200 (+ 2) stupendous posts!

I have finally made it to the 200 post mark, well 202 because I hadn’t checked my stats recently.  Again I am amazed that I have kept this blog up, that my brain has had 200 (and 2) separate thoughts that I felt were interesting enough, or funny enough or important enough, to be immortalized for all to read.  Forever and ever.  On the internet.

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So let’s talk about a few of these tremendous, colossal, amazing posts.

The most popular post was, as expected, My Letter to Özgecan.  I was amazed at the response that I received from everyone to this post. Özgecan’s death sparked a lot of debate here in Mersin and in Türkiye regarding violence against women.  Three men are currently on trial over Özgecan’s murder and will face a life sentence if convicted of charges including “murdering with a monstrous feeling”.  Türkiye does not have the death penalty (although perhaps it should).

The post that caused the most outrage (and had me forcibly removed from one of those Turkish groups on Facebook) was, 10 Things I Hate About The Turk.  Written in jest it seems that this post upset every Turk within 100 miles and perhaps it can be said that my sense of humor does not translate into all languages.

Yesterday’s most popular post is Satan Called.  I agree it is “kinda” hot here in Türkiye at the moment although perhaps not really as hot as Satan would like.

I got on my high horse quite a few times over the past 200 posts but I also fell of my throne more than once .  For a bit of toilet humor enjoy Rage Against The Latrine.

The post that made me giggle was To My No 1 Fan.  I am always so happy to hear from someone who has felt any emotion after reading one of my posts.  The fact that this particular fan was bat shit crazy only adds to my enjoyment of the whole thing.

So enough about the posts.  Now a quick rundown of other stats:

692 subscribers is amazing (a big thanks to each of you) and 738 ‘likers’ on my Facebook page (go on click on it people – you know you want to).

Over 100,000 page views is phenomenal!  I mean that’s a big number.  That’s a lot of people that either stumbled onto this blog or intentionally went out looking for it (which is nice).

I’ve had some crazy search terms as well including: “naked turkish moustache men”.  I like that one, in fact, I am going to Google that right now and see what comes up.  (Edit:  DON’T GOOGLE THAT!).  “I am selfish” – I think maybe this is a running theme with my blog.  How about “Let’s have sex tonight” – hey, I just met you, and this is crazy but here’s my number … um, no thank you but it is definitely nice to be asked.  “Ball busting bitch”.  The triple “B” threat.  This one is also obviously about me.  I don’t know how Google sends these people my way but my definite favourite search term would have to be “mersin hate sad cookies”.  This one just shouts out my name doesn’t it?  I did actually also Google “mersin hate sad cookies” and had to scroll through about 30 pages of rubbish before I found myself so whoever that searcher was must have really, really – REALLY – wanted to find me!  And anyway just who hates cookies in Mersin anyway and why would someone who hates cookies in Mersin want to Google it and make their way through pages of crap before coming across my page?  And just precisely why are the cookies sad?  Who made them sad?  Who the feck are these people that make the cookies sad?  To hell with them!

Finally I have received so many lovely messages from you guys.  I want to thank you all.  If you do ever find yourself in Mersin please look me up, well unless you were the one that Googled “mersin hate sad cookies” anyway.

Here’s to another 100!

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To my No. 1 Fan

I think I am a pretty funny (and totally amazing) person.  I like to think that the whinging that I do on my little blog is taken with a grain of salt.  I like to think that you, my loyal readers, are mature enough to discern between my take on living in this crazy little world and understand humor for what it is.  Well maybe not!

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Last night I received this email and when you read it try reading it with the voice of Yoda in your head (my request will make sense in a moment) –

“Janeyinmersin,

I think you are the bitch. if you are unhappy so living in Turkey why do you not just leave.  I am sure that it don’t want you here.  Go back to home in England.  England deserve you.  You are the bitch. Divorce you I am.”

To this person who provided an email address that bounced back (let’s call him “Yoda”), to Yoda I reply –

Dear Yoda,

I have never denied being a bitch (although I wonder are you trying to say “You are the bomb”?  If you are trying to say “you are the bomb” then thank you and big kisses to you).  I appreciate your sentiment but just in case you are in fact calling me a bitch I will say that you are in fact 100% correct.  I am a bitch and I have been called a bitch many times over the years.  I do appreciate your ability to immediately recognise a bitch.  Kudos.

I also appreciate that you obviously spent the time to use Google Translate to write your kind comment to me.  I should use Google Translate to reply to you as well however then my readers won’t get to enjoy my sarcasm and wit which is so obviously lost on you.

It is truly endearing to find a reader who has spent as much time as you obviously have Yoda reading my blog as you obviously know many intimate details about my life.  Firstly I must tell you obviously I use the word “obviously” way too much.  Obviously!  Secondly, I must say that I do love England and I bet England would love me too.  It has so much to offer.  Harry Potter, William and Kate live there, even the Beatles originated from there! But one thing that did not originate from England was, in fact, me! I am not English.  Perhaps we can play a game of Guess my Nationality?

Should I make it a visual game?  Alrighty then.  Below are 3 pictures.  See if you can guess where I am from?photovisi-download

Did you guess it Yoda?  I bet you did because you are obviously smarter than the average Jedi Knight.  I mean look at Luke Skywalker.  He was a bit dumb, he didn’t even realise that Leia was his sister!  Ewwww.  But just in case you did fail your Jedi Knight training the answer is – “I come from the land Down Under, where women glow and men plunder” also known as “Stralya”.

Finally (and just in case this message was from The Turk) – no you cannot divorce me.  You love me WAY too much!

Again thank you for reading my little blog.  Click like below if you enjoyed this reply or even like me on Facebook so you get all my updates.

Yours sincerely

Janey … still in Mersin

 

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100 posts!

This post is the 100th post on my blog.  100 posts!  100 posts in 270 days.  Yikes!  That equates to a new content every 2.7 days.  It seems like only yesterday that I started this blog, mostly to keep me occupied and also to update my friends back in Australia and around the world.  I am pretty proud of myself for committing to it (I never finish anything I start) and frankly a little amazed that you people keep coming back for another episode of my crazy life.

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I’ve got a few other stats for you.

350 subscribers is amazing (a big thanks to each of you) and 217 ‘likers’ on my Facebook page.

802 published comments.  I’ve had to cull a few of the nut jobs from publication.

Nearly 20,000 page views is phenomenal!  I mean that’s a big number.  That’s a lot of people that either stumbled onto this blog or intentionally went out looking for it (which is nice).

I’ve had some crazy search terms as well including: “hot bitchy wife” – I like that one.  “Will cheese fill you up?” – the answer is no, no it will not.  How about “Screaming sex on rooftop” – not recently.  I have also helped people “Muslim sad funeral Turkey” and made people laugh “crazy, funny mersin”.  One final search term that made me scratch my head “cat, elephant goes out out out by the bell 101” – worryingly this search term has been used 3 times.  Three separate people have typed those words into a search engine and somehow ended up at janeyinmersin.com.

Most viewed?  All About Janey … in Mersin and Contradictions

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First ever post? You’re Moving Where???  Originally titled “Where the Bloody Hell Are You?” I thought it wise to not alienate my PG audience with swearing.  Now, of course, I swear like a feking trooper!

Most likes?  Coucous Kofte.  This makes me laugh as honestly I am no chef.

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My Personal favourite?  Ancient Wonders.  This one was only recent but Daughter and I had such a great day together exploring the ruins and just talking about ‘stuff’.  ‘Stuff’ is important you know?

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Least viewed?  Let’s talk about cheese.  This makes me sad as it is one of my favourite memories with my mother in law and after all who doesn’t love cheese?

Daughter’s personal favourite?  Five things in Istanbul.  Daughter wanted to be included in today’s post because she is a big part of this blog and, of course, my life.  Why did she choose this post?  “Simple mum.  Shopping and Istanbul.  What else is there?”  Of course.

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So that’s my first 100.  What have I learnt about myself over the past 270 days?  I think I am funny (sometimes).  I am happy (most of the time) and, most importantly, I am enjoying myself.

Here’s to the next 100.

This Post Comes with a Warning Label . . .

The Turk and I went for a BBQ at his cousins this afternoon – late lunch, early dinner, a spring fling, pre-daylight savings, pre-summer when its too hot to BBQ type of BBQ.  There was a lot of food and a lot of neighbours and family enjoying the said food as well as partaking in the home made raki and wine.  This means I have “taste tested” copious amounts of homemade wine and anything that is said in this post cannot be used against me.  I know I am tipsy as I just took My Hurley Dog around the block and walked into a truck.  It was a stationery truck but a truck nevertheless so my warning label will stand.

I am going to take a crack at the Daily Prompt.  I have never done one before (I think) so here we go.

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Whatever will be, will be.  The future’s not ours to see.  Que Sera Sera.

I have often wondered about what the future holds for me and for my family.  I have been to psychics many times over the years, mostly as a bit of fun, and usually these psychics were charlatans however I do remember going to one psychic many years ago who told me that I would not marry my Mr Mediocre.  He told me that I would travel back and forwards to a very hot country to visit my husband’s family.  Being half Italian I assumed it would be Italy and I imagined living in Tuscany a la Diane Lane in Under a Tuscan Sun  This psychic also said I would have one child – a girl.  Well I guess he was right on both counts (except that it was Turkey and not Italy), although I was devastated when he told me that Mr Mediocre was not my soul mate.  He explained to me that each soul that we cross does so for a reason, either to support us or to teach us a lesson and that my Mr Mediocre was a lesson that I had to learn and until I learnt it we would cross paths in each life until that life lesson seeped into my teeny, tiny speck of a brain.

I do not know whether I learnt my lesson with Mr Mediocre or whether we will cross paths again in our next lives.  I can say that when I returned from Turkey pregnant with Daughter he was engaged to another woman, the woman that he courted while he was with me, the woman that he went on to marry.  He also made many other presumptuous statements about our non-existent future and relationship but I will not repeat these statements as Mr Mediocre did go onto marry this Jezebel (sorry young lady) and they do have children so I do not wish to disparage their relationship (although I cannot imagine either of them would ever come across this little blog). I am pretty sure that if I did learn a lesson that day it was to never trust Mr Mediocre again!

There are many things I wish I could have changed in my life, things that I wish I had known up front.  Had I had known that my mum was going to pass away I would have asked her more questions, she should have told me more stories about her and about her life.  Had I had known my dad was going to leave me so quickly I would never have left his side.  I would have laughed when he laughed and cried when he cried.  Again if I was to learn a lesson from my parents it was to never let anyone feel forgotten and to treasure each moment as if it was your last moment together.  Finally had I had known that Daughter would grow up so quickly I would have spent more of that precious thing called time with her giving her all the love that I could have.  F*ck work she needs me more.

Right now I will enjoy my time here in Turkey.  It’s a beautiful evening (albeit a little windy) and The Turk has just called me to relax on the balcony.  He is reading his paper.  I have been re-reading Pride and Prejudice and will probably have a giggle at Mr Collins expense as I sit with him.  I will hum a little Que Sera, Sera and I will wait and see whether what will be, will be.

Oh No!

Last night I woke at 1:30, rolled over and saw The Turk was missing from his usual spot.  I padded down the hallway to find him asleep in front of the television which was blasting a Turkish soap (no wonder I couldn’t sleep).  I switched off the television but left him there – bugger him for waking me up – and got back into bed.

Still sleep alluded me.  I could hear a puppy whimpering outside.  I got up again and opened my balcony door to investigate.  As expected the boy that lives over the stone fence has brought home yet another puppy.  In the past 4 weeks he has brought home 5 dogs.  His first effort was 3 puppies that cried all night and his mother no doubt made him get rid of them.  The second effort was a boxer dog – nice looking dog – fully grown.  It jumped the fence and disappeared sometime in the night.  This third effort is a German Shepherd puppy.  It cried most of the night and will no doubt jump the fence when he is older but perhaps the boy has learnt from his mistakes and will ensure the garden is secure.

Again I climbed back into bed.  I looked at the clock – now 3:00.  I must have dozed because I woke again at 4:15 to the distorted sounds of a cat in agony.  Holy crap!  I jumped up and spotted Kedi at the end of the bed.  He heard it too because he was standing ramrod straight trying to pinpoint the sound.  “Murroooeewwww”.  Bloody hell!  It sounded like it was dying.  I opened the back balcony door and looked over – nothing.  I went to the front balcony and looked over – nothing.  Crikey!

I was obviously making too much noise and I woke The Turk who growled at me and went to bed.  I was standing at the front door when I heard the sound again.  It was coming from right outside!  I learnt my lesson with the Village Kedi’s and I always make sure that the downstairs door is locked – no more sex in the stairwell thank you very much – but obviously one of them got past me.  Opening the door I find Stanley standing in the stairwell crying.  “Shush,” I whisper to him.  I ushered him down the stairs and out the front door.  He was a little put out and sat there with his back to me.  I shut the door and walked back upstairs when “Murroooeewwww” again.  Shit!  I ran up the stairs, past my front door to the roof.  Nothing up there but some boxes.  I stare at them.  Shit!  Shit!  Shit!

After a little investigation this is what I found –

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This little guy and another 4 like him along with mama hiding upstairs in a box.  Stanley must be the father as they all have similar gingery markings.  Obviously the loss of his tail did little to subdue his manhood.

The Turk is going to be pissed when he gets up.  Why?  The bloody cat had its litter in The Turk’s toolbox – he is going to lose his shit!  He is not a fan of the cats at the best of times but when he makes this discovery – yikes !

I think I might grab the dog and make a run for it.

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Contradictions (and a bit of a recap)

I wrote this a little over a week ago but due to some personal issues with my father in law as well as the current tensions in Turkey I felt it more appropriate to not post this at that time.  Turkey is in upheaval, yet again, and although tension is high I feel completely safe here in Mersin although there have been recent protests.  With elections looming all parties are throwing heated comments at each other and with the recent death of 15 year old Berkin Elvan it has become a travesty to bear witness to.

Officially it has been six months since we uprooted our lives and moved to Mersin.  Since I first met The Turk we would fantasise about moving to Turkey, whether it is for one year or forever but that fantasy was always put on the backburner as real life would interfere with our dream.  When my beautiful Dad passed away from that evil bastard that is cancer the dream of moving to Turkey was put back on the table but this time it was Daughter’s idea.  Having just lost her Granddad she wanted to spend as much time as possible with her other grandparents before they were taken from her too.  Her thoughts were, understandably, a little morbid but on reflection perfectly timed and we were all grateful to have had time with her grandmother, my mother in law, before she passed away in January.

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As an expat Turkey is a country of contradictions.  We live in a luxurious apartment with every modern convenience (just don’t mention toilet paper to me) but right next door my sister in law and her family make their bread over an open flame. Contradictions.

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We shop at Zara and TopShop, we get our coffee from Starbucks and we eat in nice restaurants.  We are surrounded by all our electronics to make life easier too from flat screen televisions, iPods and iPads meanwhile from my balcony I can watch the local women working on the farm across the lane for 30TL a day or witness children begging in the streets.  Contradictions.

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I smile at the faces of people around me.  These people are my family now but there are times I want to throw a brick at the shopkeepers who are so unhelpful as I am a yabanci or to the strangers who watch me as I walk by in my western clothes.  Yes I wear jeans and a t-shirt; no I am not a whore.  No I do not wear a head scarf; yes I have the utmost respect for your religion although I wonder do you have any respect for mine?  Before you ask, no I do not want to pay twice as much because I am a yabanci and just for the record I am not your ATM machine.  Contradictions.

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Adjustments were made by all of us over the past six months.  I think I have had it the easiest (well if you put aside the fact that I had no Turkish and now six months later I have little Turkish).  I had no expectations.  I know that things will not work the way that they did in Sydney and I was ready to accept this although I do get mighty peeved when the rubbish internet dies.  I think it has been The Turk who has had the most difficulty in adjusting – or should I say re-adjusting – to life in Turkey.  Having had the luxury of living in Sydney with its first world conveniences the littlest molehill can quickly escalate to the largest mountain.  I cannot tell you the number of times The Turk has said he wants to go back “home” to Sydney.  I guarantee before this day is over I will hear it yet again.  Cry me a river mate.

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Daughter is very content.  She has made some good friends, she has quickly learnt conversational Turkish (although apparently has a funny accent).  She is getting by at school and although she now has a nemesis she considers this means she is truly accepted by her class mates.  Her adjustments were mostly first world problems too.  Disappointments when things don’t go according to plan and realising just how damn lucky she is compared to so many.  Contradictions.

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Last Friday I had to return to the Emniyet yet again but I won’t bore you with that story today.  Anyway, while we were waiting to be interviewed I watched group after group of Syrian refugees lining up to speak to officials, to update their living arrangements or to ask for assistance.  I was shocked by the sheer volume of refugees coming through the door but The Turk has little sympathy for them.  I recently watched on the haber that there have been a few instances of racism against refugees in Turkey with most of Turkish society considering the refugees “temporary” in that they will return to their own country in due course.  There are in fact a few Syrian families that have settled into the village however The Turk does not interact with them in any way.  Recently a Syrian mother came to our door asking for a small donation and The Turk sent her on her way without a kurus.  Why?  What’s a few lira?  “If you give them an inch they will take a mile”.  His behaviour completely floored me firstly because he used one of my mother’s favourite sayings (a saying I have used on Daughter many, many times) and secondly because usually The Turk is the most generous person I know.  Contradictions.

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Turkey can be, and should be, extremely confronting, full of contradictions.  I have difficulties in accepting these contradictions at times and I guess this is a good thing.  I should never accept these differences.  I should ensure that Daughter never accepts these differences because once you have acceptance then you will never help change what is to come.

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Don’t you dare Mr Erdogan

In February the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan put to vote (and was subsequently passed) a law that would enable the Turkish Telecommunications Directorate to block websites if they are determined to violate privacy. 

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He goes on to say:

“We are determined on this subject. We will not leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook. We will take the necessary steps in the strongest way. . . . These people or organizations encourage every kind of immorality and espionage for their own ends. And there are no boundaries. Such concept of freedom is unacceptable.”

These social networks have become the place to go to for those who oppose the current Government.  Comprising information about Erdogan are easily distributed via the internet and email in our 21st century life and it all came to a head with the recent release of telephone conversations between Erdogan and various political allies including his son.  But who is really at fault here?  Telephone tapping is not unusual or new.  The US Government was recently caught phone tapping the German Chancellor.  The information is already out there and in fact he basically admitted (in a very obtuse way) that it was in fact his voice on the telephone.  Corruption is part of daily life here in Turkey and I expect that had Erdogan admitted to it quickly this latest scandal would have disappeared instead he steadfastly denied any involvement in the scandal and pointed the finger at others.

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The Turkish Government previously banned youtube and WordPress back in 2008 and despite the ban the website was among the top 10 most accessed sites in Turkey.  Savvy internet users skirting around the regulations.  I recall my old place of work banned Facebook for a while but that didn’t stop the younger employees setting up proxy links.  Kids can pretty much do anything these days.

Erdogan needs to understand that his time as Prime Minister is limited and that the younger generation of Turkey are realising that social media (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc) are learning to have a voice and to stand up for what they believe is right.  Looking back at Gezi should have been a warning sign for Erdogan to listen to the younger generation – he may just learn something.

If Janeyinmersin goes silent you will know why.  I imagine I will have to start sending smoke signals to you all if that happens.

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Oh God is she talking about the weather again???

I had no plan to blog this morning but it is pouring outside and there is no way I am putting on my gumboots and venturing into the storm so forgive me as this post has been put together in haste.  In fact feel free to pass it over completely as all I am going to do is talk about the weather.  Quick rundown.  Rain, rain, weather, flood, weather.  There.  Thanks for stopping by.

Seriously though I know I have been banging on about the weather a lot – I am going to say it again – A LOT – but I deem it necessary.  I am amazed at how little it actually did rain here, I mean considering it was winter and all.  Arriving fresh from a Sydney winter (yes it has now been 6 months and I will get to that post another time) I had nightmares of having to live through another 3 months of cold and rain.

So I did what any google-loving person would do and searched “annual rainfall” in Mersin (why have I never done this before).  It seems that I have been incredibly lucky these past few months.  It should have rained in fact it should have been a “Noah’s Ark 2.0, grab your scuba gear and pray to whatever God it is that you pray to” kind of rain so I am grateful that my first northern hemisphere winter was not the blow-fest it could have been.

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But now it is spring – yahoo – and it is raining, in fact, Mersin has had a bit of a pounding the last few days.  Daughter came home from school yesterday with the news that the water in the playground came up to her knee (today she wore gumboots to school).  I saw a couple of photos on social media sites too where Mersin’s inadequate drainage is blatantly obvious.  The photo below is from The Forum which is my usual Sunday Funday haunt.  The Forum is actually the largest shopping centre along the Mediterranean coast and one would think that when it was being built the engineers would have taken inclement weather into consideration.  Perhaps not.

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Council elections are currently underway and I expect that drainage will become an issue of contention with members of the public in fact last night the local member came to the Village for a meet and greet and was inundated with supporters.  Here are a few photos from last night.  Crazy eh?  Could you imagine that many people turning up to support your local member?

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Lots of Love

Yesterday morning I woke to the most fantastic news.  My amazing friend Mich and her partner P ran away together and got married.  Congratulations to my beautiful friend.  It was at this moment I realised just how far away I am from her.  I cannot give her a hug and a kiss.  I cannot raise my glass to her and her new husband.  I cannot blubber like a baby (I always blubber like a baby at weddings).  I miss her very much.

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I have known Mich for well over a quarter of a century but this does not make me feel old.  This means that I have laughed with her, loved with her, fought with her, lived with her and travelled with her for over half of my life.  Today I miss her more than ever.

All of my friends are a long way from here.  They are all busy with their lives, family, job, commitments.  I know how lucky I am to have this experience but how I want to be in Sydney right now.  I write this blog, mostly for me but also for my friends and family who are so far away but are still with me in my heart.  It is difficult today being here.

To Mich and P, you were meant to be.  A lifetime of happiness together.

(And yes I am blubbering right now).

The Lord of the Kimlik

“One does not simply walk into Mordor.  Its black gates are guarded by more than just Orcs.  There is evil there that does not sleep.  The great Eye is ever watchful.”

When Tolkien wrote this I wonder if he had already had the great misfortune to attend at a Government Office in Turkey because these words have never been so true.

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Before Daughter and I left Australia we had foolishly assumed that obtaining the correct residence visa was going to be a piece of cake.  It would be no more than a quick trip to the Turkish Consulate in Sydney and they would welcome us with open arms.  Hosgeldiniz.  After that fateful first trip to the Consulate it became quite clear that this was not going to be as simple as originally thought and that the journey to residency was long and thwart with peril.  In the end due to delays and the wrong paperwork Daughter and I actually entered Turkey on a tourist visa and I knew that I was now going to have to sort out the visas here.  In Mersin.  Turkey.  Yikes!

The first time I attended at the Emniyet in Mersin I will be honest.  I was nervous.  I mean the Consulate in Sydney was bloody hard so I can only imagine what it was going to be like here.  I had arrived the night before and was jet lagged and grumpy.  This was not a good start to what was going to be a very long, very tedious day.  The Turk’s brother had taken a week off work to assist with the difficulties (read that as nonsense) that is the Turkish Government and our first stop was at the Emniyet Genel Müdürlüğü (Turkish National Police) so we could obtain a Residence Permit.  We ran up and down stairs (why is there no lift?) in 40 degree heat (why is there no air conditioning?) and waited in queues that went down the corridor before being issued with a number(!) to be dealt with.  When you are issued the number 74 your heart begins to sink and as there are no chairs available (after all there are 73 people ahead of you) I leaned against the wall, sweat pouring down my back while staring at a photograph of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.  It is a long wait.  People come and go.  Smells come and go.  I try in vain to translate the signs on the wall.  Cay comes and goes but none is offered to the suffering hordes.  I watch other, more successful, people make their way to the front of the queue.  I listen to the numbers being called.  So close.  So very close.  And then – it’s lunchtime.  We are ushered out of the building.  My postal levels are high but watching The Turk’s brother I can see that he is also becoming quite frustrated with the wait.  After the lunch break I returned to my wall and started to doze when suddenly, joyously, our number is called.  Hallelujah.  Praise the Lord or Allah or whatever!  My brother in law fought his way to the front of the counter where a heavily moustached, non-smiling government employee, glanced at the papers before handing them back.  We are missing a document.  Come again.

It took me four trips to obtain my Yabancilara Mahsus Ikamet Tezkeresi or Residence Permit for Foreigners.  I think that this is probably quite straight forward normally but as The Turk was not with us it made completing the documentation exponentially difficult.  I cursed The Turk a lot those first few days.

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As a resident of Turkey I also needed to obtain a Kimlik number.  As a foreigner I am not eligible for a TC Kimlik and instead I obtained a Yabanci Kimlik No.  Pretty much the same thing but we are identified with the number “99” as the first two digits.  Getting a Yabancı kimlik No. is actually pretty easy because you do it online and any excuse to not walk into a Turkish Government office is a win-win in my mind.

Fast forward a few months and The Turk reminded me that I still needed to get my citizenship finalised (which was lodged the previous September).  Foreigner’s can become Turkish citizens if they jump through a number of ridiculously difficult hoops but being a Turkish citizen does mean that I no longer need to fluff around with visas and various other benefits as a long term resident.

After a tedious number of hours at the Emniyet we finally received the news that my application was now held by the Nufus Office or also known by other poor yabancı as Mordor, which is well known by all as a treacherous journey, full of peril all in an attempt to retrieve ‘my precious’ also known as my kimlik card.  The Turk and I have attended this office so many times over the past week that the polis remember us and let us through without going through the metal detectors or standing in the queues.  We have attended this office so many times that the employees recognise us “Yabancı” (a most hated word) and “Al Pacino” (Good Lord!).  We have attended this office so many times that when the documents were finally stamped there was a united cheer and a lot of handshaking and congratulations from staff who proudly told us that in “six months or so” I will have my official kimlik card!  Six months!  Wow!  They did mention to us that there would be a polis check and, of course, that other well known yabancı terror known as the Interview but then it should be smooth sailing.

As I write this I feel a sense of forboding akin to Frodo before he started on his great journey:

Aragorn: Are you frightened?
Frodo:  Yes.
Aragon:  Not nearly frightened enough. I know what hunts you.

Oh incidentally Daughter’s kimlike was actually issued back in Australia but no one told us so we find ourselves now liaising with the Consulate back in Sydney in an attempt to locate it.  I feel another journey coming on.

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