A week in Turkey..

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It’s the 18th of April and I’ve not updated my blog at all this month, mainly because of my week-long trip to Turkey last week during Berkay’s army break!

I was a little nervous before going, I can’t really explain why, it was all a bit of mixed emotions. Excited about seeing Berkay and Boncuk, worried about how Boncuk would react and if Berkay would still be the same person or whether army life would have changed him, happy to be visiting, and dreading coming back to England again all in one go! Oh my poor head, I never knew it was capable of that many emotions at once.

Once I got there though, all those emotions vanished and I was beaming from ear to ear, it was like I’d never been away and I was so happy to be there. It really is my home. It was my birthday while I was away, my first ever birthday spent in Turkey and it was brilliant. We also visited Berkay’s village and experienced snow there, yes snow! I had an amazing week, took thousands of photos and made lots of new memories – once I get back in to the swing of things I’ll be posting here more regularly as I have lots of new photos and material to write and share with you all!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a post, but for now, I’ll leave you with one of my favourite photos from last week.

All reunited together, although very briefly.
293 left days and counting!
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Visa time..

It’s been 6 weeks since I last saw Berkay, thankfully time is going by quickly, he’s currently in the process of applying for a visit visa so he can come to England for Christmas. 

He’s actually on the bus for the 5 hour journey from Fethiye to Izmir as we speak. We completed the application and made his appointment at the visa application centre for 9am tomorrow morning, fingers crossed everything goes to plan and he gets it granted with no problems, but we won’t find out for up to 3 weeks/15 working days. 

He’s had two visit visas granted before, and one refused 2 years ago. Despite what most people think, the UK’s borders are not open for all and it is not easy for citizens of non-European countries to come to the UK, even for a 3 week holiday. The whole process is a very long, detailed one and it is very frustrating. I have spoken before on here about how annoying it is to hear Brits complaining about having to pay the £10 visa fee on arrival in Turkey, and moaning about having to wait for 30 minutes in a queue for the visa stamp. If you compare that to the process of a Turkish person visiting the UK, it really is nothing to complain about at all.  The visa fee for non-EU citizens to enter the UK is £80 and even after paying, it is not guaranteed that the visa shall be granted, as we discovered the first time Berkay applied, and was refused. 

The amount of paperwork we have to provide is also ridiculous, not only does Berkay have to show his entire life history, prove his ties to turkey in the form of property, land, employment, family links etc, but me, as his partner also have to prove that I exist, copies of my passport, proof of address, evidence of our relationship, photos… Then there is the issue of having enough money. Berkay has no money saved as wages are rubbish, and so has to have a sponsor. My dad is his sponsor, who also has to show bank statements, work contracts, invoices, tax returns, earnings, passport copies, letters, etc. If British people had to show all of this to travel to Turkey, nobody would ever bother going, can you imagine the amount of people who get into debt to pay off holidays etc, they’d all be refused unless they just so happened to have a friend in Turkey who had money saved in the bank.

The previous times Berkay has travelled to England, I have travelled with him. On arrival at the airport we felt like criminals with all the questions asked and people watching us. I understand that checks have to be made, but the whole visa process is ridiculous and horrible. There is always a risk of people overstaying visas or working illegally, but when you’re genuine and know you are going to stick to the rules, it’s frustrating having to prove yourself and have strangers judging your life and making important decisions just by reading pieces of paper.

Fingers crossed he hands in his huge pile of papers ok tomorrow morning, and that we get the decision back as soon as possible. The wait to open that envelope searching for a refusal letter or a visa stamp in his passport is a horrible one too, glad I’m not there to go through that this time.

Let’s hope we hear ASAP and Berkay can join me in the UK for 3 weeks over Christmas and New Year. Wish us luck please! ❤