Berkay has been in the army for 6 weeks today and although he hasn’t gone quickly, seeing the marbles in my ‘days down’ jar increasing everyday is quite reassuring and a good reminder that time is actually passing!
So far, Berkay’s not been having too bad of a time. We’ve spoken every single day over the phone, and had skype sessions on his day off for the past 3 weekends, although he’s not allowed out this weekend because there’s a chance of trouble due to a Kurdish holiday… I’m so relieved we’ve had contact everyday, even if it is mainly just a 2 minute phonecall. The fact it’s such a limited time we get to speak means it’s hard to say everything I want to, we used to live together, know what each other were doing all the time, and now suddenly we don’t really know anything about each other, living two totally separate, vastly different lives.
Aside from that, it’s been going ok. Berkay tries his best to help me understand army life, he tells me things they’ve been doing, once last week they all played paintball to practice shooting terrorists and his team won. That’s a good sign, right? They also go to the cinema in the base quite a lot to watch army practice videos and to regular lessons. It all seems quite organised.
The main worry for me since even before he joined the army, was where he would be placed – he’s in Izmir at the moment for training, but once that’s finished he’ll be moving someone else… Well, finally last week he called me and sounded very excited – “guess where I’m going after Izmir?” He said…. “not the bad place! Kayseri!”. Kayseri is a big city right in the centre of Turkey, on a map it’s literally the exact centre point. It’s a long way from Fethiye – around 12 hours on the bus, so this gives you an idea of just how big the country is – its takes well over 24 hours of non-stop driving from one side to the other. We were both very relieved when he learnt he’d be sent there – it’s supposed to be a lovely place, and there was a real possibility that he could have been sent to the Syrian border, in fact he said 60% of the 400+ people he’s with in Izmir are being sent there, something we obviously didn’t want, so he is really very lucky.
We’ve also been waiting to find out the date he’ll be transferring bases and can take some leave – he asked for 10 days and it starts on 3rd April, so as soon as he rang me and told me that, I booked my flights out there. I was deliberating whether or not to go, but I think my mind was made up all along – although he’s only been in the army for 6 weeks, I’ve not seen him for 13 weeks and it will be 15 before the time I do, so I think it’s a necessary trip to break up the time a bit. I’m out there for 7 days from 4th April, which means flights were very expensive because it’s Easter, and the school holidays – in fact they were so expensive that I couldn’t even justify paying the extra £50 (rip off..) for baggage, so all I have is 5kg worth of hand luggage to stuff my clothes in – a scary thought! It won’t be a relaxing holiday – we probably won’t stay in a hotel as it’s too expensive and Berkay wants to visit his family in their village for a few days too, and of course lots of walkies and cuddles with Boncuk while we’re in Fethiye! It’s my birthday the day before I fly back so it will be nice to celebrate that there too, I’ve never been in Turkey for my birthday!
At least I have something to look forward to, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that Berkay’s leave dates don’t change at all. For now, I’ll keep counting down the days, sticking those marbles in a jar and keeping busy – I have a job interview tomorrow so keep your fingers crossed for me please!
15 days to go 😉