Friends ditched me after I married the Turkish man I met on my rebound holiday – they say he's only after a visa | The Sun
A MUM who married a Turkish man she met on her rebound holiday said that her pals ditched her after saying he's only after a visa.
Amy Ugurlu, 34, travelled to the beach resort of Kusadasi in Turkey with a friend in July 2020 to temporarily escape life back home after a break up.
While out in a bar 25-year-old Mahsum Ugurlu caught the mum-of-one's eye and the pair started chatting, but didn't exchange contact details when they parted.
Amy said that after returning from her sun-soaked trip she stumbled across his Facebook page so added him as a friend, and 20 minutes later Mahsum FaceTimed her.
After their initial chat, the pair started dating and Amy managed to return to Turkey twice before covid lockdown rules put the country on the red list and they were separated for eight months.
But the love birds were so determined to be reunited that they flew to Kyiv, Ukraine, in July 2021, before eventually bidding a tearful goodbye and returning to their home countries.
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Mahsum made the move to Scotland in February 2022 and "skipped the engagement part" of their relationship before the pair tied the knot seven months later in September.
Amy, of Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, said: "I didn’t expect to meet the love of my life on holiday.
"I saw Mahsum in passing in one of the bars and said to my friend 'oh, he's quite nice'. I spoke to him and asked where in Turkey he was from and so on, but nothing came of it.
"A guy that worked in the bar was on my Facebook, so I was looking through his profile and came across Mahsum's.
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"I thought I wasn't going to add him but then a few nights later me and my friend had a little drink, and I thought 'what have I got to lose?' so I just added him, and then 20 minutes later he FaceTimed me.
"And from there, it just turned into one big love story."
Not long after returning from her ten-day trip in July 2020, Amy saw an offer for a cheap deal to Turkey and booked it to return in September.
Amy added: "I just felt so relaxed talking to him, he just seemed so genuine. I fell in love with him because he's funny and just so caring, all my family love him as well.
"He wanted me to speak to his parents on the phone. He's Kurdish and they're quite strict over there with their culture and religion, so he was a bit worried that they wouldn't accept me because I wasn't Muslim and already had a child, but they did.
"I love their culture and going over to see his family, it's so different from our life.
"They're a very close-knit family and their house is always busy. I love their way of living and culture but also enjoy my peace and quiet."
Despite having met her "dream man", Amy claims things haven't been all plain sailing as people being judgemental has cost her some friendships.
Amy said: "I'd tell others who may be entering a similar situation that you need to have a lot of patience, because it can be very hard.
"I've lost friendships over it just by people being so judgemental and thinking 'oh, he's a typical Turk' but here we are three years later.
"A friend told me about the judgmental people and that you need to grow a thick skin fast if you want your relationship to work, and not let other people get in your head.
"She's been married to a Turk for 15 years and still gets silly comments from people that aren't educated on how you get a visa.
"People think they just come here and that's it, they've 'got their golden ticket', as someone wrote to me on TikTok."
I've lost friendships over it just by people being so judgemental but here we are three years later. I've grown a thick skin."
Amy added that she had now developed a "thick skin" and said that people need to "educate themselves" on how hard it is to get a visa.
She continued: "At first it used to get to me when people would make silly comments like that and now it goes in one ear and out the other, I've grown that thick skin.
"I think 'please go and educate yourself on how hard it is to get a visa' as they think that once they're in the country that's it.
"But after two-and-a-half years he has to apply for an extension of his visa, then after another two-and-a-half years for indefinite leave to remain.
"If anyone told me that I was going to go back to Turkey, meet someone and marry them within a year, I would have told them 'not a chance', but with him it was just so different."
The couple tied the knot on September 4 2022 in Kusadasi and their big day celebrated both of their distinctive cultures.
The Scottish guests donned kilts, everyone ate Turkish food and they danced to national Turkish dance the Halay and Scottish dance the Loch Lomond.
Mahsum is still getting acquainted with the Scottish accent while Amy is watching Netflix programmes in Turkish to try and learn the language.
Mahsum said: "When Amy came to speak to me for the first time at the bar I felt nervous because she was drinking at the bar for a week and I was a little shy to speak to her.
"Amy went home and I thought that was it, I wouldn’t see her, but about one week or more later she sent me a friend request on Facebook and my heart skipped a beat, I called her right away.
"Meeting for the first time and spending quality time instead of over a video call was amazing. I didn’t want it to end.
"I knew she was the one because the feelings I have for her are different from what I ever felt with anyone else."
He continued: "Celebrating our wedding was like a dream – Kurdish and Scottish people came together as one big family. The men in their kilts were very different for my family to see.
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"I was so happy, both our families travelled long distances to celebrate our special day. My family travelled 24 hours on a bus from Cizre to Kusadasi and my in-laws flew from Scotland and England to Turkiye.
"It was overwhelming how many people travelled so far and we appreciated it so much."
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