Torn between tradition and modernity – that’s how 17-year-old Dilek feels. She lives in Izmir with her family – three generations under one roof. At the same time, Dilek wants to have the freedom to make her own decisions in life. She sees herself as an independent modern woman and finds it hard to identify with the traditional role of women in Turkey.
Her engagement to Kırgıl, a 21-year-old car mechanic, took place in 2011. Kırgıl’s family is originally from Turkey, but he was born in Germany and still lives there today. The couple have only ever met once, in order to gain an impression of each other and to consent to the engagement which their families had planned. The engagement was celebrated a week later. Their wedding is scheduled for April 2012.
Although the couple hardly know each other, Dilek insists that she loves her fiancé. In contrast to her otherwise very liberated attitudes, she would like to be courted and wooed in the traditional Turkish manner, with the man signalling his interest in a multitude of ways. This doesn’t always sit easily with Kırgıl, who has grown up with the German “rules of engagement”. Dilek is hoping that their problems will be resolved once she has joined him in Germany, when they are face to face and she has a clearer insight into his behaviour.
But she will also be separated from her family for the first time, whose warmth and affection have been her prop and mainstay until now. Once she’s learned the language, though, no one will hold her back, says Dilek. She’s looking forward to the freedom that Germany has to offer.