If you are dating a Turkish man, it’s a good idea to find out what his background is – not so you can judge but so you can better understand how his upbringing may effect him and your relationship. It is likely that if your Turkish man comes from a less liberal area such as a small village, or a pious City such as Konya or indeed Eastern Turkey then you may have to get to grips with the ‘Traditional’ way of life.
Kurdish people are distinctly different from Turkish people. However I do feel that from a Foreigners vantage the Kurdish culture can look and often be mistaken for that of Turkish people. Sometimes to the detriment of Turkey (particularly when it comes to human right issues – honor killing is often referred to as a big problem in ‘Turkey’ – when this problem can in the most part be attributed to the Kurdish community)
Kurdish Culture is steeped in Tradition and as is the case with many ancient peoples, is fiercely protected for fear that it will eventually become diluted and lost forever. Kurdish people desperately want to form their own state of ‘Kurdistan’ however they want to do this within Turkey. Kurdish people are a self-styled tribe, and unfortunately their outsider mentality has pushed them to the fringes of society and indeed their host country. The Kurdish people champion the differences between their own culture and that of Turkeys to the extent that they have authored their own alienation. The PKK, continue to stoke the fire by using acts of terrorism, which in the cold light of day is a reckless and fruitless act which will sadly ensure that their people remain isolated.
Naturally I don’t recommended discussing politics with your Turkish Boyfriend, best stick with Pillow Talk if you want to lead an easy life. But it’s always useful to have an understanding of the demographics.
I myself once travelled from a Resort; all brown bare legs and hot pants into the heart of Konya a deeply religious City only to feel utterly stupid when I was told to put some trousers on because the local Imam was supping tea in the living room. Had I had a heads up (Thanks Mustafa) I would have brought a pair of jeans or a pretty Maxi dress with me – instead short-changed on information I had to spend the week in a pair of borrowed ill-fitting jogging bottoms – urgh!
Next time I visit his home town I will work that boho chic look with gorgeous gypsy head scarves (best to cover up your mane in the streets) and make sure I observe the modesty rule without breaking all the fashion rules in one go!
More Info on the PKK here: