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Old 29th September 2004, 16:28   #1 (permalink)
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Travels in Turkey - Part 20

As the weeks passed, we enjoyed picnics to the beach, days spent horse-riding, swimming and when the last of the tourist went home two whole weeks of doing anything we wanted. We could stay in bed until lunch time, go fishing, walking all without having to look at the clock, wash another glass or cook a dinner.

The boys turned nut-brown and blonde white. I had lost a stone and half in weight (always do) and we were all relaxed and happy with our lot. Nevzat was keeping a low profile and Mehmet's mum was meeting her friends and family for coffee and girlie chats.

One night, Biray asked us to pick his mum up on the way back from Fethiye as she had been visiting friends. We arrived at the house and she was still talking. The boys stayed in the car and Mehmet and I removed our shoes and sat drinking çay and nibbling biscuits while we waited.

On arriving back at the hotel, Nevzat was stalking round the car park on the war path. Sensing trouble, I herded the boys and myself off to the apartment, leaving Mehmet and his mum to find out what the problem was.

From the apartment, we could hear shouting but didn't dare intervene. When Mehmet arrived he was angry. It transpired that his mum had been told to be back at ten o'clock and it was now half past! Thinking the old man was pathetic; I asked why he was so angry.

He told me to put the kids to bed and we would talk. Now the boys knowing something was going on played me up. They did eventually get into bed, but only after Mehmet had promised to take them to the beach the next day.

Over a cup of çay Mehmet told me that not only had his father hit his mum, but that she was not allowed out of the house for a week. It is a sad fact that a large number of Turkish men hit their women and it simply did not make me respond in horror. As far as I was concerned it wasn't my business unless he put her in hospital. I wasn't sticking my head in the sand, far from it, but every country has its own customs and ways of life and this is one of the Turkish ones.
Telling Mehmet, not to worry about it we went to bed.

The next morning I was up early and walked round the hotel to see what was going on. Round the back, out of sight Mehmet's mum was pegging out the washing. As I approached her, I could see that she had been crying and put my arms around her. She sobbed for a while then pulling herself together, put her headscarf back over her hair and walked into the house.

For the rest of that week, she only went into the garden or the kitchen. I would see her standing in the doorway when the old man drove out, but she never ventured out. I remember her one day showing me where she hid her money, so that Nevzat never found it.

The days passed and soon it was time to start the packing ready for England. Luckily, we could leave stuff at the hotel so we normally travelled home light. Well that was the theory, but when you have to pack wet Lilo's and rubber rings, not to mention the contents of the car park, because the stones are interesting, or a bottle cap because my friend gave it to me, the weight soon piles up.

Mehmet and I had talked about everything and I was certain that the choices we both made were the right ones. If circumstances had been different, then it would have been a whole new ball game and you wouldn't be reading this story.

Returning to England, life carried on much the same as normal. My ex disappeared off the scene completely for the next three years which made life a lot more relaxed and the boys settled down. Aldwyn started in his second year in big school and Callum his G.C.S.E's. The winter went slowly that year and wasn't helped by the central heating packing up. Money put aside for Turkiye was used to replace the boiler and I phoned Mehmet to tell him that I wouldn't be able to go out in March.

I never saw any warning signs, never noticed that Mehmet wasn't phoning as much as usual, he was still writing letters but I guess in retrospect the writing was on the wall.

I booked a flight for two weeks at the end of May. I think I had realized that it was make or break time and I wasn't looking forward to going.

Mehmet met me at the airport and everything seemed normal. Arriving at the hotel, I noticed an atmosphere but Mehmet's mum and brother were as welcoming as ever. We had our old room in the hotel, which was the biggest and had many happy memories. I hadn't bought much with me as I had left a lot of clothes there the previous year and went off downstairs in the house to find them.

Everything unpacked; I walked round to the bar where Mehmet was working. For some reason he was quiet, wouldn't meet my eye and barely answered my questions. I sat there for an hour and eventually told him I was going for a walk and that when I got back we needed to talk.

Taking a stroll down to the village, I met friends, drank çay and passed the time of day. It was a lot later when I returned to the hotel and night had fallen. A few guests were staying at the hotel, but not enough to mean too much hard work.

I showered and changed and went downstairs to eat dinner. Salih was working in the kitchen and I ate in there, talking to him and the kitchen boy.

I mentioned that Mehmet was quiet and they shrugged their shoulders in unison. Never expect any information from a Turk, because they never divulge anything and back each other up. Knowing I wouldn't get anything out of them, I thought I would get it straight from the horses' mouth.

Finding Mehmet alone at the bar, I asked him what we were doing later. He said that we were going to the disco with his friend Fedai. Not a problem but Fedai was known to persuade Mehmet into changing his mind and I hated the influence he had on my life. Instinctively, I knew that something was up.

Turkish men, like English ones do not like being nagged, asked questions or given the third degree, so out of habit I pushed my feelings to the back of my mind, fixed a smiled and sallied forth.
Drinks were bought and we stood round the edge of the floor watching. Mehmet had hardly said a word to me all day and continued to ignore me. I stood there feeling angry and rejected. Fedai wouldn't speak to me, so I went and sat at the bar alone.

From time to time, I would glance across and see Mehmet dancing with a group of tourists and Fedai with him. When groups of girls entered the disco, Mehmet and Fedai joined in with the welcome committee. I had never seen Mehmet do that in all the years I had known him and it was a complete shock.

I went off to the toilet and when I came out, Mehmet was standing talking to a blonde girl. I asked him if I could have money for a drink and he threw it at me, pushing me into the toilet and hissing that I was a bloody problem and to go home. Pushing him out of the way, I grabbed my jumper and left.

Walking back to the hotel, I couldn't stop crying. I knew that I hadn't done anything wrong in seven years so why was he treating me like this. All the way from Hisaronu to Ovacik, I walked, crying at every step. Reaching the hotel I fled straight to the room, after locking the door. Climbing into bed, I cried myself to sleep.

Sometime during the early hours, Mehmet returned, banged on the door and I told him to f*ck off. He went, but came back with a pass key and let himself in. He was drunk and I moved over to the far side of the bed, so I didn't have to touch him. I didn't want him anywhere near me. Turning my back on him, I began to cry quietly.

Mehmet turned towards me and against my wishes had sex. When he had finished, I pushed him away and got out of bed. There was no where else to sleep, so grabbing a blanket and my pillow I sat huddled in the corner of the room all night long.

When dawn broke, I got dressed and went downstairs. I made a cup of tea and took it back onto the hotel stairs to drink. Mehmet's mum came out and seeing me, she walked up and cuddled me. Something was going on, but no-one was going to tell me what.

I went back to the room and woke Mehmet telling him that he was wanted in the kitchen. He asked me what I was going to do that day and I told him I didn't know. I didn't want to stay at the hotel, didn't want to meet people and talk as if everything was normal, so I walked. I walked down to the beach, up to the foothills of Baba dağ, across the fields into Hisaronu and half way to the Kaya.

As I walked I turned everything over in my mind. I knew without a doubt, that I most definitely had not screwed up, been with another man or stopped loving Mehmet. Therefore Mehmet must have done something and I wasn't sure that I wanted to know what. I knew that whatever it was, I needed to know so that I could tie the ends up neatly, put everything into perspective and move on. I had never considered a life without Mehmet in it somewhere and I had to deal with this scenario.

I don't know how far I walked but it was dark, when I slowly turned in the direction of the hotel. I hadn't eaten all day, but I wasn't hungry. I just wanted to wipe the last twenty four hours out of my head and for Mehmet to say that everything was going to be alright.
When I reached the hotel Mehmet's mum came rushing out to meet me. She looked so sad and miserable, that I felt I had to comfort her. With our arms around each other we walked into the kitchen. Sali and Bariş, looking very concerned but unwilling to intervene.

I asked where Mehmet was and was told he was at the bar working. Knowing I had to face him sooner or later, I sniffed and walked round to talk to him. He was standing behind the bar with a very large girl, who was from Ireland. She was wiping glasses and chatting away to him. Looking up and seeing me, Mehmet stiffened and smiling at the girl, ignored me.

Knowing I was wasting my time, I turned away and went up to the room. An hour or so later, Mehmet appeared in the doorway and said he was going out. I didn't bother to ask where and just nodded. With Mehmet out of the way, I could and sit at the bar and drown my sorrows. Biray was behind the bar and he talked to me. As fond as I am of the guy his philosophy did and still does at times Pee me off. Patting me on the arm, he told me that ‘Life is Life'. He was only trying to be nice, but I needed his kind words like a hole in the head.

I was on my second drink, when Miss overweight, bounced into the bar. Grinning from ear to ear, she informed me that she had just had the best f*ck of her life with Mehmet. Raising his eyes to the heavens, Biray sighed. I went cold and told her that I hoped she had a nice time. Assuring me that she had, she went off to join her mum and dad telling them that Mehmet had taken her to the shops.

When Mehmet slunk in, looking sheepish I told him that either we talked there and then or I would make a scene. He nodded and told me to meet him over the road at a bar.

Knowing that I was going to hear a lot of stuff I didn't want to, I walked slowly over. Sitting at the bar, Mehmet told me that he had just had sex with the awful girl. I told him that the whole of the hotel knew and I hoped that he had enjoyed it.

Knowing why he had done it, didn't make me feel any better. During previous talks over the years, he knew that he had cheated on me once and I had told him that every dog is allowed one bite and he had taken his. If it ever happened again, I would be waving goodbye. What he had done however immoral it appeared was to make sure that I would definitely walk away. He didn't leave me any choice. Telling me that he would always love me, he walked away.

Finishing my drink, I walked across the road and up to my room.
Mehmet returned about two in the morning drunk as a skunk and told me again that he would always love me. He wanted us to spend the last week together but it was definitely finished. He wanted to make love and I willingly let him. Strange as it may seem, despite everything he had done to me I still loved him.

The next day, Mehmet insisted I helped him round the hotel and never left my side. The young lady was completely ignored, much to her annoyance and to outsiders; we looked like a normal happy couple.
I couldn't stop crying. Whatever we were doing and however hard I fought against the tears, they would always come. Mehmet's mum would be in tears, his brother quiet and Mehmet moody.

Without any warning, Mehmet removed all the contents of my medicine bag, telling me I could have them back when I went home. I couldn't believe he thought I would take an overdose and told him that no man, not even him was worth dying for. If he thought I was going to top myself, it would explain the 24 hour surveillance, why I was not allowed out near the road and his constant attention.

How I got through a week and a half of being with Mehmet, knowing that there was not ever going to be a tomorrow, I don't know. I assume my sense of survival and being strong propelled me along.
Throughout the remaining days, we talked at length at decided that a trial separation was needed. It was agreed that I wouldn't go back that year and the whole relationship was to be Inşallah (as Allah wishes or moves). I felt a lot happier about the situation, but I was never given an explanation or reasons for the sudden break up. It didn't make any sense as Mehmet was still telling me he loved me, was obviously making the most of our last days and I was totally confused. People I spoke to, told me that Mehmet loved me, so why this result.

The dreaded day arrived and as I expected, Mehmet refused to take me to the airport. It was with much sadness and regret that I said goodbye to Mehmet's mum and everyone at the hotel. Mehmet and I had said goodbye when we woke earlier.

I was dreading seeing the kids and having to tell them what had happened. As it was, they took it calmly and the only outburst was from AJ who told me he was a piç ( a Turkish word for someone who doesn't know their father!)

The first week back, was spent in total chaos. I didn't feel like doing anything and went to bed depressed, woke up hoping it had all been a bad dream and snapped at everyone.

Sometime into the second week, I woke one morning to the sun shinning and felt better. I realized that lying in bed all day would achieve nothing and started to ease the pieces of my life back in place. Mehmet wrote from time to time or phoned and we slowly began to build some foundations towards a better relationship. As the season came to an end, the letters and phone calls became more frequent. I started to believe that we did have a future together, although I was very wary.

Christmas came and a parcel from Turkiye. There were presents for the boys from Mehmet's mum, cards and for me a beautiful card, covered in hearts and the words I will always love you. I knew then that everything was going to be alright. New Year came and went and Mehmet's birthday was on the 17th of January. I sent him a card and bought him a present to take out in May.

On his birthday I phoned him. A girl answered the phone and I asked to speak to Mehmet. She put the phone down on me and the warning lights and siren switched on in my head. I rang again and Mehmet picked up the phone. I said I just called to wish you a happy birthday. He sounded put out and snarled thank you, goodbye. I was shocked. Opening the cupboard, I found a bottle of Bulls Blood and opened it. I drank the whole bottle in an hour. When the kids came in from school, I told them what had happened. There were no tears just a feeling as if someone had ripped my whole insides out. I went upstairs and emptied my special box of all Mehmet's letters, photographs, presents and knick-knacks. I didn't throw them away, but put them up in the loft out of sight.

It took me ages to get over him. He broke my heart and even a year later I was still mourning. What was worse, was not knowing why. I had good days, bad days and days which just crept away. Life went on much as normal for the boys, but I wouldn't go out and my days were only broken by going to work, cooking, cleaning and doing nothing.
It was over a year later, when I woke up and realized that I was letting Mehmet rule my life. The last eighteen months had been a nightmare, but it was not going to go on any longer. I had an insurance policy which matured and with the money, I booked two weeks in Ovacik at the hotel opposite the Koseoglu.

Not because I wanted Mehmet back, but because I wanted him to see how I had survived without him all that time. I was scared stupid, worried of what may or may not happen and frightened that I would lose my head and give him a mouthful.

As it was, none of these things happened. When we arrived at the hotel, the family expressed their anger at Mehmet and informed me that he had married the girl on the end of the phone. No one liked her and I felt sorry for her. Biray came across to talk to me, having heard on the Turkish grapevine that I was back. He asked me not to go over the road, to see his mother as it would cause problems. I told him that I understood and asked him to ask his mum to come over.
The weather turned bad and high winds and torrential rain, kept us firmly inside the hotel for a week. When we did venture out down to the village, all Mehmet's friends and mine expressed their disgust with him.

I really didn't want to talk about it and tried to detach myself from conversations which bought up the subject. Easier said than done, but the people who meant well would pop up at night in a bar and Biray was one of the worse.

One evening, I let the boys go down to the village to play pool by themselves as long as they were back by 10pm. At 10pm, they came flying into the hotel, telling me to get dressed because a man was waiting for me! Asking them what man, they told me that the restaurant we had been in a few days back, the man in there had been asking them where their dad was. He asked AJ what his name was and told him that his name was Baba (father in Turkish) I said that I couldn't possibly go because I didn't know the man. Shaking their heads in unison, they shooed me across to the room, made me change and pushed me onto a passing dolmus.

I reached the village an hour late and finding no-one waiting there, decided to go and have a drink. Walking into the bar, someone called my name and I stopped to speak with them. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the guy from the restaurant cross the road walking towards me. A big smile lit his face and he said I didn't think you would come.

<center>JENNI</center>

October 1997.
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Old 1st October 2004, 03:22   #2 (permalink)
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Oh wow oh wow oh wow - you can't leave it there - I've heard there's a 21 at least so don't tease - I for one am on the edge of my seat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 1st October 2004, 14:12   #3 (permalink)
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Lindy I posted there was a 21 but I'm not sure if Jen stopped at 20 or 21. You've read them all one after the other haven't you? [:0] I started reading them but I always had to wait for the next one to come along, I nagged the backside off her. Now if we both nag she might get that next one done!!

Gail

I have just checked Lindy and 20 is the last one

Jenni get your a**e into gear lady, there's peeps waiting here
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Old 2nd October 2004, 04:06   #4 (permalink)
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me's 3.................. hurry up Jen!
Been glued to this pc for hours reading your story.
nag nag nag nag............................. and nag some more
Where in Turkey do you live now?
I'm in Calis in a fortnight so I could really give you an earbashing if your nearbye lol
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Old 4th October 2004, 01:24   #5 (permalink)
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Huh you women!
I am in Ovacik anne![8D]Mushtaq and I have decided not to continue with my life epic unless of course you the readers want me too............tell Mushtaq what you want.I am open to discussion.[8D]
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Old 4th October 2004, 01:34   #6 (permalink)
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maybe mushtaq could start a poll....yes or no, i vote yes
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Old 4th October 2004, 02:27   #7 (permalink)
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its certainly a yes from me!
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Old 4th October 2004, 02:45   #8 (permalink)
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and me! Yes yes yes
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Old 4th October 2004, 16:05   #9 (permalink)
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Of course YES. Come on Mushtaq, what are you thinking of, we want more, more, more.

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Old 4th October 2004, 17:25   #10 (permalink)
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and its a yes from yvonne mushtaq

paul
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