This summer my heart was divided over living in Turkey and moving home to Scotland. And then by some twist of fate my mind and heart decided to give Turkey one last go.
Summer in Turkey is the season where new Romances are formed, be it a holiday romance with someone you met here or just falling in love with Turkey. Mean while our life in Turkey was perhaps coming to an end.
It feels like many years ago that my Love for Turkey began and then later I met my Turkish husband. Though it has only been 4 short years ago that I actually came to live here in Turkey it feels like almost 10!
When we came to live in Turkey we moved to a city called Adapazari in the district of Sakarya. Many won’t have heard of this place and even fewer expats live there. We were excited to start our married life together and get to know our new home town.
We were lucky to find a lovely apartment with nice neighbours and close to my husbands school on the edge of the city only a 10 minute drive from city centre. The Area itself its beautiful and green with lovely lakes and a lovely large city park. The area is very fertile and the name itself means island market, given because of the two large rivers that pass either side making the land excellent for farming.
But we just couldn’t settle here, we just couldn’t call it home. Every holiday period we packed our bags and headed to the coast or to Scotland. We only stayed during the school term and waited for the holidays to begin.
We had to wait 3 years before my husband could apply for a transfer to another school and our dream was to get a place on the coast of Turkey like so many others we wanted to live on the coast near to an expat area, so we could live in the best of both worlds.
We waited putting our lives on hold, 3 years came and in that time our little boy was born and brought us much joy and happiness, he certainly filled what we felt was our empty lives living in Adapazari. We applied for the transfer waiting excitedly, talking to friends and family of our coming move, I even wrote an article about where to live in Turkey and then the day came and we didn’t get a place, we didn’t have enough points to move. We had to wait another year in Adapazari, before the transfer period was opening again.
We were devastated, we both argued constantly for that year, unsettled feeling like our lives where passing us by and dreaming of a coastal home. Our relationship took the toll of our unhappiness and at times we thought we would split and go our separate ways. But for all the years we spent apart it gave us the cement that kept us together. The summer transfer period came and we applied, this time nervously, hopefully but not gambling all we had on it and again it failed we were stuck in Adapazari.
Now what? We had wasted 4 years (apart from having our beautiful boy) we had to make some plans about our life in Turkey.
In those 4 years the political situation in Turkey and in the east has become unsettled in itself, it’s given us much cause for thought and much debate about how it will affect life here in Turkey and our lives and is it somewhere we want to raise our child.
Not only political but religious pressure and social pressure laid heavily on our shoulders, feeling the need to conform instead of being true to ourselves.
We loved our apartment but at times I thought it felt how a being in prison may feel like. The walls where not exactly sound proof and you could hear your neighbours constantly, talking, arguing, banging the doors as they went out, chatting loudly in the stair well. At night time when it was quiet you could hear your neighbour in the toilet! It felt like you were living with your neighbours and if we could hear them then they certainly could hear our every movement to.
Friends and family didn’t want to visit because they didn’t want to waste their holiday time coming to Adapazari and we told them also not to visit, there was little to do and who wants to come on holiday to Turkey to an industrial city!
Before we had applied for transfer this year we had decided to take a trip to Scotland for the summer and on arrival we both felt such a weight had been lifted, life was so much easier in Scotland, you felt no one was judging you all the time, no one cared really what you did. We felt relaxed and happy.
We decided very quickly within a week that our best choice was to move to Scotland and to start our lives afresh in Scotland. We knew we faced a long haul, getting my husband re-qulified to teach in Scotland, find work and going through the visa process from my husband to remain in Scotland. But we thought the struggling and the time apart that we would need to spend would be worth it, rather than stay in Adapazari, which in the worst case scenario could be up to 12 years.
We began the process, looking for work, talking to Universities and friends finding out all the facts and what we needed to do. It was a huge change, packing up and heading to my home.
At the end of the holiday I didn’t want to leave, I had to drag myself to the airport and force myself on the plane home. I felt depressed and miserable to be heading back but positive that in February in I would be heading back to start the work to move to Scotland.
We had left ourselves one week free on our return and as we didn’t need it to move home, we headed to the coast for a week in the sun at my in laws home in Dikili. We had a nice break and sorted out our tans which were missing from our trip to Scotland! And then headed back for my husband to beging work on the 1st of September.
We were home a day and my husband was catching up on things to do with work and reading the teachers forums to see what the news was. I hear him call me in an excited, nervous sort of tone. I go and see what it is he wants, I was pretty much disinterested, he says there is going to be a second transfer period this week! I looked at him in disbelief thinking to myself it’s some prank or someone has made a mistake. But I felt in my stomach the butterflies begin.
Could it possible be that we could get our transfer, believing very much in destiny that if this is a very rare occasion that they open a second transfer period just before the start of term, we must this time for sure get a transfer.
This time we kept quiet not telling any of our family or friends just case it didn’t happen or they put a jinks on us! It was a very quick time frame in which the choices had to be in and only days to find out the answer and in the end the result came 5 days early. And as you will have figured out by now yes we got our Transfer, we were so surprised and so happy, we finally got our move to the coast!
But wait we had decided to move to Scotland we had completely forgotten, in that short time we had realised where our hearts belonged, we truly love Turkey and all it has to offer, we will ride the humps and bumps that comes with living here and be happy living here.
We couldn’t be more happy than we are and lucky as well. By chance or perhaps destiny we were given a second chance this year and 3rd time lucky we got our transfer . We have had a whirlwind few weeks, two weeks felt like two months, we applied for transfer, packed up our home drove nearly 12 hours to our new home town and found ourselves and apartment all in time for my husband to begin School on the 1st of September.
Turkey I love you and it seems we are destined to be together for now, I hope you will be kind to us while we live our life in Turkey!
And in case you are wondering where our new home is, it is in Demre (Kale/Myra) on the coast of Antalya along the Lycian Way. Another farming town, with the feel of a village but right on the Mediterranean coast. There are more green houses to houses, but I have already fallen in love with the place and I will tell you why later.
© 2014 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.