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American Man Dating Turkish Woman

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Hello all,I recently started dating a Turkish girl ( I live in the United States and she is here working for the summer). I am extremely interested in her so far, it has only been about a week of us hanging out, but I think she is very interested in me as well. I just want to know some of the customs and best practices for dating a Turkish woman. The best advice I've seen has been to buy then things--gold, etc. I don't know if this is old-school or if this girl is just different, but it doesn't seem like she would want or need to be showered with gifts. I of course pay for the big expenses when we have gone out, but she always offers to pay and I have reluctantly allowed her to pay for desert and things like that.

Another thing is that she is set to go back to Turkey in about 2 months, so I don't have much time. I haven't really thought about long-term, I just know that I like her a lot so far--if we're still dating in 2 months I will figure things out from there.

Thanks for any help!


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Welcome to the forum Thomas. Wow, you are rushing things. Slow down and take your time. If you are very keen on her I suggest you try to find out more about Turkish culture as they are very family orientated which in the long run often causes problems in mixed relationships.

I suggest you take a look here. http://www.turkeycentral.com/topic/3895-what-makes-a-marriage-to-a-turk-work/

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Hey Sunny thanks for the warm welcome! I think you may have misunderstood me, I'm not ready to buy her anything expensive, I had just read that this was customary to do for turkish women--probably more so when marriage is in question.

I think that is good advice to learn about their culture just in general. I am seeing her again tonight, so I guess I will keep doing what I'm doing as it has gottene me this far.

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As far as rushing things goes, I was living in Santa Barbara, just finished at UCSB, and met a Turkish girl at a party in my back yard. We hit it off and were married 4 months later (no, it was not a shotgun wedding). That was almost 11 years ago, now we have a beautiful daughter and are living here in Istanbul and I have no regrets whatsoever. I'm not offering advice, just sharing my story; I don't think I would ever advise anyone to marry after only 4 months, but in our case we just "knew".

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Hi and welcome to our forum. It's hard to know how to reply as we mostly deal with foreign females asking for advise. If she want's to pay her way when you go out and it seems that she does'nt need or want to be showered with gifts the answer is to go along with it.

You say you have only been hanging out for a week and she goes back to Turkey in about 2 months as you have more than an interest in her, you might find you may scare her off if you start buying her expensive things. Culture can be complex here and a lot will depend on how she was brought up and what her family are like.

Just take it easy, get to know each other and if you feel strongly about her when she leaves you could buy her something nice to remember you by. It may well be that your relationship might go on or once you get to know each other that the relationship flounders in time as it can do in any relationship when you find out the person isn't exactly right for you.

Good luck and hope you let us know how it pans out. Posted Image

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They do tend to be fast movers when they have made their minds up.

Never bought any gold. Some roses on valentines day. Can't think of any other presents at all. We had no dosh at that time. And it was 21 years ago when we started.

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Welcome to the forum Thomas. As this girl has come to the US by herself to work for the summer, I guess she must have a certain degree of independence, which her family is OK with (?). I would say just play it by ear for now, and as others have said, try to learn about Turkish culture in the meantime ! Best of luck ! :)

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Thanks for the input everyone. I have asked her a little about her family, but do not want to make her too homesick. It seems like she does have a lot of independence, which I think is a really good thing.

We hung out once again last night, and we're planning on doing the same tonight. I think I will continue to play it by ear and treat her with respect like I would any other woman. She said (in her broken English that I love) "for the next two months, you are mine." It will be tough when she must leave, but we're both trying to not think about it and just enjoy the time that we do have.

Thanks again for the feedback.

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Welcome to the forum from me too Thomas.

Like the others have said just take it slowly and play it by ear. But even though Im from the UK if any man bought me gold or expensive gifts in the 1st week of being together I would go running!! so you are right not to go that way haha. Enjoy your next 2 months together and Im sure somewhere in those months the 'what next' talk will come up.

Love Sam x

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  • 1 month later...

Hello all--Since I last posted on here a lot has changed with my Turkish girlfriend and I. We have continued our relationship full steam ahead--we are 100% madly in love with each other, I know it's early but we're both looking at each other as a possible life parter, already talking about marriage and children--which is great, except she had to go back to Turkey last week.

We are planning on staying together despite the distance between us. She has one year left in school and I am already saving my money for a trip to Turkey--and I'm even kicking around the idea of moving to the country for a little while. My plan would be to find a job or continue my education in Turkey and eventually move back to the United States (this is where she would like to eventually end up).

I don't know that I'm necessarily looking for advice--but if you all have any, I'm definitely all ears. This is more of an update and proclamation that Turkish women (the one that I know) are simply amazing.

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It's great to hear from you again and glad to hear your romance is going well. We have a few male members who are married to Turkish woman who will I'm sure agree with you last comment.

If you did move over to Turkey which city would you be thinking of living in. I don't know what you do for a living so don't know how easy it would be to get a good job. You will of course need to get a Work Permit which doesn't take long to get and is quite an easy thing to do. But I have to say that the hard part will be finding an employer who will apply for one for you. Maybe you can find an American Company that trades with Turkey and get an in house transfer. The other thing is if you don't speak Turkish that could be against you. Maybe your girlfriend could search out large International companies who you could contact.

I can't comment on you continuing your education in Turkey as I don't really have the knowledge but there are other members who do, and hope they will advise you.

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Thanks for the advice.

A little bit more about me might help the suggestion process: I have a bachelor's degree in English (writing)--so I'm definitely thinking of getting a certificate so I can teach English in Turkey. My girlfriend is attending university in Izmir (ege), her family is from Samsun. I think Izmir is the city in question, I'm not sure what surrounding cities would be close enough for me to work in and commute to.

I have a good enough job right now as a retail sales manager, but I'm not using my degree in any way--and most importantly, I'm not with my girlfriend. I don't really have any reservations about moving to turkey aside from finding gainful employment.

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Welcome back Thomas ! Yes, Ege university is in Izmir, so this is where you'd be wanting to find work (to be close to your girlfriend). As Abi said, it's difficult to get a work permit, and you wouldn't be allowed to do a job that a Turk could do. Teaching English is your best bet, but even that is fraught with problems (as many of the threads on this forum will show).

Does your girlfriend's family know of your plans to marry ? Has she given you any feedback about that ? (Just wondering).

Good luck in all you plan to achieve ! Posted Image

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We have another American Member who goes under the name of Quinn, she has just come over from the States and has starting teaching in Izmir. I'm not sure if she will see your post as she doesn't come on the forum everday since she has started working. maybe you could send her a PM if you need any help.

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I will definitely PM "Quinn" to see if she has advice for me. I think that is what I will end up trying to do (teach english in Izmir).

Meral--her parents are not yet aware of our situation, I know that I must convert to Islam in order for us to marry (no problem for me). She thinks that her parents will be accepting of us, but she wants to wait for a good time to tell them. The only trouble will be with her brother who is very protective of her--but I know most older brothers are this way Turkish or not.

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Thomas, the protection of Turkish girls by their older brothers in Turkey encompasses a lot more than your understanding of the same thing in Western countries. While the family may have afforded their daughter a good deal of independence, when it comes to marriage, traditional values may prevail. Looks like she may be hesitating to broach the subject with them. It would be helpful for you to read up on Turkish culture and customs.

Like Clinky, I am wondering whether she actually told you that you should convert to Islam, or indicated that's what her family would at least expect of you ? I'm hoping things will turn out well for both of you. Posted Image

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Yes, as I stated in my most recent post she has informed me that I must convert to Islam (although new interpretations of the text understand it to be okay for a muslim woman to marry a non-muslim man--but I realize that this is not what I'm dealing with, it's about how her family feels about everything) . She is hesitant to tell her parents, mostly because it is very quickly for us to be this involved--but I know it is difficult for her to keep it to herself as she really wants to tell them, but doesn't feel like it's the right time.

Regardless of what they say, we are planning on staying together. She does not think that she will have to go against them, but it would mean a lot for both of us to have their support.

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I'm wondering if her parents are religious and that is why she has said you must convert to Islam. I lived in Samsun for 6 years until recently and people from there tend to be very traditional and will expect her to marry a Turk and her brothers will be more than protective.

Yes the Qu'ran does state that Islamic women can marry a foreigner if they convert to Islam. The reason behind that is because the man is head of the household it will ensure that any children from the marriage will be brought up as Muslims.

Whilst she wants to marry you and go the US it will be very very hard for her to go against her families wishes. If they don't agree to a marriage they may cut her out of the family and may never want to see or hear from her again. You may think that if you do marry against their wishes that after a few years they will come round as they will be missing their daughter, but it is very rare that that happens and it will hurt her deeply as family is very important to Turks.

Hopefully if you go to Turkey her parents will be willing to meet you. Even if they are against you they won't be hostile towards you as that isn't the Turkish way. You will need to take things slowly and let them get to know you.

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Jacklepet71, no prejudice was intended for sure, however Clinky is right that it is expected that a non Muslim man should convert to Islam to marry a Muslim woman. This is not just in Turkey but throughout the Muslim world.

Muslim men can marry Jewish or Christian women (Women of the Book) but it is not allowed for Muslim women to marry non Muslim men. This is because Islam is passed through the father. There are always exceptions in life and it is possible that some people marry without the man converting but usually it is expected.

Here is the verse that explains this;- And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al Mushrikun (atheists) till they believe (in Allah Alone)” (Al-Baqarah: 221)

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My husband would have liked me to convert to Islam ( he isn't religious ) but although I'm not a religious person I couldn't go against my whole culture just to please him.

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I think it's more of what the girl and/or her family would expect (according to their beliefs & traditions), rather than what Islam demands .... after all, who is going to enforce it ? Thomas, if you're happy to go ahead with converting, there's nothing wrong with that. You will be expected to learn the basics of the religion so you'll know what's involved. We'd all be interested to know how you progress -- good luck ! :)

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