This week Berkay received his army start date – 4th February. That means there’s no more putting it off, in 11 days time he’ll be starting his 12 month national service. He’s been given Izmir as his training base, he’ll stay there for the first 3 ish weeks working in ‘transportation’ and then where he’s going after that we’re not sure.
He’s going to his family’s village on Saturday and will stay there until 4th Feb. Its tradition for friends, family (and pretty much every single person in the village) to visit the men before they go to the army and give them a small amount of money, they also usually have a ceremony in the town centre for all the men going to do their service as they have 3-4 intakes a year. I went to the ceremony when one of Berkay’s brothers went to the army, it was way out of my comfort zone, all the men on the outside of the square, all the men in the middle saying a prayer and going up and shaking the hands of the men about to join the army.. followed by everyone driving around in cars with huge Turkish flags draped over them and beeping their horns as they drive around the streets. Madness, passionate and very patriotic, I suppose it’s an exciting time for them, going to do their national service is a rite of passage for Turkish men, something everyone has to do.
Obviously Berkay going in the army means we needed to find a new home for Boncuk for a year, the plan was for her to go to Berkay’s family in the village, but when his dad couldn’t come and pick them up in his truck due to work, it meant we had no way of transporting Boncuk for the 4-5 hour journey – if only the buses allowed dogs on board! I had a last minute panic about where she’d go but luckily Berkay got permission from our friends (and their landlord) to allow her to stay in their garden. They’re our best friends out there, the ones I’ve mentioned previously with the twin babies, and I’m confident she’ll be looked after well. I just hope their own circumstances don’t change, because whilst I’m sure they’ll grow to love her, they won’t ever be as attached to her as we are!
After one last walk along Calis beach together, Berkay packed up the dog kennel and transported her the 20 minute journey to her new home… seeing her kennel all loaded up made me really sad but Berkay spoke with me on FaceTime afterwards and showed me Boncuk settled in her new home and she seemed happy enough. She had already made friends with the man looking after her as he’d given her a few plates of food and if there’s a sure way to win Boncuk’s heart its through a bowl of food or a game of fetch!
I feel so sorry for Boncuk, she has no idea that she won’t see Berkay for a long time, and she is probably already wondering where I disappeared to, I hope she doesn’t think we’ve abandoned her, if I could have her here in the UK with me I would! She always looks so happy when she’s with Berkay. I also feel really sad for her that she’s going from having free reign of the hotel all winter, to being tied up in the garden.. but she’ll be safe, fed, watered and have shelter and that’s a lot more than a lot of the dogs out there have. At least we know where she is, and I can contact her new ‘foster family’ on Facebook to check how she’s doing and get photo updates.
My boyfriend is also in Izmir doing his service now (short term) – maybe he will meet Berkay! He’s in the Jandarma of Efes now. Izmir seems to be a good place to do your military service – let’s hope that Berkay can stay there. It’s not dangerous, my boyfriend can call me every day and he gets to use his cellphone once in a while.
Maybe! He says all 400 men are sleeping in the same room! I hope he stays there or gets another nice place, when we know where he’ll be I’ll feel better I think! Berkay hasn’t even taken his phone, its in Fethiye with friends. x
I’ve been reading through your blog and I really feel for you. My partner is also Turkish (Kurdish) and he is currently doing his national service in Edirne. He has completed 11 months already and still has atleast 3 months left. He was given about 20 ish days holiday for the year but as we really struggled not seeing each other he took off extra holidays and in return received extra days in his camp. Not worth it now but we needed it back then. I didn’t ever think I would see the light at the end of the tunnel. But im drawing closer and very pleased it will be out the way with shortly. I hope this happens for you. I know you don’t know me, but I find its always nice to talk to someone whos going through similar situations so if you ever find yourself needing to chat, please feel free to contact me. I am also in the midst of starting up a blog so I will send you a link once im up and running. All the best. Rose x
Oh blimey, thats a lot of months he’s done! A lot of extra days 😦 Thanks, it’s lovely to talk to other people who have been through it. I’d be very interested in reading your blog 🙂 x
Awwww made me cry thinking about boncuck missing you both,I’m sure she will be happy with your friends though. Try to keep busy sweetheart and the time will fly by x x x
Poor Boncuk, I miss her! 😦 x
My husband is from Izmir, its an amazing city and he will serve his time comfortably! Inshallah!