I have been an expat in Turkey for the last ten years. I am married to a Turkish man and we have two children. You can read a little about my story in this Today’s Zaman feature. Three years ago we moved to Fethiye, a town on the Mediterranean coast and I knew I’d found somewhere I could call home.
I am often asked for advice about moving to Turkey. I try to help but for a long time I’ve felt my own singular perspective just isn’t wide enough. The Women in Turkey Project is my way of remedying that situation. By talking to lots of different people, from as many different demographics as I can find, I hope to share other people’s stories; that by reading about other people’s experiences potential expats will be able to gauge whether this life is for them, and expats already in Turkey will both feel a little companionship, and want to share their own stories.
Initially I will be concentrating on the women in my own town – they are diverse, strong, and have contributed so much to both the expat, and the Turkish community as a whole. I feel deeply indebted to the women who are the backbone of the community in Fethiye. Who run events throughout the winter months, have founded charities, help to run the local church, stage carnivals, fairs, and Christmas parties. And to the women who, like me, are not natural leaders, but are strong supporters – who have fostered others’ idea, sustained them, enlarged them and allowed them to flourish and grow. Those women who have quietly gone into the local government schools and taught English and about England, who have paved the way for the many multicultural children in the town to be accepted. So many small kindnesses and minor achievements that are somehow more than the sum of their total parts, and have made a vivid and vital community. A place where those who are foreign born do not feel so very “other.”
There are so many stories to share. Over time I hope to interview more women from more areas in Turkey, and share their insights into life abroad. If you’d like to be involved have a look at the Get in Contact, Get Involved I hope you enjoy reading about the people here as much as I have enjoyed meeting them.