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BELGİN TAN

How many men have you slept with before me?

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?

25 Comments - June/27/2012

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READER COMMENTS

Anna anna

11/28/2013 3:39:03 PM

@ sam steven. "..a muslim repressive society. Muslim men are known to be. see female leaders & then see how far behind the times these men are, they should come out of the cave !" Seriously? Go back to school get some education! You r the one who needs to come out of the cave! Never even in history one female president in the most so called democratic country and christian country! Benazir Bhutto the female president in Pakistan, Mega Wati in Indonesia, those are most populated muslim coutries!

Glenda Miskin

6/14/2013 1:12:41 PM

My 2nd comment went with a different article. BTW, why was there no Fazil Say article in English? Do you need a writer?

Nixar Osman

11/14/2012 9:36:20 AM

Belgin Tan; why did you give publicity to this subject? Such publicity does it a great disfavour. Look at the comments-none of them appear to have come from experts or people with experience in this matter. Your assumption is incorrect: I've been happily married to my English wife for about 40 years and this subject between us never but never came up even once. This is a matter that has to be discussed, if at all,l between the parties before not after they get married. We cannot re-write history

Audrey Tautoui

7/9/2012 6:03:28 PM

This is such a objective and clean press I'm surprised... Yes, Turkish men are .. İ think this is not because of İslamic life style if it was about islamic life style they do not have sexual experiences before get married.. This is because of their low self-esteem.. Moreover, there are some women who believe that how envious their partners are , they love them that much.. Yes, this situation is very tragicomic.. Most women want to be envy because they have low self-esteem too...

sado aga

7/6/2012 3:21:44 AM

to sam stevens when u are getting free eat ,drink and fell u are most beatiful woman girl in the world TURKISH man is good.Don t go to turkey looking boyfriend ..when he is looking what are u doing ?he is jealous ..Dont forget nothing perfect in the world.

Alp Tanir

7/5/2012 7:17:57 PM

First of all writer is a person of stereotypes according to what i hear wowwwww. How objective this is? İ did not like this generalization in my life ever, i lived in europe with different countries. Human is human you can see "this" every where around. Generally speaking this was an article which i wouldnot expect from this paper

sam stevens

7/5/2012 11:31:03 AM

I'm afraid that from my own experience, this is very true, in my view it all stems from a muslim repressive society. Muslim men are known to be possessive & very jealous.......they also insult women by saying that women are not capable without a man in their lives. So archaic,look around the world , see female leaders & then see how far behind the times these men are, they should come out of the cave !

Glenda Miskin

7/3/2012 8:45:11 PM

A famous News source in the US is doing a series on Virginity. 1/3 of Univeristy students are Virgins at 24-years of age. Virginity appears to be regional. In rural areas almost all women are virgins until they marry or are engaged to the one they will marry. In NYC 1/2 of women are raped before they turn 18. Many girls in US, unsupervised are prey to sexual abuse. The men do not hurt the girls but make them "happy." Once a girl has become sexual she is apt to follow images that are adult.

Glenda Miskin

7/3/2012 7:28:55 PM

Reluctantly, I must reveal that I have been involved in Adult Industry for almost 40-years. My parents got me started at 18 when I was a virgin. I read industry magazines and this statistic is no surprise to me as in the US the most heavily saturated market is in Utah which is 98% Mormon. The favorite is VODs (Videos on Demand) at hotels. Please note that divorce is low among the people who practice the Mormon religiion and they neither drink alcohol nor coffee.

Nature Guy

7/3/2012 6:41:10 PM

CHAUVINISM seems to be alive & well. :( --too bad.
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