Readers: We love Turkish men no matter what
BELGİN AKALTAN - firstname.lastname@example.orgMy piece last week was well-read, receiving quite a number of responses. No, not all of them praised Turkish men, but many did. (Aren’t we, women, stupid?) Here is a selection of readers’ mails and tweets. I couldn’t include all of them, sorry.
The most hostile one on Twitter was from Nick A.: “Turkish columnists somehow manage the impossible – to write worse than Canadian ones.” He also asked his followers to “Prepare to laugh/cry/vomit...” because he did all three. He explained why my column was “the most popular” during the weekend as “it’s like a car accident. You can’t help but look at it.”
Then we have Carolina Z., a Colombian woman married to a Turkish man: “As Latino women, we are used to being the center of attention. We like to control everything.” She finds it hard to adapt to social restrictions in Turkey such as “not talking to men, not smiling, wearing certain clothes…” I wonder where she lives. Not Istanbul, I guess.
“We Latinas only need love... Unfortunately the romanticism of the Mexican telenovelas makes us think in that stupid way – as if you could pay your bills with love. We, as Latinas, were raised as hard workers. We know we have to buy our own stuff, get our degree, work and buy a house and a car. We do not allow our husbands to pay everything. However, it works well in Latin America, but we are here!
So, these guys find us attractive: Come on, who doesn’t want a pretty woman who does not ask for money and helps you pay at least half of your bills?”
Carolina said her husband insisted she cooks every day, dreaming of “coming into the house, opening the door and feeling the smell of kuru fasulye [beans].” Doesn’t this sound familiar?
Carolina said, “I don’t know even how to make it, but I can make ‘arepas’ for breakfast sometimes…” (Arepa is a flatbread made of made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela.)
Carolina looks at Turkish women and somehow hates them: “Maybe I’m jealous because they don’t do that much. Usually there is someone else doing the cleaning. They cook; that’s right. They usually spend the money of their husbands as they wish…”
“We believe blindly in love, we will work hard. We sometime feel abused but it is not because of a lack of language, it is because of a lack of knowledge and courage, and we don’t have the power to stand up and say NO WAY (because we love them sooo sooo soooo much).”
Suleman from Pakistan wrote, “BTW, Turkish women are filled with grace and beauty. No woman in the world can probably match the grace and warmth of a Turkish woman. Don’t tell this to my wife… I guess it’s the case everywhere you don’t like the things in abundance at home, while foreign things seem exotic.”
My article reminded Jessica T. of her and her Turkish fiancé’s relationship: “I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into by dating him. I was young; I was naive. I was also head over heels for him, incandescently and hopelessly in love with him. Maybe that’s why so many Turkish men date foreign women because they can charm them up much more easily than Turkish women who already know what they are all about.”
Jessica’s Turkish fiancé can’t stop comparing her to Turkish women: “I am American and no matter what I do, I will never be able to cook or clean like the Turkish women do. He is constantly reminding me how Turkish women cater to all their men’s needs, serving them and cleaning up after them. His favorite line to me is ‘Are you a girl?’ after I don’t clean up.”
Jessica thinks “Turkish men, at least my fiancé, are obsessed with their mothers.” Oh, most of them are, Jessica, most of them. I think the problem starts there. But, “He’s stuck with his clumsy, untidy American wife till the end of eternity. And I love my stubborn, jealous, and sometimes frustrating Turkish man. Many days I see the man I hopelessly fell in love with. Turkish men are charming – a thing that American men are seriously lacking.” What Jessica, what? Tell us more…
Danny wrote on Twitter: But do you know that if a Turkish girl is marrying a foreign boy, Turkish men feel offended? Of course Danny, they hate Turkish girls who marry or date foreign men. It is the biggest social offence here…
Ahmet Biler said it was a critique of Turkish women written by a Turkish woman. No, not really... Well, yes, in a way…
I don’t understand Spanish, but Lluís Miquel Hurtado wrote: Reflexión sobre el boom de pasión de turcos por refugiadas sirias. Y ahora bíen...¿Y el boom de latinas por turcos?
Karateci Kerata from Twitter thought I was menopausal and that was the reason for my “bad” mood. KlasikFotolar agreed that I was surely menopausal and believed that not even one Turkish man has ever looked at me. She or he laughed, “Puhahah…” Oh, guys, I am post-menopausal. Can’t a girl here write her genuine thoughts and feelings without being blamed by her hormones or her relationship status? My hormones and my Turkish men are none of your business. Now, get back to your homework.
Dave Wiltse said, “WTF? Ethnic stereotypes and sexism are all utilized by @belginakaltan to somehow advocate for Turkish women. Ali Cem İlhan said they were generalizations verging on the borders of racism.
Roxana T. said it was a desperate scream of a pathetic Turkish journalist. “Yes, we steal your husbands as any civilized Turkish woman does!!” I understand the “stealing your husbands” part; I don’t understand the “as any civilized Turkish woman does” part. Does it mean a Turkish woman has to be “civilized” to steal somebody else’s husband? When you marry a Turkish man, do you think you have stolen him from us? Really?
I have other nice stories; no guarantees, but I will try to continue next week – if nothing else comes up…