One year ago today, leaving Turkey & the army..

This time last year I had just landed in England after packing up two years of my life and removing all traces of myself from my house here in Turkey. That was the worst day of my life so far, without question.

I remember crying from the minute I walked out of my front door, said goodbye to my dog and got in the car, to the moment I went through passport control at the airport, and then again regularly during the flight, especially when taking off and seeing Turkey, Berkay and Boncuk getting further and further away from me through the plane window. Actually thinking about it now still makes me want to burst into tears!

People normally look back and say ‘look how far we’ve come in the past year’, for me I’m still stuck in the same place. I stuck it out in England for 8 months working and decided to give it up to move back here for the summer, it’s nearly October now and I’m facing packing up and leaving my home, dog and Berkay all over again. I’m hoping it will be easier second time around but somehow I think that’s just unrealistic, wishful thinking.

Even though I’m still stuck in the same place and haven’t moved on at all in the past year, I don’t regret coming back here, even if it means another stupid goodbye… if anything, I regret getting on that plane a year ago, I wish I’d just stayed here for another year instead.

Alas, I am in the same situation, in a month or two I’m going to have to get on the plane again and watch as the things I love get further and further away until they’re just little blurry lights on the ground, tiny dots in a big, big world. It’s something I think about every single day. Everyday I’ll be doing something and catch myself thinking ‘maybe it’s the last time’. Maybe it’s the last time I’ll go to that shop, maybe it’s the last time we’ll eat a certain food, maybe it’s the last time we’ll go to a certain place. It feels like a never ending list of ‘lasts’. It’s awful, it’s constantly in my mind that I’ll be leaving here again one day very soon, a constant, dull, nagging in my brain driving me crazy, but I can’t do anything about it.

Berkay has yet to do his national service for the Turkish army. While we were shopping in Fethiye last week, we walked past the military office, while I went to Migros to buy bread, Berkay went in to enlist for the army. It’s something that is so casual here, it’s mindblowing to me! Every Turkish male has to do national service, it’s a part of their culture, I think Berkay is actually quite excited to go, it bothered him quite a lot that his younger brother completed his service a long time before him. It’s a very important milestone for most Turkish men, I suppose it links back to the pride they have in their country and their flag, they are very patriotic. Anyway, he enlisted and will be going away at the beginning of February 2015. He has to go for a year, a whole 12 months, although I believe he is entitled to a few weeks leave. Depending on where he’s based he should know far enough in advance that I will be able to book time off work to go out and visit him, and obviously I’ll be booking a flight out at the end of January to say bye too.

I really do not know how we’ll cope not being able to talk to each other daily, depending on where he is based he may be able to call me often, but we’re used to seeing each other everyday. Even during the months we were apart, we saw each other everyday on Facetime, skype or via good old MSN webcam in the ‘old’ days. We normally send each other hundreds of Facebook messages each day, ‘I’m awake now, just going to have a shower’ – ‘I’m just waiting for the train’ – ‘I’m in work, what you doing?’ etc, every single day, even while in the same country!! It will be so weird going about my day and not writing Facebook messages to him, of course he won’t have any internet access. I’ll probably still write long old messages to him when I need a rant to someone, but it will be like talking to myself, there will be nobody to answer, nobody to share my day with.

Anyway, the current plan is to leave Turkey in November sometime to find a job, earn and save as much money as possible. I wanted to stay longer and go back just before he goes to the army in February, but we’ll be homeless as we won’t be able to afford rent for our home here in Fethiye as Berkay won’t have a job after mid-end October. If he finds work here in Fethiye for the winter he’ll probably stay under the hotel grounds (even though it’s closed) as he did last year, and if he doesn’t, he’ll head to his village and hopefully find work there and be able to save for 2 months so that he can have some money saved before going to the army, for days off or leave. As for our dog Boncuk, I know I have a lot of concerned readers always asking about her, she’ll be staying with Berkay’s family in his village too, unless I can find her a ‘foster’ home with someone I trust here for a year, but that’s not likely. We won’t abandon her, we want her back as soon as Berkay is out, don’t worry!

I hope to earn as much as possible by the time Berkay has completed his year’s service, and if my income meets the visa requirements, great, if not, that’s fine too, I’ll come back here instead. I’m sick of waiting for our lives to begin, once the army is done that will be a huge weight lifted, I feel like we’re constantly waiting at the moment, we can’t move forward with our lives til that’s out of the way, and once it is, I don’t care which country we’re in, as long as there’s no more waiting involved. People say ‘you’re only young, you’ve got you’re whole lives ahead of you’, which may be true, but it also may not, one of us could drop down dead tomorrow, nobody knows, life is a funny old thing, and if all this long distance, army issues and constant goodbyes has taught me anything, it’s to live everyday to the fullest and enjoy every precious moment!

Wow, what a depressing post this is eh? I haven’t written a personal, ‘thoughts and feelings’ post for a long time, normal, happy, touristy, summery photo posts shall resume shortly, I promise.

Thanks for listening/reading. (: ❤

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16 comments

  1. I really like your blog and find your love story so sweet
    Thanks for writing
    Reading you from Colombia 😀

    1. Thank you Vale, and thanks for reading. x

  2. Brought a tear to my eye……………..yes we live for Video chat and 100’s of fb messages..it’s now normal!!! Just hope eventually things improve ..for us both xx

    1. It sucks doesn’t it? 😦 Good to see you here Diane 🙂 thanks for reading x

  3. Maria Slater · · Reply

    Lovely post. How sad for both of you and the dog. What a shame some can’t put you up rent free until he has to do his Military. The dog will be missing you both.

    I always thought if a Turkish man married a foreign woman they did not have to do the enlist..so l must be mistaken. Good luck xx

    1. Yes she will miss us for sure, more so Berkay, she loves him to pieces! I remember watching a few videos where dogs are reunited with their American soliders months or years after seeing them, at least we know she won’t forget him and imagine how happy she’ll be when they’re reunited! I just hope his family look after her well until then. 😦

      Nope, still have to do the 12 month service, if they live abroad they can pay a large fee to do a shorter 28 day period though x

  4. Sometimes we talk about how we shouldn’t have left Turkey after our year there, who knows what might have been different if we had stayed? Don’t let anyone discourage you from following your heart!

    1. Thank you denizb33 x

  5. Gary Lamacraft · · Reply

    Danni what a soul full and honest post,you and Berkay are so strong and will survive no matter what. And it will work out fine and you will be happy together again simply because it is meant to be,anybody can see that.I wish you both the best for the future and keep chin up babes time does have a habit of flying along even if it means parting sooner but I like to think with each passing day you are also a day closer to being together again

    1. This comment almost had me in tears! Thank you so much, I love that way of thinking ‘one day closer to being together again’ although I’m very impatient so it’s not easy! 🙂 Thank you again. x

  6. It is brave and generous of you to share your heart via thoughts and feelings. Anyone can write about the sites in and around Fethiye. We have all at one time or another had to say goodbye to someone we love. You remind me to cherish the times together. The only constant is change.

    1. Aww, thank you. My blog is a mixture of all things, it started out as more of a diary but I’ve got into a habit of posting photos of sites around Fethiye because I know that’s what people prefer to read and see. Sometimes it’s good to go back and just write all my thoughts down though. x

  7. Danni you’re such a brave girl,you will get though this again same as you did before,I know I’ve said this to you before,you have all of us on here to rant to when things seem bad the time will pass quickly if you keep busy then you will be living the turkish dream once again.
    Love to you both as always,
    Morgan x x x

  8. Dear Danny,

    My name is Maureen and I totally understand you. I’m from Belgium and I live in Turkey too. I’ve been with my boyfriend for now more than 6 years and from november 2010 to february 2012, he has been at army in the east of Turkey. Those months have been the hardest of my life. But when he got back and we moved in together fınally it was amazing. We now have a beautıful 7 and a half daughter and we are happy. You will see it will pass quicker than you think and than you will be happier than ever. I didn’t have time to read all your blog yet has I just discovered it but I will.

    By the way, I was scaerd like you to not be able to talk to him much but after a bit, they manage to hide a mobile phone. So no worries for it 😉

    I hope that the distance will make your love grow stronger and that your boyfriend will be send to a nice and quiet area.

    Good luck 😉

    1. Hi Maureen, nice to talk to you! The army really worries me but as you say, I’m hoping it will pass quickly although I know they will be the hardest months ever! Congratulations on your daughter 🙂
      Im hoping he too can smuggle a phone in, haha. thank you x

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