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Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Talk about intermarriage in Turkey


Guys – this one’s for you. Going down on bended knee to someone from another culture can be fraught with difficulties. There are communication issues, familial friction, geographical problems ... it really is a minefield and it doesn't matter if you live in Bodrum or Bahrain. Fortunately for you, we’ve made the mistakes – so you don’t have to! Here are a few things you should know before you marry a Turkish woman. 


Shoes off inside
Many of us from Western countries are guilty of this. You wear your shoes all day long, possibly taking them off only when you don your pyjamas. In Turkey, your wife won’t look kindly on you trekking your shoes through the house.
Our correspondent in Antalya, Steve, has been married for two years and found out very quickly about the no-shoes rule. “We hadn’t been married a long time when I unthinkingly walked in wearing my shoes one day. Ayse went mad – she got the hoover out and started cleaning around me like mad, shouting about all the horrible things on the bottom of my shoes. I never did it again.”


It’s absolutely true!
Every culture has its quirky little beliefs. In Korea some people believe that sleeping with a fan in your room can cause death. In Italy, it’s common knowledge that drinking a very cold drink after a very hot one can cause a stroke. Western culture dictates that if we swim after a meal, we’ll drown, and if we get wet, we’ll catch a cold. In Turkey your new wife may regale you with facts like tomatoes will improve your blood, or that dairy is not to go near fish. While they sound crazy, it’s just a cultural difference so you may have to make a compromise. You can go without yogurt on your fish stew, and your lady can wait an hour before taking a postprandial dip.


The green-eyed monster
Many Turkish women are fiercely protective of their men. Don’t even give another lady a sideways glance. And if your lady asks you what you think of another woman’s figure, hair, eyes or general demeanour: lie, lie, lie. “I hadn’t noticed”, “I was too busy looking at you.” Come to think of it, you should do this in any cuture! As for buying flowers, stick to her birthday, Valentine’s day or obvious special occasions. Otherwise, it’s an admission of guilt, plain and simple. 



Pick up that hammer
Ever heard the expression ‘don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today?’ That will serve you well with your Turkish lady. If she suggests you do some household chore, step to it. Of course, this applies to women everywhere. But your Turkish lass will be determined – if you won’t do it, she will. Steve remembers the day Ayse decided to put up some shelves.
“She’d asked me to do it twice, and I’d said I’d do it ‘tomorrow’ or ‘next week’. One Saturday afternoon I walked in to find she’d put up a shelf, put some things on it and the whole thing had collapsed, there was glass and bits of vase everywhere and she was angry.” Make life easier on yourself and pick up the tools yourself. If you’re not the handyman type, find someone who is.

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