A typical Turkish man will pop this question to his foreign wife sooner or later… It’s not if, it’s when…
This is a typical question that will come up if you have a Turkish boyfriend or a Turkish husband. I’m talking about foreign women married to or in a relationship with Turkish guys. If both partners are Turkish, it is more or less a clear situation. But when the woman is non-Turkish, this question will bother her sooner or later.
My international friends who are married to Turkish men almost all, with very few exceptions, tell similar stories.
At the beginning, there is no problem. After a few years, the Turkish guy is somewhat curious of what has happened before him. Somehow Turkish men have an illusion that Western countries are places where everybody has sex with each other. It may be the influence of American soap operas and Hollywood films, but the average Turkish guy is envious. He has a grudge toward average Western guys because he thinks they have had so much variety and so many opportunities to have sex, while they have to work hard even for a small fraction of this. Hürriyet photo
Although everything may be fine in the marriage or in the relationship, Turkish guys ask this question just to know what has happened. Out of jealousy, low self-esteem, envy, curiosity, or to find a factor to use against her later… I don’t know.
I have heard that it is even a problem in all-Turkish marriages when the wife has had several previous relationships before. At the beginning everything is OK, both know each others’ past. Then a point comes at a certain stage of the relationship when the guy starts becoming irritated that he was not the “first man” of his partner. Then it is brought up as if it was a mistake, guilt, or a shortcoming of the woman, and it is used against her.
Why is this happening? Why should a very European-looking and acting Turkish man gradually turn into a backward medieval beast with ultra-traditional values? This can also be explained with the dynamics of marriage or long-term relationships. Or with the unexplainable obsession of Turkish men with foreign women, a passion that goes way back to the Ottomans…
I’m not a sociologist and I haven’t come across what sociologists say to this, but I have an explanation in my mind: We, as a society, both women and men, are hypocritical creatures. Squeezed between the West and the East, hypocrisy is embedded in our genes. We act Western or Eastern, depending on the situation. We may act and look as if we are Europeans, but actually we are torn between two sets of clashing values. This becomes obvious in romantic relationships once the romance fades away. Piyale Madra
The guy who has married a foreign woman now has to face the fact that he is Turkish and he has Turkish expectations. He has difficulty suppressing his Turkish side and clinging to his Western side. He wants his coffee served, breakfast made, dinner cooked, kids taken care of, and at the same time as a bonus he has a pretty, European-looking wife. This is paradise. There is only one thought left provoking him: How many men has she slept with before him?