This year I am going through the process of gaining my Turkish Citizenship. I want to take Turkish Citizenship for many reasons and the process has got me asking, What does Citizenship mean? What really makes you a Citizen of a country?
My main reason for become a Turkish Citizenship is that I plan to live in Turkey on a permanent basis with my Husband and little boy. Taking Turkish Citizenship also means that I will no longer require to renew my residency permit or require a visa for entry into Turkey. It will allow me the right to work, along with other benefits. I will also be a Turkish Citizen just like my Husband and Son.
But are these really the right reasons to become a Citizen of Turkey? Should I just want to avoid the paperwork and seem the same as my Husband and Child.
I felt ashamed when my Husband said are you excited that you will soon be Turkish with pride in his voice. This comment made me stop and think of the reasons why I was becoming a Citizen of Turkey and no longer just a British Citizen.
In fact a lot of expats who take the Citizenship almost think that Turkey should be grateful to get them and the only reason for Citizenship is to avoid the paperwork. I was one of them, until my husband made me stop and think.
I consider my self Scottish first and then British and I could say I am also European (just to confuse you). But I am not a true Scot, my Father is English and Mother is Scottish so really I am half and half. Yet I still call myself Scottish because this is the place I was born and raised. In truth I am British and neither Scottish or English. This shows that loving a country comes from the heart rather than bloodlines or birth rights.
So why do I have the right to call myself Turkish.
Firstly this is my home now, I am proud to live here in this beautiful diverse country. I have many friends, Neighbours and family here in Turkey, I feel like I belong here. I don’t see myself different to my friends here and I get upset when I am called the “Yabanci” and not considered Turkish.
I get mad at the politics and enraged by other countries who give Turkey a hard time. I get excited when the Turkish football team plays and if Turkey Plays Scotland at football I will have a hard time deciding who to support! When I am talking about something to do with Turkey I use the possessive nouns, and use “I” and “We”.
I love this beautiful country with its diverse history, culture and people. Turkey really has become my home as equally as Scotland is my home. When we visited Scotland this summer I was happy to be home and then on my return to Turkey I was just as happy to be home again!
In fact when I think it about all the reasons why I should be Turkish is because in my heart I am Turkish and Scottish. I have accepted Turkey into my heart as my home.
I am proud to have these golden threads of my life interwoven, my home and country where I grew up and learned about life and my new home and country where I plan to live with my Husband and Son.
Becoming a Turkish Citizenship is now no longer about avoiding the paperwork but about being part of this amazing country and I hope that Turkey will be honoured to have me as a Turkish Citizen.
Are you or have you taken Turkish Citizenship, what does being a Turkish Citizen mean to you?
© 2012 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.