The day after reading this I’m still trying to put together coherent thoughts; what about conflicting feelings our boys are inevitably going to have! Do their lives & birth rights make them British Turks or Turkish Brits, and will/could/should that self-defined identification impact their lives in any way? What does it mean to describe yourself as part of a place or group, or as being from somewhere?
Culturally, looking in as spectators on the lives of ‘the other’, both Turks and Brits appear at best odd and worst crazy. For our kids, whose family conversations are a bilingual jingle, and whose bags are always searched at the airport; where do our boys, whose passports are two different shades of red, where do they fit? Given that currently as a family we’re unable to live in the UK (due to not unrelated regulations) and Turkey is our (albeit default) home, do any of the implications of Brexit actually affect us?
The desire to belong is human nature. Belonging brings a sense of security, and a freedom taken for granted and unrecognised when you do. The timing of the referendum, the conversations around Turkey’s place in the EU (or not) and the perceptions of each nationality of the other have all come to a head during Ramadan, when our nights and days are largely reversed, blood sugar levels are fluctuating and it’s almost a year to the day since our short-lived attempted return to the UK that was scuppered first and foremost by my husband’s nationality; in short, I’ve got plenty of reasons and ample time to wonder where this leaves our dual nationality, Turkish speaking children.
What happens when your birth rights give you theoretical belonging in two places;
when those two places are, in many ways, polar opposites of each other;
when neither place completely accepts you as ‘theirs’;
where legal hurdles impact everything to education options and military service obligations shaping numerous aspects of your daily life;
where normal means two completely different things, I can’t help wondering, Babyones, how your personalities, lifestyle choices and opinions will respond to this complex amalgamation of worlds;
when both worlds make perfect sense;
even if that sense only makes sense to you.