Sunday, August 26, 2012

Family Life

Moving to Turkey has been a massive life changing event. I couldn't have done it with out the help of a few very important people here in Turkey. I've talked about the value of friends in previous posts, but this time I will focus on family--specifically, Duygu's family.

Photo from my first visit to Turkey. Grandma, me, Ozgur, Ayse, Umran & Duygu
I met pretty much the whole family when I first came to Turkey almost 7 years ago. I was lucky as they liked me from the beginning. They did have some reservations about the idea of Duygu marrying a foreigner, but once they had the opportunity to meet me in person, I think that they knew that their daughter/niece/sister/cousin was in good hands.
When we first moved to Turkey, we stayed with Duygu's mom for about 11 months. She was extremely helpful! She loved having Duygu home again after a 5 year absence. Duygu's mom often made dinner for us after work, did our laundry and many other things to help adjust to life in Turkey. Umran surely made life easier on us for the first year we were here.

Duygu's mom, Umran & Duygu
Ayse and Duru
Duygu's brother, Ozgur, and his wife Ayse were helpful, too. Honestly, I am not sure how how we would have survived without the help of Ozgur and his family. He has taken me to doctor appointments, helped getting cell phones & internet up and running and many, many other things. Oh yeah, Ozgur and Ayse have the most beautiful 6 year old girl, Duru. See for yourself below.

Duru, Ozgur and me

There have been many other family members that have helped along the way, too. Whether they meet up with us for a coffee, join them for a fun night of karaoke, or give us a ride to an important appoint, they have contributed to our transition more than they could ever know. Below, I'll introduce you to a few other family members.

The photo on the left is of Duygu's grandma,  Aunt Nurdan, Umran, Cousin Gizem, Uncle Salih and Duygu. Nurdan, Gizem and Salih all speak English well. It's because of them that my Turkish sucks. :)

Last year we attended a family wedding where we met up with Duygu's cousins Esra, Fulya and Gizem. Duygu is on the right.

On the left is me, Gizem and Duygu. Duygu doesn't have a sister, but she has her cousin, Gizem. Duygu and Gizem grew up together very closely, with Gizem often finishing her own ice cream quickly, then stealing Duygu's.

On the right, Duygu is posing with her cousins Ozlem and Arzu. On the left is Inci and I. Inci, Ozlem and Arzu are sisters. They are very fun to hang out with!

I'll finish with the photo below of a dinner we had at Ozgur's house. In the photo below, you will find me, Ozgur, Ayse's mom, Ayse's sister Hulya, Ayse's brother, Ayse's brother's wife and of course, Duru.


  1. I'm pretty convinced that survival in Turkey as a foreigner is impossible unless you have good people like this around you. We have many friends who've helped us out and don't know what we would have done without them when we first came here.

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