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The only shadow cast on the family’s future is the political crisis between Russia and Turkey, which means their tourist company organizing VIP trips around Turkish historical sites, largely dependent on Russian tourists, is now in trouble. “Those Russians who are truly interested in Turkish culture and history will continue visiting,” he said.“And if any Russian women want to find a Turkish husband, they should just come over on vacation—but should take at least two weeks!After 12 years of marriage, their feelings faded away, and the two split up.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.
We have our weekly family gatherings, otherwise I am free and independent.”But, inevitably, not all Russian-Turkish families enjoy harmony.But in Turkey these gestures are considered sweet, and simply a sign of devotion.Of course, it’s the man that does all the running around.And some of the Russian wives in Istanbul go to the other extreme.One wrote in her social media profile, “I am a girl. I want a dress.”A few years ago, Valentina Agis, was on vocation at a Turkish Mediterranean resort in Antalya and stepped into a shop where she met her future husband, a businessman from Istanbul.There is a term for a henpecked man in Russian, “podkabluchnik,” or kept under a woman’s heels.But that’s not necessarily the way women want things.“I was ready to fly away, to begin a new life from scratch,” Alisa said, then added, “For that I needed a man.”Fate smiled on her where she expected it least. Indeed, the Russian face in Turkey is very female.“We are talking about a unique phenomenon here,” Professor Vügar İmanbeyli, with SETA, Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research, told The Daily Beast.She met her Turkish husband Gunay Akseli while on vacation in Istanbul.“She just stepped off the plane and here I was, a professional guide and president of the GIS tourist company,” said Akseli. “She was everything I dreamed of—well, about 99 percent: a Russian beauty, a talented artist, an intelligent woman, who I have been taking care of for a decade.”Before the current conflict with Russia, a reawakened cold war, Turkey received over 4 million Russian tourists a year. “There are up to 300,000 Turkish-Russian married couples. Turkish men traditionally devote themselves to families and Russian women like it, when men take responsibility for decision making,”Russian women often are in charge of their households in their own country, where they husbands can be notoriously feckless, but many women would love to delegate responsibilities to a man.“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.