syria (links to original article)
(Hürriyet Newspaper, 8 March 2011)
Ever since Turkey and Syria agreed upon easing visa conditions the
border has become a wedding gate. Without the need for grooms
to pay a bride's family in Syria, 519 couples have wed up to now.
And thousands of 'kuma' (spare wives) have come. Nusaybin Mayor
Ayşe Gökkan stated that 'the open borders have made men more free
but have put more pressure on women. Now women are afraid that if
they anger their husbands he'll get a new woman from Syria.' But
although Mayor Gökkan reacted negatively, men who have no child
or no male child are the ones most interested in bringing a new woman
into their lives.
This increase in marriages has caught the attention of brokers who practice
in Syria's Kamışlı, Haseki and Amudi cities. They're asking 10,000TL for
women in the 20-25 year-old age group, 7,500TL for 25-30 year olds
and 5,000TL for women over thirty. The brokers give half of this fee to
the Syrian brides who then prepare their dowries with the money. According
to the brokers, because Syrian girls consider Turkey to be their homeland,
as well as the Europe of the Middle East, they accept marriage proposals
without worrying about the age and particulars of men in Turkey.
E.A., who brought a 'kuma' from Syria had this to say: 'up until two years
ago I didn't give any thought to getting married again. My kids have grown
up. When a friend went to Syria and got himself a second wife it caught my
attention. I got a second wife though a broker in Nusaybin. It cost me about
10,000TL. We're living together with my first wife. I don't have a problem.'