A topic that was recently raised on the facebook group, U.K. nationals with Turkish Husbands/wifes/partners was:
How do you approach and deal with the religious beliefs your Children are influenced by in Turkey?
Being faced with bringing our son up here in Turkey it is a question we have often discussed. There is no one simple answer to this question and there is no right or wrong answer, you can only do as you see fit. Children and Religion in Turkey will always be a hard topic to cover and will raise many arguements
It is a very interesting topic and one that I am sure is discussed on every Turkish forum from time to time and I think it is a good topic for discussion here.
My thoughts on this question is that we live in Turkey and the religion here is Muslim and my Husband is a Muslim and so is his family so therefore it is part of our sons life and culture. He will also be brought up with my ideas and my own culture from the UK as it is also part of his life and culture.
I don’t worry about him learning about Islam in his religious classes at school or from family and friends, as I know as long as we live in Turkey it will be part of our life and his. It is important for him to understand and learn about the world he lives in.
As parents its our job to give him a balanced view of the world and provide him with the tools that he needs to help him in his life, answer questions when he asks them as unbiased as possible, be there for him when he needs us, guide him in life as best we can. In our minds it is his choice when he is older if he wishes to follow the Muslim faith or choose another or none, it is entirely his decision and we will support him in whatever his decision is.
We will allow him to take his own path in life and find out what he wants from life, we will always be there for him and will let him know we are always there when he needs us and when he does we will always try our best to help and understand with out passing judgement over him.
As for the ever arising question over circumcision we will have him circumcised partly to do with my husband’s faith and the other side so he is never questioned or bullied at school or through life for being different.
It is important to remember what life was like for yourself growing up, the pressures from your peers, finding your way, learning about yourself and rebelling against your parents. If you can remember back to those times how you felt, what it was like and use those experiences, instead of your own adult opinions and ideas you will be better set to help you child through life.
These thoughts are purely mine and I know many will feel differently to me on how to bring their child up in Turkey.
If you are one of those people I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this subject and how you answer the question.
© 2011, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.