We have recently had a nice interview with Elena Darmenko, Russian psychologist and former expat in Turkey (where she keens to return soon). In the video How to move to Turkey, which we have recorded together, she goes through some important information on how to move there and provides some tips regarding life in Turkey for an expat, not only regarding the law and the rules but also about the mentality.
Elena wanted to talk shortly about women in Turkey because, sometimes, the differences in mentalities between Countries risk to make people don’t fully understand each other, it can create misunderstandings and make people face unpleasant situations.
Lately, we have also spoken about March as Women History Month so, which better moment to share some info about women in Turkey?
It is curious and important to say that Turkey gave full political rights to women, including the right to elect and be elected locally in 1930, it means before than other European Countries as Greece, Italy and France. So according to the law women got all the rights.
Even if on paper women have all the rights, in real life is still a bit hard to be independent in some areas and they are often victim of violence. Overall in the Turkish Kurdistan and in general, women in Turkey face discriminations in education and work. Unfortunately, there is still the problem of the child marriage even if in 2005 some adjustments to the law have been done.
But, of course, this is not everywhere and there are areas where women live without any issues; what is important is to make sure to act according to the mentality. One of the precious tip Elena gave during the interview is: when a man invites you for a coffee go together with one of your girl-friend, it will help you to drive the right message to the guy. Try always to stay in places full of people for the same reason.
Women support each other a lot in this Country and it is basically in their bonds because of their history and present, so imagine how strong must be there the expat women community?! On Facebook there are more groups of Expat women, for example “A world of opportunities” and “Foreign Women in Instanbul”
Talking about work there is still a lot to do, even if foreigners are much appreciated in Turkey as they bring money and investments that can really help the local economy. Connected to the Employment rates for women and men (we have talked about it recently too), I have made some researches and I ended up understanding that the employment rate in Turkey for women of the age between 17 and 64 is 32,2% (data from 2017). Almost 25% of women have been forced to quit their job by their husbands, and the rate of women not covered by social security is 84% in the East and 87% in the Southeast.
To conclude, I would say that expat work experience in Turkey might be very different due to mentality and goal, probably integration in some areas is not that easy. However, Instanbul got a high number of immigrants, according the data more than 1 million people in Turkey is coming from other Countries.
I want to thank Elena for her help and to invite all of you with any experience as expat or as a woman in Turkey to share it with us.