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American Young man Meeting Turkish Father! Help?

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I am completely dumbfounded and have no clue what to do. I have read article after article. I will be volunteering at a handicapped school in Istanbul teaching music so that I have a job and so that the father sees that I am worthy. How do I go about conversation? And I love to cook and fairly good at it. Would it be appropriate to cook for them? And anything else you got I would greatly appreciate it. The family is very happy for her wanting to go to America to study abroad, so I dont think they would object to meeting me. Long story short..... help??? lol 

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Hi piscesdiver,


You say you're volunteering at a school, are you getting paid for this? And will they sort out your work permit?


As for the father. I would go in with the full 'yes sir, no sir' attitude and let him dictate the atmosphere. He will be looking at how suitable you are for his daughter so he will probably ask you a lot of questions that might seem odd to you. Don't be too offended or taken aback by this...


Laughing at his awful jokes is always a winner aswell.



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I don't think you should worry too much about it. Simply be polite and respectful. If you make some gaffe, apologize and correct it and don't let it bother you. Turks tend to be very accommodating to foreigners, even clumsy ones.  If he sees you are trying to make an effort, which you will be, everything will fall in to place just fine. If he's like most other Turkish men, I think you will be surprised how well it goes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From my perspective, I'd go the conservative route.


1.  Kiss his hand and put it to your forehead.

2.  Don't show affection to his daughter in a physical way in his presence.

3.  Don't lie down or sit so the soles of your fee show.  These show disrespect.

4.  Some men may think you cooking means that you are weak.  I don't know if that's how he'd be, so you could just throw this piece of "insight" in the trash, lol!

5.  If he's strict Muslim, he may not drink and some don't smoke, so I'd not do that. 

6.  Eat his wife's cooking!  : D

7.  Say "Mashallah" and "Cok guzel" to nice/beautiful things, like his nephew or his new car!  : D

8.  Wear the house shoes they give you, but NOT into the bathroom!


I'm being a little cheeky with these suggestions, but I don't think they're so bad.

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If I may, I'd like to suggest that you speak to her and ask her what her father would expect from you.  After all, she has known them her entire life.


For example, if I bring someone home to meet my parents, I can tell them EXACTLY what to do, what not to do, how to greet them, how to get them to smile and how to make them hate you.  She knows her parents better than any of us do, so just ask her.  Take her advice and then do what you feel is the right thing to do. 


Good luck!

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I remember meeting my fiancés parents for the first time, his eldest sister her husband and children also came to meet me. I spoke as much basic conversation Turkish as I could. Please, thank you, yes, no, etc. My fiancé said a few words to me in English and asked me to say them in Turkish eg Hello, goodbye, good morning, evening, night, the reply to Salam Aleikum etc. This seemed to go down well with his parents. I first tried to do the kiss hand and forehead greeting however they would not let me and insisted on a simple hand shake and nod of the head. His mum did most of the talking and smiled at me a lot. His dad just simply said to my fiancé tell her if she is going to marry you and get divorced 12 months later tell her to get on a plane now and go home and stop contacting you. I then asked my fiancé to say I loved his son very much I was prepared to move to Turkey to live with him and that nobody can predict the future, but that I want to give 100% at our marriage. He seemed to agree with me and the atmosphere seemed more relaxed. We had tea, nuts etc and just had a nice evening. When we came to leave his parents then allowed me to do the kiss hand and forehead goodbye. Now when my fiancé speaks to his parents I am the first person they ask about. They seem to care more for my welfare than his which I find sweet. They are very excited about the fact I am going back in February and are counting down the days already I do believe. In my opinion just be yourself but remember respect for your elders and let your partner help with conversation. Oh and enjoy the hospitality Posted ImagePosted Image  

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  • 7 months later...

well.. my friend to be polite is the real key. elders specially fathers want their son in law to be well mannered; well spoken and also a bit settled lol ;)



When you meet him just greet him with Islamic greetings it will leave a good impression on him. Let him sit first and then you sit this shows the respect. Do not lay down / drink or smoke.. as another friend in previous post suggested.


Try not to talk much about yourself and try to think and speak calculated words. Let him talk to you; let him ask you questions and you answer him back politely. Here in this part of the world elders are give a lot of respect and they have their own ame and dignity which they want to be respected at least by every youngster who is close (relative) to them.



Also try to talk to you girl and see how she explains her father. ask her to be there with you and try to control the situation where ever required she would be more understanding her father's nature and tone. Much more understanding than you yourself are. 


Lets hope for good; be a man and do the right thing ;)


It's 3 AM and I am about to sleep LOL.<this part was not really related to your post :P )


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