have handled tough situations. Think about what you would do at work with an employee or co-worker and how you would handle them. It’s time to put your foot down and say I eat and dress how I want and no it is not normal for a SIL to take money from the bank, but it is normal for Son’s to support family, we have had many arguements about it. Become Turkish and stand your ground be blunt, it may cause a bit of trouble but do not lose sight of who you are and your values and principles or you will lose yourself and it will not be good for your relationship, speak to your husband and tell him how you are feeling about everything, it is his duty first to you and then his family he needs reminding of that from time to time. If you need to chat message me. Your family seem very hard work!

      • 5th November 2014

        pamela Reply

        Hello Kerry, thanks for youre reply sorry i forgot which topic i wrote this i tried to read all youre blog and search for my comment hahahaha finally I found it (i have`nt receive any email notification when u replied 🙁 ohhh i slowly educate them that they have a foreign daughter in law Its pretty hard but i dont care now as what you`ve said I stood on my ground I said NO if i dont want or i dont like, last Kurban bayram my MIL choose my dress and I said NO i found already she has no choice coz i bought already & all day she gave me a smirk face 🙁 unfortunately i bought it with my SIL of course she has commission always while accompanying me for shopping. So far my SIL feel me and she is shy now to take money coz i transferred our savings to my own account which i have open last month. MIL loves me i know that but she crossed the border of being by MIL she feel like she own me, she feel like she need to be incontrol. I just found out why she is happy to bring me in many party coz she take everybody`s attention while we are together and she is hungry for that, she will kiss me in front of everybody and called me canim or benimkozum so everybody will say I am lucky to have her hahahha i just smile and ohh she even do my laundry now 🙂 and cook for me always. Now all I know is just being myself I dont care what they say as long as I am doing not bad anyhow I just choose my dress right? If they dnt stress me for my dress and food ohhh i love them so much anyway in two weeks I am returning to Middle east . Thank you for sharing youre stories, you are a gift from above. Please dont stop sharing youre stories i wish I have a talent to write like you.

  52. 1st October 2014

    JoJo alston Reply

    Hi! I was reading this and it sparked an interest. I met this turkish guy online, he’s really sweet and nice, i want to date him but he lives in Istanbul and i live in Virginia. Usually we skype a lot and He’s been asking me to come to visit Istanbal a lot, i’m still a student so i don’t have tons of money to visit. But he is very sweet and very nice to me, I had a incident when i was younger which i was Molested and raped and other things, and i told him (after we started our friendship), he begin to cry and was so upset. I told him over skype, so he got of skype and i thought he was upset with me because i wasn’t a virgin. But he wasn’t, we got back on and he cried and cried, then said that he wanted to take care of me. But i still don’t understand why he even feels this way towards me, because he liked me a short time after we became friends, and it was very weird, i thought he was just being a player or something and messing with my feelings. I am still really lost on why he Liked me so quickly >.< Lately we've been talking about my visit to Istanbul and he wrote down everything and anything fun we could do and taped it down on his wall. I don't know if i should believe him or not because it is a online/skype/facebook friendship and he's so far away but he seems very sincere.. Should i trust him or not?

    The reason i found this page, because i really like him and i was wondering what it's like to live in turkey. Me, I am a African american female ( haha not really i am caribbean but it's easier saying that) and i was so surprised that he even liked me because of my skin color

    • 1st October 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi JoJo,

      This is a really hard one to answer, because Turks do have a habit of falling in love very fast and wearing their heart on their sleeves and it can be hard to decide if they are telling the truth. I have known people to meet online and it to be the real deal and everything works out. But I would say you can’t know someone until you spend time with them, long distance relationships are hard work and even more so when you have language and culture barriers.

      I would urge you to move with caution, if you think at anytime to come to Istanbul please do not do it alone, travel with a friend and meet him all the time at the start with your friend. That way you can get a feel for him in safety. In answer is he a player, I have known some players from Turkey and the girls they date would never known until they do something that sets the alarm bells. But in honesty they always knew they just choose to ignore there gut instinct and listen to their heart and head!

      You are not about to go see him anytime soon, so treat it as it is a flirtation online and enjoy the time chatting and getting to know each other if it is something real then he will hang around and wait for you when you can or if you want to visit.

      Take your time don’t jump in with both feet but at the same time have some fun your young, enjoy life x

  53. 6th October 2014

    Meryl Reply

    Hello Kerry !

    thank you for your blog, I’ve just found it and I’m so happy I did ! I’m currently dating a wonderful Turkish man, I get along very well with his mother, who loves my daughter from a previous marriage and is very nice to me (she’s been living 45 years in Germany, so I think she’s more European than Turkish). Of course, my man and I talk a lot, compromise a lot, I know his mother is important to him (he lives with her and of course he’s the main breadwinner, though she works and is quite independant) and he knows I’m a western woman, but so far everything’s great. I’m planning to come to Turkey to marry and live with him (both his parents welcomed be warmly in the family and are happy we marry), but this is a bit scary for me. It’s like a big aventure coming round the corner and we’ll see what the future holds for us. Anyway, it’s very nice to read your articles and know about your experience. xo

    • 9th October 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      I hope all works out with you move here, and I wish you lots of happiness x

  54. 10th October 2014

    Ange Reply

    Hi Kerry,
    I’ve been reading your site and blogs for a long time now and its great!! As I about to marry my Turkish fiance soon some of the insights have been good advice for me..I realise you’ve lived here a while..I have lived here in Istanbul for almost 2 years. I have a few questions about visas and such like..as its possible after our wedding we will want to visit UK for a while..I wonder if you can help me answer some of these questions..most girls who post to your website seem to be asking for their fiance or husband to go to UK but they live and work in UK and go back and forward on a holiday visa..Tolga and I never wanted a long distance relationship so I’ve been permanently here for most of our relationship. Any ideas about applying to visit UK when you both live in Turkey?? He hasn’t even met my parents!! Sorry if I’ve posted my comment in the wrong section.All the best 🙂

    • 10th October 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi its fairly simple for a visit visa, my Dad acted as my husbands sponsor so he wrote a letter saying why he was sponsoring him, that he would like his son in law to visit etc and then just follow the online process for the visit visa to the word. You will need to make sure to have savings in the bank we normally make sure to have about 3000 lira and you are not supposed to but if we are strapped we will borrow from a friend then pay it back once we have done the process! We have always applied from here with me living here and never had an issue. The process is a pain a lot of form filling but fairly simple. Good luck any questions please ask.

  55. 16th October 2014

    Lia Reply

    I’m SO happy to have found this blog! My husband and I have been together a couple of years. We started out in Istanbul, then moved to Izmir, but the economy in Turkey was too bad, so now we’re in Baku, Azerbaijan. We know we don’t want to stay here or move back to Turkey, so it’s all up in the air, at least for the next year or so. Do you have a Facebook group or something like this where all of us could post/pool resources or get to know each other better? I know for me, while I was living in Turkey, it would have been wonderful to know other expat women who were going through the same issues.

    • 17th October 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi I hope you find a solution soon, it is not easy living not feeling settled we had this issue for a long time but have finally found somewhere where we are happy. There are a lot of facebook groups etc I don’t have one personally but have a look just type in expats/foreigners in Turkey. Perhaps maybe I will think to start one for my blog thanks for the idea 🙂

  56. 16th October 2014

    girlinturkey Reply

    I am married to a Turkish man and the sister of my husband is disrespectful and annoying for the following reasons: She wants to control my husband’s money, she teases me, she tells me no used makeup and my husband like me makeup , she’s just jealous because I’m thin and Turkish men always look on the street, we live in the same building or misfortune and I control everything I do, it’s a nasty bitch, I did not want to talk to my husband to avoid conflicts and I have much fear because in this country people are very violent.

    • 17th October 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi, you need to talk to your husband, he will deal with his sister. Turkish families are complicated and you need to just ignore his sister. But share your worries with your husband or this problem will get worse and start affecting your marriage. I hope things get better for you soon. x

  57. 17th October 2014

    girlinturkey Reply

    Thanks kerry 🙂 I will try to solve this

    • 16th January 2015

      aysu Reply

      hello, i am a turkish girl and i laughed so much when i read that nasty bitch part LOL . because i can easily imagine that women. there are so much people in Turkey who try to control their brides life even she is Turkish ot not. i advice you that just move. i am turkish girl ,get engaged with turkish boy and even me cannot think i can live with someone his family on same department or same street lol . because it is hard to stop tukish people have habits like controlling someones life. i hope lt helps you.

  58. 11th November 2014

    alex Reply

    Hi Kerry, I am a Turkish man who lives in California for about 27 years, I have been with my wife 14 years 11 before 3 after wedding, our satuation is complicated, she is a only child, about a year ago her father passed away, and I made the biggest mistake of my life!! We move in to a house with her mother and our 1 year old son, in those 11 years her mother never liked me ( reason unknown) she is 15 years younger than me she is the only child me been from middle east in her eyes I am a potential terrorist bla bla bla, now my problem is this. She is pregnot with our 2nd kid she will be arriving at march 26th, since I have no family here with me in the states and she is the only child with a mother who has carpotunel in her hands and can’t lift anything over 10 lb. This September we went to turkey and wiseted the family my mother finaly saw her 10th grand son, this was my wifes 6th visit to Turkey.
    Now our idia is to move my wife and 2 year old son to turkey and she will be having a C-section on march 26th in Turkey on a private hospital, my wife gets along really well with my family. Her conserns are been alone about 4 to 6 weeks at a time because I have to cummute to my work from istanbul to new York, and there are not whole lot of english speakers in the town that where she will be, mean while we will be saving alot of money by she is living in turkey for a year than she will be moving back to the states after that, do you think we are making a mistake?
    She works for stanford univercity makes a good money, I have my own business and travel around the United States, as is I come home few days at a time and cuple times of a month, our son goes to a day care and we pay almost 2000$ a mounth 2nd kid arriving and cant afford 4000$ a mo for day care, I am really confused and dont know whats right and whats wrong do you think its a good idea for her to move to Turkey?

    • 12th November 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      4 to 6 weeks is a long time on your own with two kids to look after. I know a lot of women who live in Turkey and their husbands are Truck Drivers, bus drivers or business men who spend a lot of time away from home and they in general are unhappy. The end up living the life of a single Mum and spend most their days at home, lonely because either their Turkish isn’t that good or the people around them aren’t that good.

      Going for a holiday is one thing, you can deal with people everyone is happy, everyone gets along but when you live with people like family as you found out with your Mother in Law things can be very different. If by chance your Mother and wife end up not getting on it will be very hard for her.

      You say she will have a c-section and this will mean she can not lift or do any house work for a few weeks, this means she will need help with your son and new baby. If a c-section is not need for medical reason do not do it, it can also affect the long term health of a child recent research has shown.

      I know you think you might be saving money coming to live here but how much are you going to spend on flights going back and forth between Turkey and the US? Calculate this and calculate this against your child care costs, do they work out.

      How does your wife feel about giving up her job? I know many women here who have given up good jobs and become full time Mum’s and they miss their work terribly and the loose who they are and what life is about.

      Speak to your wife ask her what she wants, how she feels about moving to Turkey, its a hard life as an expat, it takes a lot to learn the language, to understand the culture and Istanbul is a hard place to live. Perhaps if your area was close to an expat area of Istanbul or along the coast it might be better.

      Also what is best for the kids? In my opinion being educated and brought up in the US is better than here at the moment schools are better and opportunities for sports and various other things are a lot easier to do than here in Turkey. I am happy to bring my son up here, but when I go home to the UK for visits I do wonder if I am doing the right thing.

      I really struggled living in Sakarya and I was alone with no family and few friends it was a tough place to live very traditional and very religious and though most were friendly I never felt accepted. We live now in Demre, Antalya and things a lot better here. I get the feeling Sakraya may be more like life in your town in Istanbul.

      I think you know the answer yourself or you wouldn’t have these doubts. Think things through and you can email if you need to talk more and the same for your wife. Good luck xx

  59. 12th November 2014

    alex Reply

    Actually she is the one that come up with the idea of going to Turkey for a year, I am origanaly from Çanakkale, even me travelling back and fort to Turkey we will still save alot of money, I am the one that relactand to go to Turkey, darned its really hard to make disition, I am one of those people Drives truck in the states, thanks for the answers. 🙂

  60. 16th November 2014

    Slim Shady fan Reply

    Hi, I am just wondering how common are Turkish-American marriages, and if so is it Turkish man American woman or vice versa. Thanks

  61. 18th November 2014

    Slim Shady fan Reply

    I am sorry for the vague question, but I have a friend(Turkish-American) who is dating an American girl. I am just curious about the success of these couples. That is all.

    • 22nd November 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      I think its a fairly good success rate, but as with any relationship they often don’t last. Its not really to do with where you are from, but more compatibility. These are just two people in love and having fun together. I know a few happy relationships with Turkish/American they do work!

  62. 1st December 2014

    LoveMyBF Reply

    Hi Kerry,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I’ve kind of been looking for somewhere to get advice about some of the issues you touch upon and don’t really know anyone to talk to who understands both cultures perspectives. I thought you might have a perspective to share on my issues.

    Here is the back story: I am a 32 yo American woman living in the U.S. and I have a Turkish boyfriend who also lives and works here (has been here for 8 years and is a permanent resident). His family lives in Istanbul and most of mine is in NY. I love very much because he is sweet and attentive. He is also smart and an interesting person to talk to. I was married in the past and the divorce process is still lingering on but should come to a close soon. Neither of us has children although we both would like to in the future. We have been dating for only about 6 months and the relationship is quite serious. I think we are both looking for long term situations (starting a family etc) . There are so many qualities about him I really love but there are some other things I’m worried about. I know there are many worries and question marks he has in regards to me as well.

    The downside is this. He is very jealous. He told me this pretty much from the beginning. He told me he cannot change this and it is “non-negotiable” for him, but that “everything else” in the relationship aside from this is up to me. The problem is that the jealousy seems to impact pretty much of “everything else”. He says this is a sensitivity for him and he becomes easily angered if challenged on something. I didn’t understand to what degree this would be in the beginning and there were some disagreements about my relationships with some male friends of mine and also some friends I had in common with my ex that have ultimately ended in me pretty much cutting these people out of my life. Knowing he is sensitive, I am pretty vigilant about letting him know where I am and who I am with and my plans of what I’m doing next. He has told me he doesn’t want me to be in places with my friend’s that are “pick up” places. I said fine. He has all my emails, social media, skype, messenger, and cell phone passwords and he typically checks some or all of them every day. As I write this I assume he will be reading it eventually. Still he questions nearly everything that I tell him. He is in Turkey for 10 days since 4 days ago. We have argued about something related to his jealousy nearly every day. Knowing that he would be more sensitive than usual I have not been doing much since he left for Turkey. On Friday I spent the day with my dad (who lives just a few blocks from me) and I went to have dinner with my pregnant friend for 2 hours and was home before 10pm. I spent all day Sat with by dad. Today (Sun) I am working in my office all day which is just across the street from my house. I might have scheduled somewhat different activities for the weekend if it weren’t for me trying to be sensitive to him. During this weekend I kept in touch by both phone and text regularly. Several times when I would tell him what I was doing or what time I got home he questioned me about various aspects of what I said. For example on Friday after dinner with my pregnant friend I said I had gotten home about an hour ago and was talking to my housemate in the kitchen since I arrived home from dinner. He tried to disprove this by trying to find inconsistencies in what I said and then by saying he could hear I still had my boots on and was walking around the house so that meant I had just arrived (which I did have them on but my house doesn’t have a no shoes rule). Then he told me he was upset because I was supposed to have texted him I was home when I walked in the door and he couldn’t understand how I wouldn’t have known to do this given how we conduct the relationship. I told him I thought he would have been sleeping anyway (given the time difference) and told him in the future I’d text no matter what whenever I got home. I told him he couldn’t expect that I would automatically understand this and that while I make a lot of effort to keep up what seems to me is the cultural norm in relationships in Turkey, I am not Turkish. And despite not being Turkish I am still trying to do these things for him to make him happy. And that maybe for that he could be a little gentler about his expectations and let me know when he needs me to do something. When I was with my Dad trying to look for a new washer and dryer I felt like he was checking up on me a lot. One of the times he called I gave an attitude when I picked up because I told him my dad and I were going to a restaurant to eat. I apologized for the attitude because he didn’t say anything wrong. I think my frustration came from feeling constantly checked up on even though I was with my dad. He did admit that even though I was with my dad there was jealousy involved in his actions (which I cannot understand). We talked at night after this by skype video. I felt like I just ended up apologizing for sounding aggravated when I answered the phone and feeling like I was being unreasonable. This morning he texted and I woke up. He said he felt weird calling after our argument. I asked if I should call him. He said he’d call in 10 minutes. I got up and brushed my teeth and went back into my room. As I laid back down on the bed he was calling. I picked it up. I was laying across my bed horizontally as I talked with him on video. I clearly had just woken up with the way I looked. Then he started to accuse me that I did not just wake up and that I had already gotten up because of the way I was laying down. I told him I just woke up when he texted and got up and brushed my teeth and came back to the bed. Then he said that he knew I had checked my email a while ago so that means I must have been up for a while. My phone had woken me up maybe an hour or two before with an email. I opened my phone email app saw it was not an urgent issue and fell back asleep. So then he demanded that I sit differently on the bed and why was I sitting the way that I was. He told me to lay back the other way. I was about to do it and then I got so mad because I felt like I was a puppet. I couldn’t even lay in my bed the way I wanted to without being questioned. I refused. This created more of an argument. I said what do you think is going on here? what do you think I did? I panned the camera around the room so he could see the whole room and bed. I told him no one is here. No one has been here. I just woke up. I felt so frustrated by this. He says he trusts me but why would he question and investigate every sentence I say? These kinds of jealousy things are always an issue, but definitely heightened during his time there. I have told him that I’d be open to discussing the idea of moving to Turkey (although even he isn’t sure that’s what he wants.) At first it seemed like it could be something really positive for me. I love learning languages, I feel comfortable in foreign countries and love to explore and learn about different cultures. Now I have fears about this because if I visit my family am I going to have to deal with this every time and not be able to enjoy time with my family if he isn’t able to travel with me? It also makes me afraid that although he says he would want me to see my family now, that when it came down to me really being away from him that he would find ways to stop it or at least limit it. I’m not afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make friends there as I’m very outgoing and willing to learn the language, but I am afraid that he wouldn’t let me go to most events where I might have the chance of meeting some female friends to be my supports. On my way to get coffee I saw some women from a non-profit program in my area of the city selling raffle tickets to raise money. I bought a raffle and started talking to them about their program. They were advertising their fundraiser event which was happening next Friday during the late afternoon (4:30 – 7pm) . They are a group that provides services to elderly latino seniors. I wanted to speak to them because I speak spanish and I really enjoy latin culture and also because many of my spanish speaking patients could benefit from their services. They told me I should come to the Holiday fundraiser. I’d really like to go because my bf doesn’t like me to talk to young spanish people much so I don’t get a chance to speak much anymore except to my patients. I asked him if he’d mind if I went. He told me the fundraiser could have young people there and so he didn’t want me to go. I won’t go, but I just feel sad about it. We aren’t talking about going to a club. We are talking about going to a community fundraiser to benefit elderly people during the daytime. Even if he were here he probably would feel uncomfortable there. His friend (a girl) invited me to her birthday next sat while he’s still away. The only people that will be there are his friends girls and guys. All the guys are in relationships and their gfs will be there and then a few other girls. He told me he doesn’t want me to go. He said you can go out with your other friends. The thing is he doesn’t really like any of my friends who are able to go out at night (one of my best friends
    just moved to another state, one just gave birth to twins, and the last is pregnant.) so I will just stay home isolated and alone on Friday and Sat just like this weekend. It makes me feel somewhat powerless like I have no longer have the right to make choices for myself. I either submit or he doesn’t want anything to do with me. He just tells me if I am allowed to do something or not like a child. If I argued it he’d say fine go and either be mad and argue about it later or tell me that if that is how things are going to be then he doesn’t want to be in a relationship like this. I feel like I don’t want to waste my energy arguing with him so I will sometimes just say ok, but then when I don’t argue I feel this deep sadness and hopelessness like I’m not a person whose opinion or wants has any value and that worse I am agreeing to let it happen. He always tells me, “this is how I am and it’s not going to change.” What is reasonably being flexible about my culture and what is too much? If he wanted someone to be exactly like a Turkish woman why did he even want to date me? I’m extremely flexible with my cultural values. I don’t see how he how he could make a relationship work with another American woman. I’m ok with being flexible to an extend but I feel like there has to be a middle ground. He has been here 8 years and he understands western culture well. I love him, but I also don’t want to hold on to something that will make us both unhappy in the end. I need to feel trusted at least to some extent and not questioned. I want to feel like I have some freedoms even though I’m willing and already have given up a lot. I get the sense I’m sacrificing a lot of what I’m used to make the relationship work and that the only thing he is sacrificing is the fact that he has to tolerate how inadequately I am making these sacrifices. Any ideas of how we can find a middle ground and make things work? I’m not sure how much of cultural issues and how much is just him. We make great company to each other otherwise. I enjoy simple things with him and I love being with him when we aren’t arguing about these kinds of things. He is sweet, affectionate, smart, and interesting to talk to. There are many good reasons to try to make this work, but I’m extremely stressed about this. I don’t want to waste his time or mine, but I also could see something really special between us. Sorry this is so long.. I just want to make sure I explain things right…. Thanks in advance for another perspective.

    • 2nd December 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Sweet heart,

      I am going to write this to both of you. Firstly I don’t know your partner’s names so I will call him Bey Efendi. Bey Efendi, if you do read this, you need to read you partner’s story with an open heart, you are going to destroy this and any other relationship with your behavior, no matter where the person is from and you will be left with no option but an arrange marriage. Your Jealous and controlling issues are call passive aggressive and you seem to have a very bad issue with this and from the bottom of my heart to you I hope you will seek help for this as I promise you if you learn to control these issues you have you will have a beautiful and lovely life with a woman you love and a beautiful family. But if you don’t I think you may end up a very lonely person. Do not in any way hurt your partner over this, she is seeking help because your actions are not normal in any way or acceptable and in her heart she knows this. I know for a fact if you read this you will be calling me all the names of the day and want to hate me but that is because it is no more than the truth. Please seek help you can change this and be better person.

      Ok sweety, listen to me, this behavior is dangerous it can grow an escalate, he is already controlling you and the more he takes away your independence and ability to think for yourself the more miserable you will become, as I have said this is called passive aggressive, it is not jealousy this is more than that. He wants complete control over everything you do. The worst thing that is here is TRUST he does not have any and if there is no trust in a relationship it will never survive it will eat away at you both like a cancer and destroy all you hold highly of each other.

      He can change and get help but it will be a long road, he either doesn’t understand he can change or that he doesn’t want to change. Yes, Turkish men hold a bit of the green eyed monster gene, I have had issues of my own but this is on the extreme scale. He must 100% trust you in all situation, he must trust your love for him. This is most likely a learned behaviour or some phsycologic issue he has.

      My main concern is it become physical however passive aggressiveness it is still a form of abuse, mental abuse. You must think long and hard about this relationship and Bey Efendi must also think long and hard about what he wants in his life.

      Often when people come to me they already know in their hearts what the answer is, I think you do to. What does your Dad say to this behavior I think he will be really worried about his little girl and probably is he will sense a change in you but may not wish to say anything.

      Never loose sight of who you are, what you need and want in life. Do you want to live a life walking on egg shells.

      You both if you wish to keep going in this relationship find a way forward, Bey Efendi needs to seek help for his issues. He needs to learn to Trust not just you but I think maybe himself. You are both individuals with needs, do you question his every move? perhaps you should and see how he feels about it, so he understands what it is like. You both have a lot to talk about and deal with, this is no foundation on which to build a solid relationship or one to bring kids into. I wish you both all the luck in the world and that you can both find a way forward some how. Speak to me anytime.

      • 17th December 2014

        dfed82 Reply

        HI Kerry,

        Thanks for you reply. My boyfriend felt that there were a few things that I needed to add in order to be fair to him. As mentioned I was married before. I was married for 7 years and had been in the relationship for about 7 years prior to the marriage since the time I was 19. Towards the end of my marriage I began to realize that my ex-husband’s teenage like behavior was never going to end. More than that it was getting worse and it became more than apparent to those around us (family, friends, colleagues) that although functional, had a serious alcohol problem. Although looking back I believe I was always at least 2nd or 3rd on his priority list, as the years went on I became less and less important to him. This seemed to stem from me “growing up” and him just having more money to party and continue acting like a kid partying in a college dorm. Needless to say we grew apart more and more and with this my anger and frustration grew. We spent almost no time together, we didn’t sit together when at home, we slept as far apart from each other as possible, no affection etc. It was a sad and seemingly hopeless situation. I am ashamed to say that in the last 8 months or so of my marriage I was not faithful. I don’t think it was the right thing to do and I feel ashamed that I didn’t deal with how I felt in a more honest way and just ended the marriage. I guess at the time I felt so much pressure to not cause a disruption in my family and also because this was all I knew for the last 14 years of my life. Still I know that is no excuse. I did eventually tell my boyfriend the truth about this although I didn’t really feel comfortable doing so mainly because I felt he might judge me but also because it was very personal. Also I didn’t want him to figure this out by some other means and wanted him to hear it from me. So because of this fact it appears that this contributes further to his distrust of me. That said, he told me his behavior was the same in his previous relationship. So I don’t think it’s just for that reason. I don’t think I am a “cheater”. I never cheated in any other relationship in my life and I would never ever do it again and especially when I’m with someone like my bf who I love and have an emotional connection with. He definitely makes me a priority in his life and I do feel he loves me. He is also thoughtful and caring. The thing is I’m afraid of his anger and jealousy. I have told him this. Even when I follow every “rule” he tells me I feel that anything could happen at any moment that is out of my control and I will be questioned and likely yelled at for these things. For example a guy I have not spoken to for probably 8 months who was a friend of an ex sent me a group text with a link about a friend that was ill and needed help. I’m sure it was accidental as we no longer talk and we were never close in anyway. Additionally he is a gay male (which I explained). Anyway in addition to the group text I got a separate text that seemed only came to me as opposed to the group. It just said “ok”. I do not delete any of my text messages due to previous arguments where I had deleted texts. So I didn’t respond to that text either assuming it was also accidental but just left it there. When my bf was going through my texts while getting pizza out somewhere he saw this message that just said “ok” he immediately became angry and ask me who the hell is this guy. I became so anxious that I could barely speak and couldn’t think of an answer to his question.. my hesitation made things worse and he stood up angrily cursing and said if I didn’t give him an answer right away that he would leave the place. Finally I was able to collect my thoughts and answer his question of who it was. I showed the other group text messages as well. He thought I deleted texts from the individual one that just said “ok” but I didn’t. It just seemed like an accident to me. He thought there must have been more conversation going on prior to the “ok” message. He said it was weird and didn’t make sense (implying that I was lying), which I agree was strange but had no explanation for. Ultimately we sent a text back saying “ok?” or something to provoke a response from this person. They wrote back saying it was an accidental text. These types of things do happen, most likely weird things will keep happening in life. I can’t prevent them. It makes me feel that no matter how closely I pay attention to his sensitivities that I will still be in a situation where his responses to such things makes me feel panicked. Now with this page… when I saw your response… I got scared of how he might react and I wanted to delete my computer history of visiting this page, but I accidentally deleted everything. He immediately noticed and started yelling and cursing. I lied and said I needed to clear my browser to make an online application I use work (which actually was something they told me at customer service before). But the point is I lied. I lied because I was afraid of his reaction. It was wrong, I shouldn’t have lied but I did. He always can tell when I’m lying because to be perfectly honest I’m a terrible liar. So he became more and more angry and was cursing and packing up his stuff to leave my house and go home saying that I”m not supposed to delete stuff. He went and found a cup of coffee that had gone cold and through it all over my bed where I was sitting. I ultimately showed him this page and admitted my lie. He did calm down but we were both very upset following this and I cried all night. He may think it’s other things, but I cried mainly because I’m afraid of him when he’s yelling and that he would go so far as to throw things. He even started looking for my computer as if he planned to smash it on the ground. I think he would have if he had found it fast enough in that moment. It’s not the material stuff so much as that it makes me feel that I have so little value as to curse at me and throw things around or even towards me. I don’t think he really understands the degree of worthlessness and anxiety I feel when this happens. Although I’ve always considered myself a strong person (at least in the past), I am also a particularly sensitive person. That said I think anyone would feel something similar to this if this was happening to them. Additionally I am particularly sensitive to this type of behavior and was actually traumatized as a child by being screamed at in my face by my mother daily for doing nothing and having things broken and thrown around by her boyfriends. No matter how angry I am at someone I care for I would not do something intentionally to hurt them or their stuff physically or emotionally. It’s hard for me to understand why he would do it to me and makes me doubt in that moment if he really loves me or ever loved me. Now that I lied about deleting my history I feel like I just gave him another reason not to trust me, which is my own fault, but I was honestly afraid and also didn’t want to offend him. My intention here isn’t to just bash him because I really love him. It’s just that I have no one else to talk to because I don’t want to tell anyone in my life negative things about him because I only want them to see the good in him. He was a bit annoyed by your response, but doesn’t feel your opinion really matters much. He wasn’t as reactive as I thought he’d be. Then he told me I should have just told him I didn’t want him to read it or dealt with the discomfort of him reading it and that this situation wouldn’t have escalated. Clearly that was true in this case, but I feel like I don’t know what could set him off because sometimes jealousy extends to things I don’t understand or expect and I don’t cope well with his approach. When he was yelling he told me at least his yelling and throwing things showed his emotion instead of how I just cheated in my past relationship. I told him I didn’t think it was right what I had done and didn’t want to repeat my behavior. I don’t understand how that equates to that being an appropriate behavior that I should be understanding of or accept. I told him th
        at maybe people wouldn’t be hesitant to tell him things if people were not trying to avoid what I feel are extreme reactions. My guess is that friends limit things they tell him as well even if they only have a small partial glimpse of how he reacts. Anyway… now he feels like I’m a liar and is questioning even harder about how I responded about messages he asked me about previously or whether I contacted people he doesn’t want me to contact.. it’s a mess.

        At this point I don’t care if he wants to read this or not. I have nowhere else to turn and I like to have someone give me their thoughts that is a woman. I just feel confused. The worthless feeling is by far the worst part. I just wish he could really understand what I mean when I say how his actions make me feel that way and how it can break a person. I think if he really understood he wouldn’t do it because I do believe he loves me, but I have no way to make that happen.

        Thanks for any input.

        • 25th December 2014

          Jodie Reply

          Dear dfed82,
          I found reading your posts quite heartbreaking.
          Often when someone comes from a dysfunctional background they will end up in dysfunctional relationships as adults, because that is all they feel they deserve.
          It might help you to read about personality disorders, so you can at least have some understanding of what is going on, and then find better ways to cope with it.

          Best of luck

  63. 9th December 2014

    Theresa Kaplan Reply

    Communication.: I’m putting a word of warning about Google Translate for those of you who are beginning your relationshıp online with a Turkish person and will use Google Translate. Be very careful! Google Translate negates a lot of what you say in the positive. Look out for the word değil which means not. It also puts words that have nothing to do with what you are saying or leaves out words. Many times the translation is very far off. Sometimes it’s even comical. You may have to rephrase what you say a few times before Google Translate gets it right. İf what the Turkish person says through Google Translate upsets you, ask him or her if that is what was meant. Bing is even worse.(((((((Mehmet))))) and İ communıcate very well as my Turkish is getting a bit better and we have our own sign language and our own language short cuts. (((((Memet))) read what I wrote and says çok evet-YES! He says google translate should note becomes the very word error. İ hope this helps

  64. 15th December 2014

    hopeful x Reply

    This blog makes such interesting reading . I have read both the good outcomes of these relationships and the bad . I have to say that I do admire the commitment and courage you all share in trying your best to make sure things work.
    I too have my own little story to tell. I am not sure how my own experience will eventually turn out but I also hope I don’t get tangled up in plethora of disillusion.
    My man and I go back 4 years. He was a seasonal worker in Altinkum . Initially friends he pusued me with the odd phone call ( as a friend) then the calls became more frequent as he was then working on a cargo ship in the Baltic and lonely I guess. His contract finished in May and he hasn’t worked since. I met him and spent a week in Altinkum late May and we have been committed since. I spent a month with him and all his family in October . He lives in Adana. We are officially engaged but now I am having second thougths.
    He hasn’t worked or looked for any kind of work since May. He has a comfortable life in the family home. And doesn’t seem to think it important that we will need a place of our own once married.
    As a person he is lovely; very kind , generous, loyal trustworthy, would never cause me intentional upset. Good cook, excellent thoughtful lover. God fearing man . His family are all lovely and attentive ( typically ) . Quite naïve for his age ( 41) Practicing Muslim.
    I know he wants to marry for companionship and of course a sexual relationship. Ideal in fact but for one thing…..no drive, ambition and basically work shy.
    He cannot seem to understand that work equals a home and life. I am medically trained and have even said that I would re train and become a tefl teacher. I would support him in what ever he did…..he just doesn’t have motivation.
    Feeling very frustrated I feel as though I am wasting my time. I feel that once married my man will just continue the same course with a slight deviation……guilt free sex!!
    Sorry to rant on but I feel that we could have had it all but he was too lazy to get up and grab the prize…..

  65. 15th December 2014

    Angel Reply

    Hi Kerry
    can anyone advise me….Im english..husbands turkish..we got married in London…2011..After the wedding he came back to Istanbul..I followed few weeks later. We didn’t register our marriage at turkish embassy in London because we didnt know we had to. I came on a 90day visa. When that expired I took a 3year residency visa but the problem was my passport was in my maiden name and so everything matched I got my visa as a single woman…now 2014. New visa laws etc my husband wants me to renew my visa as a married woman..he says its cheaper plus he owns our home has a job etc…plus i would be covered by his health insurance…is it cheaper and what about our marriage certificate its english….do i change status to married or continue as single when its not what my husband or i want . Istanbul is my home now although my turkish speaking is minimal…advice please …..Angel

    • 16th January 2015

      aysu Reply

      hello i am turkish girl and try to help you. first of all why do you scare to marrige in turkish procedures while you are already married in London ? the things your husband said are true that it is so easy to take visa and covered by his health insurance . i think the most important part after the marriage in Turkey is every Turkish lira that earn belong to you,both of you. after you married,if you buy a home, it belong both of you. and if you divorce after buying this home , you can take it half of it. sorry i replied your answer about economic because except that i cant see any reason to not marry your husband . if you have any question you can reply me here or email me : beyays@hotmail.com

  66. 20th December 2014

    Brittani Reply

    Hi Everyone!

    I’m 28 years old African America, and deaf. I met a guy who’s from Turkey on dating website. We have been talking for a long time, and end up falling in love. I decided that I’m going to Istanbul on May to spend time with him, his family, and his friends. I would like to meet someone who is from Istanbul, and show me around because it will help me to learn how to be familiar with surroundings. Also , I really need someone to help me how I can start my life in Istanbul after graduate from college. I really want to move to Istanbul to be with him, and start a new life. I don’t want to leave him behind in Istanbul if we decide to get married, and have children. I wonder if I could find a job, and attend to university to pursuing a bachelor degree in Istanbul?? Please help me!!!

    Brittani

  67. 1st January 2015

    Emre Reply

    You guys are very lucky !! being married to someone from another country.. Don’t let him or her go ! Since I am back from Uk to Ist I have been looking for a partner from another nation but didnt have the chance to meet the special one. Anyways sorry to interrupt! Merry X-mas & Happy New Year everyone 🙂

  68. 16th January 2015

    aysu Reply

    hello , my name is Aysu and i am a female. i am a turkish girl who live in Ankara-Turkey. i read almostly all posts. i want to make some new friends . if you’ve just moved to Turkey and need some friend to talk or need to ask something about Turkey or turkish people,life in Turkey , i am here to help. i am doing this for understanding different cultures people and meet new friends. This is my email if you want to contact me : beyays@hotmail.com

  69. 19th January 2015

    GülSaray Reply

    My turkish boyfriend lost his mother four years ago. All he has is his sister, brother and father. Never really speaks of his dad. And he doesn’t seem to be super conservative either as he drinks alcohol and calls it a sin. He tells me he is not a good muslim, but is always trying to be a good person. He wants me to go visit him but doesn’t want to come to America to visit me. Says he doesn’t like American culture to much because we have an entitlement issue. I understand his view but don’t always agree. We simply agree to disagree which is nice. He doesn’t speak of merriage, but destiny. Tells me he feels and wishes life brings us together again soon. From reading this blog it has made me think over and over again about how things would be for me and Göhkan. He has no mom. Would the dad step in? His sister? Would family still he so pushy?? I haven’t met them but idk if i want to I’m hesitant to give it a shot. Also, he had a previous gf of 9 years whom he lived with! Said he was heartbroken when she left but he was able to forget her and when she wanted to return he said no and moved away.

    After all that I just am so scared to trust it will work out. I can’t deny that of all the guys I’ve dated none have ever looked into my eyes with such sincerity and tenderness. Sooo never believed in love a first sight thing. Though this was a love a second gaze and first hellos.

    Im terrified of just being his yabanci.

    • 22nd January 2015

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Gulsaray, could there be something other than all these little fears holding you back? Are you listening to your mind or gut instinct when you think about these issues, where do you feel it?

      It may seem a bit strange to ask these questions but often we put barriers in when we are reading some other warning but don’t want to look it direct in the face and call it what it is.

      From another angle are you just creating problems where there are none? What have you to lose, go visit for 2 weeks meet his family and see how things go. Never have what if’s in your life it really is better to have tried and lost than to be wondering all your life if this person is the one. If you are worried to go alone, see if a friend will travel with you and then you have the security of not travelling so far by yourself.

      If you don’t take chances in life you will never know what life could really be like…………..

  70. 29th January 2015

    Delif Reply

    I am glad I found this! Similar experiences for myself I’m this. I may need advice. Any info on Canadian/Turkish realations here?

  71. 4th March 2015

    Amelia Reply

    Hello sisters, I’m Amelia a young 19 years old Vietnamese girl. I came to Sydney to study 6 months ago. And I met the love of my life here. He is an Turkish man and he is 14 years older than me. But the distance of ages is not problem for me. I love him so much and always wanna spend my life with him. He is also love me, I know that because we broke up 1 or 2 time but he left his pride behind and hold me back. But when we talk about marriage, he said that even he love me so much, he can not get marry with because our culture and religionare so different. I tried and will try my best to provide him that I can change everything to be suitable for him. I think the culture between Vietnam and Turkey are not so different. I’ve been taught to be a good wife, taking care of her husband and family, always have respect your husband and so on….. A traditional South East Asian girl like me will just give her virginity for her future husband only but I gave him my virginity because I love him so much and I can sacrifice everything in my life for him. I’m learning Turkish language now. My religion is Buddhism, should I change my religion into Muslim to be suitable for him?

  72. l’m from Australia and married a Turkish guy. l came to Turkey in 1994 and lived here a total of 16 + 5 years abroad. As long as you dont live in a small town there is alot to do otherwise it is hard. l’m justone of the fortunate, who has a husband who happyworking in TR and not
    wanting to go to Oz. Yes Turkey has alot of history, buthome is were the heart is.

  73. 31st May 2015

    jennika Reply

    Hi I have a turkish boyfriend who’s an exchange student in Poland. While studying he also works there. I love him but most of the time we argue because he’s short-tempered. He said he wanted to marry me but he don’t want me to stare long on his face. I adore him a lot that’s why I always love staring at his face. Am I being rude for wanting to look at him long enough. Is it also part of their culture

    • 5th June 2015

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Jennika

      If this man was Polish would you accept this behavior from him? We often think because they are from a different Culture this explains their bad attitudes or behavior towards this. He doesn’t sound very nice to me no matter where he is from, this is not culture but his personality.

  74. 4th July 2015

    Ali Reply

    Hi,

    I am happy to find this web site. I have plans to move to Turkey to live there. I don’t have clear dates or destination. I searched many web sites and gathered so many information but still need to know more. I am 32 years old and single. I have visited Istanbul many times for short periods but couldn’t have the chance to meet a nice muslim girl who might accept to marry a foreigner, I think this kind of marriage in Turkey is not supported by families. I feel I am lost, I don’t know from where I can start. I liked this country and I feel it is similar to my home country but we have wars going on and this is why I want to move to Turkey. There is one more barrier in Turkey which is the language that I don’t know. I speak only Arabic and English. Last time one Turkish man helped me with a link for marriage website, I went there and registered myself mistakenly as a female hhhhhhhhh. you can imagine how many marriage request I am receiving on my email. It is a silly mistake but this reminds me that I have to learn Turkish language. I still need to know more about Turkish society and if they can accept a foreigner to get married with a Turkish girl and live with them. Also how about kids, can they get Turkish nationality and attend the school if the father wasn’t Turkish?
    how about Turkish girls and families, do they support and accept such marriage to non-Turkish. Sorry for my long questions, really I feel I am lost and don’t know where t start from.

    My best regards
    Ali

  75. I married a Turkish woman in 2010 & I still can not get her over hear we married in 2010 & I’ve seen her 56 days since we first met in London when I was working at o2arena then in October 2007 she disappears.. I am baffled.so3 years pass by without any word at all. So me & my family take a 2 week holiday in marrmaris turkey
    .late a night we reach hotel.. And before my eyes it was ruby ( my now wife) working reseption.I went like jelly she was crying so much & hugged me with all her strength..we talked & she told me what happened…I’ll tell you it is a mirrical ..she came 2 UK in 2001 & her flight bk home was on 7 October that year .but she went air port on 8 October so government said no you have 2. Stay hear in UK .then after we met just over a year later the government just went were she was staying and tell no one and send her back turkey.they even had her in imagration center for a while aswell .she was not aloud 2 take her property mobile exc .1 way ticket home she was heart broken we were in love.. So that day in may 5 the 2010 at a hotel in turkey we met again was a dream come true.she was even sacked from that hotel because she would talk to me all night but she would do her work never slack off.it was because English man with Turkish lady they hated us.so at that point I said I am going to loose you again and asked her to marry me she said yes .so then I had 2 go back 2 UK get regesry office and wait 30 days then fly back 2 Turkey go to izma get English blue paper translated in to Turkish then book a registary office to get wed I did all that from may to October the 10th & we married it cost me a lot of money .but I just wanted her home in UK with me…but no they will not let her have a visa.I am really upset with the government …we are in love all we have a the moment is talking on phone and internet I’ve paid all my flights hotels and even a solicitor £750 pound in cash 4 him 2 help and I paid £200 pound 4 her to do English exam she passed I’ve got marriage certificate and her passport she has my name on it.could you plz help me in enyway I would be gratefully in debt to u..you can get me on face book Anthony Wharton thank you so Munch

    • 12th July 2015

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Anthony

      What a beautiful Love story thank you for telling me. I would love to write this up as an article it is such a great love/destiny story. Would you write it for the blog or let me?

      Regards to the visa, this is going to be difficult. First off Ruby has an immigration record so to speak and the UK are very tough now on immigration. In order for Ruby to come in as your wife you will need to be earning £18,600 per year. On top of this you need to prove your relationship is really and that you have accommodation. You can be on no form of benefits either. The problem lies in the fact she was deported and they are less likely to let her back into the country and may think your marriage a scam.

      The next alternative, if neither of you have much to give up is to go the Surinder Singh route. You go to somewhere like Ireland which is an EU country and work there I think now you are required to live their a year. You can take a basic job and Ruby can come live with you there. She then gets her EU residents permit, this allows her to Enter the UK as an EU citizen. If you look up a website brit cits. You will find all you need their.

      The last alternative is for you to go live in Turkey. However for you to find work their will be almost impossible unless you opt to teach English. Turkey has a policy that jobs must go to a Turkish Citizen first before a foreign worker. Ruby would need to be your main earner.

      It is extremely hard now to get into the UK and many are using the surnider singh route as the option for entry. I hope you find a way forward. Many like you are struggling as well. Look on facebook as well there are a few groups there where you can help from those who have already been in your situation.

      Good Luck

      Kerry

  76. 28th July 2015

    filiz Reply

    Hiya

    Wow was looking for something completely irrelevant 🙂 am so pleased to have found you Kerry.
    I have recently moved to turkey from london and just starting work, feeling kinda lonely as you would. Would you know if uk passport holders need to go back to uk periodically so as not to loose passport?! Doesnt sound logical to me but as im sure you are aware our turkish people do have a thought on absolutely everything 😉 so as im new to this move have question mark now.

    Thanks in advance

    Filiz

  77. 18th October 2015

    ahmad Reply

    I would like to get married from turkey

  78. 18th October 2015

    Kim Reply

    Melissa said: “it’s been so bad that often time I’d spend days lock in my home… I order my groceries online because I just can’t take the staring anymore.”

    Yes, that’s my life, too. I am also beginning to think of ordering my groceries online to avoid Staring Turks.

    I have to agree with Melissa about the unrelenting, right-up-in-your-face staring if you are brown-skinned or black. I live here (near Izmir) and I can only tell you what I experience. I am still adjusting, and it will take time to find the best way to cope.

    I have travelled to other countries and been stared at, but Turkey takes the biscuit.
    I kid you not when I say that:
    Men gather in groups and watch in silence as I go by, sometimes saying “Mashallah” or “guzel!”
    Turkish women stare, look me up and down and down and up, smile and whisper to each other, sometimes laughing. At what I cannot imagine. It makes me cringe with anger. They tell me it’s because I’m so “beautiful”, but that doesn’t cut it. Young women from 20 upwards do this.
    The youngsters just look and smile. They never point or say anything “off” that I can hear.
    To clarify, they are NOT hostile, they mean no harm, but they cannot understand it is excessive. Sometimes, women stare and stare in not a friendly way, looking at every part of me, like I am not actually a human being…perhaps an extra-terrestrial!

    However, they — many men and women — know not to come too close: I give them the “don’t you dare” look. Men do follow me — but I am aware of this kind of thing, and — if necessary — stare back at them silently until they go away.
    If I am talking to any other men (shops, etc) and they get too touchy-feely, I have to give them The Look. In other contexts, I will firmly and politely rebuke anyone who calls me “sexy”, “gorgeous”, “Jennifer”, “Beyonce”, “JLo”, “beauty”, “Dark Angel”, etc., etc. It isn’t flattering although the givers of these remarks believe they are complimenting me! I keep my head straight MOST OF THE TIME and ignore — but it is so in my face, what can I do? I mind my own business, but am intruded upon, what can I do? I am public property, it seems…

    I am afraid even more formally educated and cosmopolitan people can be like this, even though they are more subtle about it. They might even be worse because if they are British or US-educated they tend to adopt the US or British outlook regarding race and colour.
    Actually, it’s generally rare to find someone here who has really given this any critical thought…or has a clue what it is that I talking about! It’s not been easy to make friend of Turkish women, but that is something that takes time, so remain open and optimistic about that. And the foreign women I know here are ALL white and ALL in relationships or marriages with Turkish men, so I am not sure if they would care or want to understand.

    No one has tried to touch me, or my hair, but I am often asked whether my long brown hair is “original”? What the hell does that mean? What kind of hair am I “supposed” to have because I have brown / black skin? I usually cover my hair now. This doesn’t reduce the interest, though.
    I wonder whether they try to touch Melissa because they believe it gives good luck?

    The question where are you from, where are you from, where are you from — over and over — usually closes me down. They also want to ask “what are you?” or what is your race?
    Are you Arab? Are you from Africa? Are you Hindustani?
    I am not Arab, not African, not Indian. I am multi-racial, and it’s my private business what my complicated family heritage is. Many Turks appear to think this is the first thing to say to the Yabanci. Not how are you, or do you like Turkey or what is your name. No, only “where are you from”. Once, when I explained I was from the UK, someone said (thinking I didn’t understand any Turkish) but the British are white, so what, honestly, was I — and I had to tell her she had some wrong ideas. And this was a young woman studying Archaeology. The only thing she could say was that she wasn’t racist, and that she was Kurdish, how could she be? Wow.

    And what is this “N” word mentioned? What do you and Melissa mean — *n-66-r*?
    I have never heard this horrid word in Turkey and the people I know do not know this word beginning with “N” either. I asked. Blank. Please explain.
    The word “zenji” is used and is a slur. However “siyah” is neutral, and so is “arapi”.

    Also, it always baffles me why your husband, like many Kurds and Turks, seem to think they are “white”.
    Yes, some Turks are white, of course.
    But many Turkish people with your husband’s complexion are NOT white, they just think they are — they are olive-skinned, or esmer, and are considered swarthy and “foreign” looking.

    I find it so strange that they are the first ones to point at someone just a little more dark-complected and make remarks. I simply don’t understand this. Can’t Turks “see” what they look like?

    Yet, when these same olive-skinned, Muslims are in Western, Christian Europe, they are most certainly not the white people they imagine they are! Instead, they are perceived as brown Muslims, along with other Muslim People of Colour, such as Pakistanis, or Senegalese.
    I wonder what your husband’s views are on this?

    • 23rd October 2015

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Your experience of life here is very interesting, I wonder would you like to write and article for the blog and share your experience, it may help others to know they are not alone in this and maybe how they can handle it. I agree their education on race is poor and even just as a white Yabanci as soon as they notice you are foreign they are in your face, wanting to know where you are from, why are you here and so on. It can get very frustrating at times, when all you want is some bread… I think this is a very interesting topic as I think on my experience and both yourself and melissa’s experience I think more could be said. I meet a entertainer at hotel this year he is Senegalese and is married to a Turkish woman, he seemed very at ease with life here and I think has adapted well, but I wish I had spoken to him on this topic and to see how he managed with life here. Do let me know if you would like to write more. Kerry

      • 9th November 2015

        Kim Reply

        Kerry, firstly my apologies for the late reply.

        I would have written back sooner, if my energies were not used up and my work efforts not undermined by Turkish men who are:
        — freaked out
        — frightened
        — confused, or
        — otherwise in defensive-mode
        by a non-white Yabanci woman that doesn’t sleep with a Turkish man, nor wishes to, and remains outside male control or “ownership”. I am not anyone’s Mrs or girlfriend.

        Hence the freaking out, confusion, fear, etc. This is disorienting for the mentality here. A woman has to belong to a man, in some shape or form, to be a person here. If not, she is an unstable entity, and an object of distrust if not downright disapproval.

        Let us not forget: the Turks are pretty “set in their ways” in some parts (even where toruists frequent). And if it’s business, and if you are a woman in business, the men in business here (and it’s mostly men) truly expect another male to talk for the woman, or “front” for her, before they can take her seriously or show any respect to her.

        A man has to be in tow…without that, there is much time-wasting and silliness.
        For example: a meeting is arranged — the first thing the person (male) you meet is “I am busy, I don’t have much time”. Fair enough. WE ARE ALL BUSY. But, is it necessary to tell me how “busy” he is when we have mutually arranged to discuss an issue within a given time-frame?
        No. But he wants to make it clear that to all and sundry that he’s unavailable/married/not muscling on another’s man property, but, that he has stooped to do this little woman a favour despite the impingement on his schedule, all the time “guiding” her to ask a man to handle this kind of stuff…

        Another example: I plan a timetable with one of the potential business partners, then I ask for suggestions, and he suggests “you should have a boyfriend”. Hmm. That reminds me a little of stories I heard from women patients with Depression in the 1960s or 1970s who went to doctors who told them that their Depression was due to not enough sexual intercourse.
        Here, there is no general awareness that women are rational, productive, dynamic or independent operators in their own right. At least, it’s not something I have personally encountered yet.

        Not every yabanci woman wants to marry, partner-up or wishes to have sex with Turkish men.
        But they are expected to.

        Marriage is a quite different. Marriage is a very, very important part of Islam and a taken-for-granted part of adult life for both men and women. However, I know of unmarried Turkish men here (at least 3), but know of no unmarried Turkish women (apart from divorced with children — which is different)…

        The Senegalese man you mention sounds like he has landed on his feet, although we don’t know the truth of experience. Has he been called a “zenji”? How did his Turkish in-laws take to him? He is a male Muslim, and from what I know of life in Senegal, there are some things here that a person, a man, from that country might find comforting and an ease to transition.

        Writing an article is do-able. I am not sure where to begin, though.
        Kerry, perhaps you might email me privately on that and we can have a chat about it?

        Thanks.

        Kim.

  79. 13th January 2016

    Kim Reply

    Dear Kerry,

    After I get some of my work schedule out of the way, I think it might be a good thing to write an article. We can email about that — what do you think?

    I am still a little curious about what you and Melissa mean by the “n” word being used here in Turkey. I have never heard it, ever.

    And, I am also interested in whether your husband sees himself as “white”?
    Why does he believes he may call people who are darker-skinned than him by certain names?
    Where does this attitude come from? It’s answers to questions like these that will be the background to anything I am thinking of writing, so your help would be appreciated.

  80. 2nd February 2016

    Geny Reply

    Hi,

    Indeed it’s very inspiring and a great honor to read all the stories!

    I might also share my own story but it is only the start of our relationship hopefully and by God’s grace it will end happily ever after!

    I’m living in Philippines, 37 years old, single mother (never married) have a nine year old daughter, working mom and a Seventh-day Adventist believer. Last year 2015, when I started using dating site (topface). From this site I met and talk many men, most are Turkish. Middle of March, when I met and talk with this man I have now (Etem, 35 yrs old), our conversation before was very casual. I was very direct to the point and straight forward of my words of my intentions why I am on this site. To have someone who can be my own family. We have a constant conversation every day until one day he calls me “Askim” and I asked him what it means, he said “Darling”. That word touches me and thought might probably his sincere guy. We talk many things; family, past relationship, work, circle of friends and so on…. Right now, his working in Saudi and ending his contract this coming February 26, 2016. He’s helping his sister and brother. August 30, 2015 when he finished his contract he went back in Turkey. He promised to that the communication still the same and nothing will change. I do always messaging him (Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, Line, etc…). But there’s none any reply. I set my mind and heart that after the two weeks of these, I should stop everything between us. Second week of September when I checked my Skype he has a message only “Askim” “I’ll tell you everything what happened”. Then I waited again but no follow-up message. It was a surprised then that November 2015 I got a message from him. I ignored him. I hardened my heart not to listen of every explanation he had. I gave worst words to him and it takes two weeks of that manner of conversation. Third week of November 2015, I realized that probably he has a valid reasons why he didn’t communicate with me “His car was fired and his inside”. I accepted him again. This time I could say our relationship is sweeter than the first one. And as the saying goes “Love is sweeter the second time around”. Then December 2015, he said to me his coming here (Philippines) after his work contract ended this coming February 26, 2016. The exact date he assured me is on February 29, 2016. He met also my family via video chatting. When I am in the office we do online video chatting while working and he sees my office mates and the lawyers. I do also see his friends through video chatting and some of his co-workers. He gave and promised many sweet words that touch my heart. I could say right now, we have 24/7 communication. I am so excited to meet him personally. I am thinking too what will happen then when his promised becomes real!

    I’ll keep it posted what is my next story to come! God bless us all!

  81. 28th February 2016

    Nameless Reply

    An interesting blog post, but for some reason I will disagree with some of it. The tone of your blog post sounds like a woman who did admit defeat and has given up some important things in life to be able to adjust to a life style that is alien to her. It sounds like a struggle to accept many things that you would not otherwise, just in sake of an artificial happiness . As if you are trying to convince yourself. First of all, let me introduce myself. I am a well educated 35 years old (divorced with no kids, so I do have marriage experience) Turkish man living in Istanbul, coming from a secular social democrat family background. (for example, I do not have a female relative below the age 60 that wears the headscarf) I believe in social gender equality, I praise the women of career (Tbh, I am really really attracted to them) and I believe marriage to be a two way contract where each spouse needs to compromise, with none of the partners compromising more than the other. I am also a strong advocate of gender equality. I am not religious (I do not practice religion) and even consider myself to be agnostic sometimes. I do support pre-marriage relationships and sexual freedoms (but also respect the conservative approach of other people, it is a personal matter).

    Nowadays, just out of curiosity, I started scanning internet to see what foreign women thinks about Turkish men. (that is how i stumbled upon your blog) The Turkish life described by many women across the internet, comments coming from expats, wifes etc living in Turkey, (and some of the comments below your blog post) are far different from how I live in this country or how my family/relatives do. For some reason, foreigners, especially the British women are more attracted to the conservative (does not have to be religious) social backgrounds in Turkish men, which I find very odd. If you google about those marriages/relationships, you will see hundreds (if not thousands) of posts about how the Turkish men are liars, cheaters or too conservative in values/religion that made their partners/spouses’ life a living hell. This is very strange, because any man around me (friends, relatives, coworkers, schoolmates) do not fit those profiles. And believe me, we are not limited in number. Social researches show that we represent 20%-30% percent of the Turkish society. That means AT LEAST 1 out of 5 Turkish men.

    And the strange thing is, the more western the men in values are, the less I see foreign marriages. (the opposite should have been true!) If anyone has an answer for this dilemma, I really would like to hear about it.

    Think Turkey as 3 different public spheres based on lifestyles. Islamist one, moderate conservatives (a bit religious) and seculars (should be considered as 2 different groups as traditional seculars and full-western ones). So, why do foreign women keep marrying conservative Turkish men? Any secret behind this? Anyone has an idea why this keeps happening?

    I will keep the Kurdish families out of comment section. While Kurdish families are as diversified as Turkish families in values (from secular to religious, traditional to conservative), their cultural/social background is more clan-like traditionally, family rules are more harsh and more conservative in average. So it is a different matter to discuss.

    • 28th February 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      I am confused by your comment. You are well educated so you must understand that you fall in love with, who you fall in love with. These are not arranged marriages where woman go out and hand pick there man. These are woman who have fallen in love and marry for love.

      There is a mixed society in Turkey but wearing a headscarf or not is not a sign of education, feminism or religion. Some of the Turkish woman I know who are highly educated and feminist choose to wear a scarf. I think you need to think about what the scarf symbols to you. That to me is a Western issue, that because someone wears a scarf or covers that means they must be brow beaten or forced to do so. Not perhaps a choice. It is true for many it is not a choice and they have very religious views but not all do.

      I certainly did not give up anything. But I grew and learned from the new culture. Often woman just see they have married a Turk and forget they are married to a man. My comments are more about how our western culture, demonise staying at home, they think in order to be a woman of standing to have accomplished things in life is the only way to be happy. It happens it is not, being a housewife and a mother is an important job and is an accomplishment just in itself. There is a lot to learn when you come into a new country, a new culture and a new life.

      You can stay closed minded and look just through the filters you have developed as a western woman or you can open you mind take off your filters and look with a new view, learn, grow and develop. If you are not learning and not touched by a new society then you are living closed of from the world and life.

      I am very glad you think that Kurdish families are just as diversified as Turkish families, the fact you singular them out makes me questions your intent here. Because just as I am British, I am also a Scot and just as my husband is Turkish he is also a Kurd. There are differences but I do hate that you singular them out for this topic as this is about a Scottish/Kurdish relationship. But the point you missed is great. That you marry the man, not the Turk, Kurd or otherwise. You marry the person who is as different as the next person, who sees life through their own filters.

      I appreciate your opinion and thoughts. I do wish you well in your life, that your marriage remains as happy as you seem.

      • 28th February 2016

        Nameless Reply

        Lets start with the “kurdish” comment. The reason why I did seperate that is mostly statistical and because of the differences between the two. It would take pages to explain some things, and as being Turkish, I decided to stick to the part that I have more knowledge and an idea of.

        Actually when I was typing that down, I did not have any prejudice in mind. I am a social democrat and a left wing supporter. My political view is based mostly on being against prejudice or social injustice against any group, identity or religious belief. I honestly believe in that, and through out my whole life I did care and even in some occasions, did fight for that.

        This does not change the fact that Turkish and Kurdish families while having a lot of similarities, also do have a lot of differences. It would need pages of more writing to explain Due to my work, I did travel for 7 years in all around the country, and spent months of time in the Kurdish populated areas, east and southeast.

        An average Kurdish family culturally differs from an average Turkish family. (this does not mean an average Kurdish family represents all Kurdish families, as an average Turkish family hardly represents mine. To give an example, 3 of my 4 grandparents are Greece immigrant Turks, so I have a lot of cultural differences with a central anatolian family. But think it as a lottery. When a foreigner meets someone from Turkey, she does not know what the outcome of the gamble is going to be. It is most likely that she will face an average-type Turkish or Kurdish family)

        Family orientation in southeast Turkey is much different than the west. Bigger families, more patriarchal in nature, sons and daughters have different cultural roles assigned to them depending on their age (elder son having a lot of power), more children and therefor different family orientation (where I live, average kids per marriage is 1.55, while in southeast Turkey it is 3.42), family members like uncles, aunts etc has more power in decisions, more likely to face a stronger and more intervening mother in law etc.

        This does not make that culture inferior. It makes it different. If I did get in to that difference in my original post, I would have to write down a lot in addition, referencing to many sources, which probably in the end, would mess the things up a bit. My essays were not good and organized even at my best, and that did not change in years.

      • 28th February 2016

        Nameless Reply

        “You are well educated so you must understand that you fall in love with, who you fall in love with”

        Actually I do not deny this. You are absolutely right.

        But people should be able to face the consequences of their bad choices. Filling pages and pages of forum/dating site/blog (not yours) rubbish on how awful dating a Turkish guy, starting hate campaigns etc. just gets on my nerves. There are very good guys out there. If they did pick the wrong ones, it is not my or anyone else’s fault.

        “There is a mixed society in Turkey but wearing a headscarf or not is not a sign of education, feminism or religion.”

        I agree mostly in this. Head scarf does not show any of those. Points out to a more religious family background though. (which does not mean that family is not open minded)

        That comment was to point out that there are outlier (It is very hard to call 20% of the society an outlier though) families in the society, that does not fit the traditional norms. Headscarf, while does not represent any of those you listed, still points to a traditional family. It is to express that my family, as an example, is different than the traditional. It is not to express that my family is superior or the rest is inferior. I have no such intention. It was to point out that a whole big and different middle class group also exists, which are naturally more compatible with the western values.

        Jumping in the most traditional family, then complaining about it after a few years of experience does not sound right to me. My intention was to show how fragmented the Turkish society is. I do not have any other agenda behind that.

        “I certainly did not give up anything. But I grew and learned from the new culture. Often woman just see they have married a Turk and forget they are married to a man. My comments are more about how our western culture, demonise staying at home…”

        That was the impression I did get from the post in overall, which does not mean that it is true. Happy to hear that you are certain and determined about how you feel. As the owner of the experience, it is what you believe in the end that is relevant, not what I did get as an impression just by reading a few paragraphs.

        “I appreciate your opinion and thoughts. I do wish you well in your life, that your marriage remains as happy as you seem.”

        I did divorce 2 years ago. But still thanks for the comment. Unless this was sarcasm.

    • 4th November 2016

      Erol Reply

      “For some reason, foreigners, especially the British women are more attracted to the conservative (does not have to be religious) social backgrounds in Turkish men, which I find very odd.”

      I totally agree this part. Not all foreingers but mosty. They tend to attract more conservative men. I wonder what is the reason of that ?

  82. 28th February 2016

    Kim Reply

    Dear Nameless and Kerry:

    Nameless, you definitely have a point.
    I am from a background where there is a lot of intermarriage between different races, cultures and faiths. The product of this is that the various marriages find a ground that suits the parties concerned and the children find their way. It is NOT always smooth sailing. It is never tidy, but there are successes. In my own family, the women don’t take too much nonsense from the men — Muslim, Christian or otherwise! Education is a must for all the girls, career and family are choices — not of it comes easy. Compromises are always necessary.

    What the women in my family all fear though is being financially dependent on a man for too long, because they like the self-esteem and choices financial power gives them and there are husbands who can take liberties with the wife if he “owns” the money and “owns”, and this can be turn ugly. Not all of them behave that way of course, because couples and marriages vary, but economics do play a huge role in relationships/marriages. There is absolutely no getting away from that.

    Kerry, as you rightly say, anyone who has had an adult relationship realises that if you marry, or fall in love, of course it’s with an individual and you have to try to grow with that person and the relationship.

    There are semi-formal arranged marriages still going on in my father’s side of the family, because marriage is obligatory and contractual. How dare you not marry! Why don’t you re-marry!? When are you going to get married?! It is compulsory to fall in line, among my cousins, at least, despite knowing that at least 2 of them would rather stay single, or are gay or Lesbian…
    This branch of the family are part Indian part Sephardic. For them, each person of marriageable age has a job and responsiblilities within the marriage contract. Women do this. Men do that.
    Love comes later — my relatives always say this! It’s not sexy or romantic, but it is solid for family and society.
    Any inequality, abuse or unhappiness is denied, brushed under the carpet and tolerated. Appearances are far more important.

    That’s why, when I read the posts on this blog sometimes, I have to ask myself:
    – Why the defensiveness?
    – Is it the woman is expected to do most, or perhaps, all of the growing?
    – Is feminism being bashed, just as much as “The Western” type of woman being scorned?

    I like and respect you/your blog persona, I respect your choices, and also really like the positive perspective you take. Happiness is something a person makes for herself, agreed.
    I know that loneliness and isolation of being a yabanci woman on my own, here in Turkey.
    But I sometimes have the feeling you wish to “protect” Turkish men.
    Is it necessary? The Turkish men I meet here in Turkey are not cardboard cut-outs, in this touristy part, there are a good number of Turkish men married to or in relationships with white Europeans like yourself. Where I grew up in London, I was always withTurks/Turkish Cypriots, and I became more familiar with Kurds from Turkey when I lived in Germany. People not familiar with Turks can and do believe some rubbish racial stereotypes about Turks, but much of that is about being unaware and simple racism.

    When you said: “I don’t need a career to prove myself I am already doing the most important job in the world and that is raising my child, looking after my husband and family. My family is my biggest achievement and I am proud of it, I don’t need a fancy career with empty promises and stress to make me feel fulfilled at the end of the day…” I thought, how lovely to have a family, a good husband, a nice home, but what’s wrong with a woman having a Western perspective, and pursuing a career? What’s wrong with achieving in a career? If a woman doesn’t have a husband or children, what is she — empty and stressed?

    Fair enough.
    But, some women don’t have much of a choice if they aren’t married or born wealthy. Then some women have to earn a living to support ourselves.
    And some women want independence, crave it. There’s a lot of DIGNITY in that, too.
    That doesn’t mean I, or other “career women” look down on mothers and home-makers. Not at all.

    I speak for myself. I wasn’t brought up to view marriage and motherhood as the reason for female existence and “better” than other choices, like as though if I didn’t do my biological duty and fall in line, there was something wrong with me, or I was “unnatural” or wasting my life, etc.
    When you marry and give up working outside, and you can lose your economic power, and for some, it isn’t always nice being in that “weak” position.
    I studied hard and worked hard, but I also greatly admire women who are full-time mothers and homemakers. I also have a lot of time for single mothers.
    One of my sisters (a highly intelligent, highly educated, high-flyer) did became a full-time mother and homemaker with her husband being the sole breadwinner because her 2 boys NEEDED her. And yes, she is a strong feminist, a Western woman, too. It’s not a compromise or a contradiction. Not in my her eyes, or my eyes, certainly. But our mother and father (when he was alive) used to say to her: “You need to have your own money and look to the future — what if something happens?”

    I am not sure how much you know about feminism, but I have heard many people who don’t know very much about it say some rather untrue things about feminism and feminists.

    And I do sometimes hear things said about “Western women” here in Turkey too, usually expressed by more traditional men. I wonder about that, as well. These are the ones who, as Nameless, implies (I hope I haven’t misunderstood, though) are sometimes, perhaps often (?) also attracted to the “Western woman” that they are so quick to judge, criticise, and even in some cases, look down upon or desire to break or simply shame — given the chance.
    I do not exaggerate. I have seen this with my own eyes although I would not call it common.

    • 28th February 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      As you will see this article was written in 2012 and was an opinion I held at the time. It still is in part but we grow and change. I can’t account for every marriage, relationship and I am not passing opinion as a general assumption. Just my experience, my thoughts and my life.

      Perhaps in some way the reason why you question, is the fact I may be challenging your ideals, perhaps not. I won’t make excuses or debate the rights and wrongs of my thoughts.

      My overriding observation is most westerns/brits come into Turkey they come in with a closed mind and fixed opinion on how things should be and how a relationship should be or perhaps I can broaden this and say everyone does. I was in this article showing how the culture had impacted my thoughts regards to being a housewife, how that being and mother and a housewife is a job, it is something to be proud of and know one should be looked down on if that is their choice.

      If you have read my latest posts, you will find that I am now in the UK starting my own business. But I will always say that being a mother is my greatest job I will ever do, no other job in this world could out rank being a mother for me.

      I am not one to stay fixed or closed to ideas and the changes that come through life and lessons. I have strong values but as I learn my perspective on life shifts and changes.

      As for the men, I keep coming back to this singular point. They are a person in their own right, how they grow and change and view their world and life is their right. This is how I live with my husband, he has the right to his ways, his opinions and thoughts in life as am I. Sometimes we challenge each others thoughts but it is neither of our right to force one or other to be a way we can not.

      I give the same advice to every woman who comes to me for advice. He is man, not a Turk. Do not lose yourself, remember who you are. But do not live with a closed mind. Accept their culture, but do not lose your own. Never lose your independence and never lose respect for yourself.

      It’s ok to accept that culture to follow its ways, it doesn’t make you a week person, if you are doing so without losing who you are. Its ok not to accept but its not ok to look down on others ways. If you can’t accept it then at least so respect those who believe it.

      My last point and I won’t say more on this subject. The written word is a complicated thing. You write with your own voice, what is in your head, your own filters. (this is a lesson I learned from being in a long distance relationship) Your personal filters and thoughts and your own minds voice. Reads those words in the tone that you put to. In many ways it mirrors your own feelings or thoughts or opinions. You hear in your head from your own perspective. That is the interesting part for me, reading what others see from something that perhaps was a quick off the cuff piece like this, that has caused and stirred such feeling from you both. Yet for me reading it over, I think god what a piece of crap I wrote…..

      Good night ladies, I appreciate your time and opinion on this. I wish you both a good night. And I hope you like my next article and I do wonder how you will view it.

  83. 16th July 2016

    roksolana Reply

    Hi. I have been married with my husband for seven years in USA, now he move back to Istanbul for good. He ask me to come and live in Turkey , but I’m kind scare to go because his parents is very religion family(covered) . The reason why he move back : he is afraid to grow his children in USA, he does not like USA, he miss his parents(main reason). If i go there I’ll have to live with his parents. give advice ,what should I do? I have never been in Istanbul !!!

    • 18th July 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Why don’t you go for an extended holiday say for a month or so and see how it works out? If you have never been or met his family you are only seeing things through your own fears. If you do go to live I would only go if you have your own home and right now in the current situation of Turkey perhaps wait a few months before making any big decisions. Perhaps he may not want to live there soon either.. My family are very religious but have always in their way been good to me. Do not let them change you and let them just accept you for you. Good luck. Just take it a step at a time.

      • 18th July 2016

        roksolana Reply

        Thank you! Yes, I did get thicket to go and see for two weeks (i can’t go any longer because of my job)…

  84. 22nd July 2016

    Andreea Reply

    Nameless had a really good point. I often find myself arguing with people who are bashing turkish men for no good reason. I am from Romania. I realised that many women from my country are attracted by conservative turks, just because they are different. The more different the better. I see on tv some girls that met their turkish husbands online, got married quickly, moved to their villages, had their babies and now they are saying that all turks treat their wives like slaves and they are asking for help to get back to Romania. I empatize with these women but i cant help thinking that if they would have chosen a romanian husband, their destiny would be the same. It is all about education. When a man asks you to marry him after 2 weeks of chatting online, a red flag should rise. I dont know, probably my experience living for 9 years in Morocco taught me that. Where you see a lot of men trying to take advantage of foreign girls, of their money, of their freedoms that muslim girls dont have or only seeing them as walking visas. They are not even subtle. Like Keri said on a previous answer, these girls dont think they deserve more. It has nothing to do with the nationality of their husbands. Nor culture. Exept maybe the parts with the mothers in law. All the turkish MILs I know, they like to meddle in their sons lives. They try to manipulate and to control. Maybe this happends because of these patriarchal structure. Men work, women raise the kids, the couple is falling appart but they dont divorce and the women are giving the man of the house role to their boy’s. It is a big responsability for little boys, they are in charge of their mothers happiness, followed by not only financial responsabily but also emotional, for all of their lives! Big burden, especially when they are using emotional blackmail or the silent traitement to get what they want. But somehow this is a normal thing in Turkey, not an abuse.

    • 28th July 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Oh the Turkish Mother in Law they are a topic you could talk about for weeks. They are master manipulators. But I see them softening through the generations, perhaps in 20 years time, the tough Turkish Mother Law will be a mythical creature…

  85. 26th September 2016

    Roxy Reply

    Hi! I get back from Istanbul! My marriage is over just because my husband family is not going to give as chance to be together if don’t conver to Muslim. And I can’t because I’m not going to be happy if I lost myself in few years. The question is where were those people for seven years we were leaving together in US. Since my husband move to turkey (three months) he became a practicing Muslim completely different person that I know .(drinking, going out, never selebrate any holidays) All these months I was thinking that that was influence of parents and relatives on him , but I think I was wrong and now he wants too . I brought him back to US a three days ago and today he is going back to turkey because I can’t accept everything that he asks me yo do to be together, just to make his family happy. I hope one day he is going to understand that must be compromises in the family not only I have to follow him . The think I lorn in Istanbul that ill never think about that religion can have a such big influence on people:( like my husband said love is not everything there is staff more important than love ) It was a very hard decision after all these years, but I have to do it . He has to find his own way in his life.

    • 26th September 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Roxy, I am really sorry to hear how things have turned out for you. Sadly you are not the only person to be left for the family. Reverting to their old ways is something I experience every time we head back to my husbands family. Thankfully not so extreme but he turns into a different person and I feel invisible. I am now used to this and know what to expect but in the past it was always caused conflict.

      Unfortunately the family bond is very strong and to go against the family is very hard. He must of felt the need to do as the family wishes or perhaps he is having a life crisis. He will most likely never feel he has done anything wrong and will continue on in his life untroubled. I do hope he does see sense and realises what he has lost.

      You sound positive but you must be heartbroken. You had to do what is right for you and they had no right to try and force you to convert or cover. It is haram to do so.

      Big hugs and I hope that you find happiness. x

      • 26th September 2016

        Roxy Reply

        Thank you ! Yes I’m very bad now ! I have to go thrue this now ! I try my best but it didn’t work. They are playing a good game against me , so he got like that. He just know now that he has responsibility for parents. And I think since I’m not from that culture and religion I can’t never understand how person that loves me can do it all this to me, and mess up his life just about religion. He told me that he can’t take risk and have kids with me because I’m not Muslim ! And many other bad think about my future!
        I know that he loves me because he told me: ” I have to do it, but you don’t, America is better for you, you stay here and build your life , you don’t have to follow me” that’s why I have that hope, that he may understand later about himself too, since he was here for 10 years and didn’t see them, maybe he just miss them????? Or that is just my culture differences???

  86. 19th December 2016

    Paula Reply

    Need help .. I think.. Ok I have been married before have kids big already I am 40 yearsold from Texas .. My boyfriend is Turkish he is 25 he wants me to marry him meet his mother n father but he tells me his father has to like me to marry him.. He is very different I can’t talk ti anyone I don’t speak Turkish at all we video chat but talk but sending txs back in froth to understand one anther I use a translator as do he .. I’m afraid he’s dad will not a prove of me but my bf tells me every day he loves me some of his family speak also to me on video he trys to teach me how to speak Turkish but I have no idea what I am saying …. So if I am to marry what is expected and can he come to Texas with me.. Or I don’t know what to do.. I love him also.. He nice handsome.. He just tells me I am only for him whatdo I do before I got to visit him n his family …. Help please … paula

  87. 13th January 2017

    Imdad Reply

    hi am Imdad Khan am from Pakistan and i love very much to turkey and want marriage in turkey
    who accept me than contact on jani80616@gmail.com

    • 13th January 2017

      Kim Reply

      Imdad, why do you want to marry a Turkish woman so much? Is it true that in Pakistan, Pakistani men fantasize about Turkish women because they are closest to being “white”?

      • 1st March 2017

        Imdad Reply

        dear i really love turkey when i will complet my study then i will go to Turkey

  88. 20th February 2017

    Mariam Reply

    My name is Miriam from USA, My man is back with the help of a great Dr Mack who helped me cast a spell that brought my man back to me in just 3 days. my lover left me and my family for unknown reason and now he is back, once again I want to thank Dr Mack for his wonderful spell, am now a happy woman. you can contact the great spell caster on his email: dr.mac@yahoo. com

  89. 21st February 2017

    Nefre Reply

    Hello ladies,

    i am happy to discover the blog and read about your experiences. I am with my Turkish boy for more than 3 years, more or less lived together in this period and now the the final moment has come to take a decision “for ever”. I have problems convincing my family back home that the choice is good – they have lots of doubts that my boy would try to “change me” and moreover, that I would be alone to cope with it. For the second, they are for sure right. As for the first, it is true that he comes from a rather conservative family, he gave up drinking 2 years ago as well as we have stopped having sex. For me, respecting him and knowing the reasons it wasn’t such a problem to accept his decisions. What do you think? Did someone of you have the same experience? What would you tell to your parents?

    Any comments are welcome! Thank you.

  90. 19th March 2017

    aydin Reply

    My name is aydin I am 32 years old.I am turkish and I am single I want to marry I am honest
    I am waiting for the message of the ladies who want to meet
    watsapp : +905342858370

  91. 3rd June 2017

    Megumi Reply

    I had a Turkish boyfriend (we broke up yesterday) we knew each other since 2 years ago and being a couple like 4 months nearly. Yes, Turk guy is still a guy, he has his own personality and “lucky me” he has a very hard personality, at first I really don’t care cause we haven’t problems about our relationship, but we have veru differents ideas and the way to think, our culture is so different. Im Latina cause I was born in Peru, but my parents are japanese so I look “Asian”, so I have 2 cultures too, but I acto more as “latina” than Japanese, I have a different conception of love, I think in any relationship need respect and understanding, be loyal and love how much as you can. He told em for get marry but he started to change (or maybe he always been like that but I didn’t realise it) he get jealous of everything, even from my God (Im Catholic), he obligated to me to not teach our future children some of my Catholic doctrine, and I didn’t have problem if he want to teach to them about Islam, but he is Atheist. He is liek a bomb, you dont know when he can explote of anger, he told me delete all my photos on Instagram too, dont let me wear clothes I would like to wear, “I believe in you but no in your friends” sentences like that, etc. I would like to continue a study after my university cause I’m sorry if you want to be complete dependent on your husband but I will not accept it, I dont want to be complete independent on him, I need a job, I need do soemthing apart from care my children cause that is a dutie, its not a work you can chose or not, give care and love is something you need to do it and something beautiful. However he didnt like the idea, then he used hard words as “you dont deserve care our childrens”, etc. I couldnt stand this, machism, selfishness, childish, it was not a relationship, was a relationship between a dictador and his slave.
    He told me sorry, it wasnt the first time we fight, but I couldnt stand it more. He is sweet sometimes, clever, charming and so freaking handsome, but I think I have to love me instead of have a relationship with a guy like him. I could left all my family and travel around the world for him, cause he would continue his life in Turkey and not in my country. I admit it, I love him, is my beloved person, I fall in love with him, so crazy for him but I don’t know, now Im confuse. It will beautiful if we can face it and continue together, but sometimes I think wait for 4 years to be together. I miss him, I feel sad sometimes, and sometimes less afraid cause he could get angry with me with a stupid thing.

  92. 13th June 2017

    Rei Reply

    Hi Kerry! Im so glad to find your blog here! And I hope I’m not too late to contact you.

    My name is Rei and I’ve been married with turkish man for 4 years. my husband hometown is in Izmir, but right now we are living outside country due to my husband work.

    I do feel you Kerry! After one year marriage, we move to turkey and living near by his families including my mother in law for 1 year. I do not have any expat friend yet that time and hardly find expat community in that city, I also have a problem with language until now (4 years still not fluent in turkish, it’s a shame for me lol! ) so I also sometimes feel isolated even the families are amazing but still.. language is the biggest problem for me.

    By the way, are you still living in Turkey ? And how is everything right now ? Hope the best for you!

  93. 2nd August 2017

    Doaa Ahmed Reply

    Hi guys , very nice to read these comments and experience , I wonder how to marry nice turkish muslim man 🙂 . as i am arab muslim from arab country but i have admired the turkish heritage .
    and i really have no real connections with turk . but i will be happy to know more brothers and sisters from turkey and maybe i will be lucky to marry nice tukish muslim man 🙂 🙂

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