My Most Hated Turkish Word – Yabancı

This community service announcement is coming to you from my balcony with a glass of red in my hand to calm my frazzled nerves.  It is just on 7.30pm and its 33 degrees (Celius people not that crazy Fahrenheit that only, like, one country in the world still uses) and I am trying to enjoy the mild ocean breeze wafting over our ev.  I have had a crappy day and it all comes down to one word.  A word, I believe, is possibly the worst word in the Turkish language (and that’s saying something ‘cause a Turk can tell you to go and feck yourself in so many unique ways).  The word that has become the bane of my existence is … Yabancı.


Just breathe Janey.  Breathe!

For the uninitiated the word Yabancı simply means “foreigner”.  According to Google translate (my Bible) it also means “alien”, exotic”, “outlandish” and a few other words but basically a Yabancı is anyone that is not Turkish but can also be used for someone who is not from Mersin or not from The Village so it can be a very diverse word when it puts its mind to it.

Yes people today the word Yabancı has been tossed around more than a football at the Superbowl or a Frisbee at a family barbie and I am not taking it anymore!

We all know that my Turkish is crap.  I have not mastered the language and, despite thousands of liras worth of lessons, I am possibly worse now than when I started (that is not true at all).  BUT I can understand enough to know two things – 1. When they are talking about me; and 2. When they are talking about me.  Alright I only know one thing but I only need to know one thing and I do KNOW WHEN THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT ME!

So the point of this rant?

It is time for me to renew my residency visa.  “A residency visa?” you ask, “Why would you have a residency visa when you have been married to The Turk for what seems like a 1000 years of servitude?”  Why indeed curious reader.  Well the reason that I did not get a kimlik (Identity Card) back when was simple – pure laziness on our part.  Not just me but The Turk too.  We just never got round to it.  “But why don’t you apply for your kimlik now?” Why not?  Well I did actually apply 22 months ago and now 22 months later I am still waiting on my kimlik.  Everything has been lodged.  I have had my interview waaayyy back in March it is now just playing the waiting game but I tell you this right now – if I do not have my kimlik by this time next year I am moving back to Oz!  Yep I’m putting a “used by date” on this shit!

Alright so I am babbling again – back to it.

So now we find ourselves moving into Year 3 of our time here in Türkiye and I need to renew my residency visa yet again.  I went to the bank – they needed paperwork from the Nufus.  Got it.  Back to the Bank, got my statement.  Too easy.  I went to the sigorta and argued the toss with them for a good 2 hours about my place of abode.  They needed proof from the Nufus.  Got it.  Got the confirmation of insurance (oh and thank youto the FB group Doc Martin for your assistance in this regard).  Alrighty then.  Proof of address.  Easy.  Tapu.  No for some stupid, idiotic reason of which I cannot truly understand I needed to go to the Nufus and get proof of place of abode – yet fecking again!  Back to the Nufus for the third time in this week.  Well the past two trips had been relatively easy even though The Turk tends to talk too much and unintentionally irritates the Government employees with his banter but regardless they were pretty straightforward trips up until today.  TODAY.  Feck my life.  For whatever fecking reason today’s employee decided that my address wasn’t correct on the computer and sent The Turk and I backwards and forwards the bloody office like a tennis ball at a Grand Slam.  The word yabancı was tossed around often and every single time I heard it I shuddered.  Not only was yabancı tossed around there was also Avustralya tossed around like a shrimp on a barbie.  At one point I actually counted the number of times the word yabancı was used in one minute.  It was 11.  11 times!  11 times by three Government employees.

Here’s what you need to know people.  Yes I am a yabancı.  Yes I am from Avustralya.  Yes I live here.  Why?  Because I fecking want to.  Give me my fecking document.  Just give it to me.  NOW!

We arrived at the Nufus at 9.15 am and we left at 12.22 pm.  The Turk has suggested I take up meditation before I lose my fecking mind.



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17 thoughts on “My Most Hated Turkish Word – Yabancı

  1. Yep, been there, done that 3 weeks ago. Had to lay down for 3 days in a darkened room with wine on an intravenous drip to recover! 😳


  2. Sucks about your day! Nothing is easy here. My most hated word (thought I’d share mine 🙂 ) is Gelin. Like I’m the property, not the family. Over Bayram I hear it about 36,493 times a day!


  3. Janey….. Yet again, this rendition is sooooo funny. I am sat here at my computer laughing until my ribs hurt. Only because much of it sounds so familiar.
    During our recent 2 trips to Turkey, I experienced similar circumstances, especially when in Central Anatolia, we were staying with different family members of our Turkish friend. ( felt like pass the parcel, we had to stay , eat drink with everyone) I eventually booked into a hotel just so I could get some “PEACE”. With regard to your comment above about Google Translate. I really do know how you feel, when everyone in the house was talking, only Turkish, which we do not understand fully, especially when they talk very fast, especially the women, we would try to engage in the conversation when we knew that they WERE TALKING ABOUT US.
    We asked our friend to translate what we were saying, we knew that he did not translate what we had said correctly, so we used A Translation App on daughters phone and showed it to his mother…. She got up and hit him over the head! Job done.
    Enjoy your Girly weekend, wish I was still there I would join you.
    My daughters best friend from school/college is in Mersin at the moment visiting her family. Her Mother is Turkish and her father is English. ( Very unusual I know )
    Best Regards


  4. Oh man. I remember trying to get my residence permit when I was in Turkey…even with the exchange program on my side, that was a nightmare. The Turks are apparently not much good at streamlining their systems. Or communicating. Or keeping track of things.


  5. I can imagine how annoying it is. I got crazy many times myself running from one officer to another one for just one stamp.
    I’m yabanci in Germany. It’s called “Ausländer” in German. It is not only a word, it is used as a swearword. And in Germany there is even a special “Nufüs” for foreigners: “Ausländeramt”. Mostly, you go there to get a paper and get out being humiliated and feeling insecure everytime more and more. I live in Germany for 10 years and had to extend my visa / residency once a year for a long time. As student as I changed the university and the city, the officer in the new city asked me why I change and move, do I really want to study or just want to settle down here to profit from German state. “What do you really want?” she asked. One can not even imagine that officers (memur) are allowed to ask such questions, right?
    Long story short, bureaucracy is same s**t everywhere but the way how a “memur” treats you is what makes a memory good or bad, even after 10 years.


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