I advise all my clients with children to think twice about the divorce, to think of children before they break up their marriages, otherwise fathers often keep children and wives are left with nothing.”In nearly every district of Istanbul there are colonies of mixed families celebrating new year together. Whenever we go to see my husband’s parents, they let me rest, sleep as much as I want, they take care of our two children,” said Yulia, a language teacher.
“We are going to have a huge New Year party for about 60 families with animation for children and a fun program for adults,” Yulia Met told The Daily Beast on a recent afternoon. As a result of the current tensions with Russia, Met lost her contract with a group of MBA students who were planning to set up shop in Turkey next year. Met now teaches Russian language to 50 students from Russian-Turkish families, as well as running psychology courses for her students’ parents.
“My mother bossed my father around,” Valentina, a former Muscovite with a good sense of humor, told The Daily Beast.
“I am very happy that Onur is the decision maker in our family.”Valentina seems a picture of elegant contentment, her long legs sharpened by high heels, her eyes behind cool sunglasses and her hair covered with a colorful scarf. Her life revolves around her little daughter’s schooling and her own photo projects, plus parties with friends. She’s angry with Russian President Vladimir Putin for banning Russian tourism to Turkey, but doesn’t think it will affect her marriage.“No matter what happens in politics, our personal story will remain happy,” says Valentina.
“Many Russian mothers in Turkey are upset, they fear a war between Russia and Turkey; so to stay happy, I think we should not watch television.”In the kitchen of a new gated community, Alisa and Gunay were having their usual evening program: Alisa was singing and Gunay enjoyed listening to her beautiful soprano.
“Once she was warming up to perform ‘Rosina Almaviva’ from ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ for us.
And some of the Russian wives in Istanbul go to the other extreme.
That winter of 2004, Alisa Elyan was 32 years old, divorced and psychologically broken to the point that her voice disappeared, which was a personal as well as professional disaster for the opera singer.
“Onur is Europeanized enough to respect my career of a photographer and visage stylist.
We have our weekly family gatherings, otherwise I am free and independent.”But, inevitably, not all Russian-Turkish families enjoy harmony.
Her first husband did not appreciate the arts enough, she thought.
A physicist, he was not ready to go outside his comfort zone.