Fatma Teyze is a local woman from Beypazari. When I first met her, I was immediately struck by her confidence. If you are also under the notion that Turkish women are suppressed, Fatma Teyze is the perfect example to defy that typical stereotype.
She owns a successful café in town. Her face is plastered on the billboard above her shop and she has recently secured the name “Fatma Teyze” as a brand to ensure that no one can piggy back on her hard work and success.
About Fatma Teyze from Beypazari
Her café is nothing fancy. It serves traditional Turkish food like gozleme, baklava and sarma. The whole family works there and when I returned later that day, even her long time husband was dutifully performing the rule of grating a block of cheese.
While I did not get the chance to delve deep inside her lifestyle, to the outside world Fatma Teyze has it all. A loving family consisting of 3 children and 8 grandchildren, a caring husband, a successful business and a warming personality that helps to easily strike up conversations with strangers.
She also has an abundance of natural and enthusiastic energy that I can only muster after drinking copious amounts of Redbull. As I walked to the back of her café, my attention was grabbed by the black and white photo on the wall. It was of her and her husband on their wedding day, many years ago. Fatma Teyza was wearing the traditional bindalli dress of Beypazari.
What struck me more though was the same look of confidence in her eyes. She was just a young girl then but in that photo, I saw the determination that has propelled her to build a life of success.
Could it be that Fatma Teyze is truly blessed in life? As my mother would say, there are some people in our world who could fall in a barrel of shit and still come up smelling of roses. I never saw Fatma Teyze again but the next day, I was touring the living museum of Beypazari and in the bridal suite, on the wall was that black and white photo.
I asked the museum curator about it. The building used to be a house and back in those days, every generation of a family would live together. This was the house where Fatma Teyze lived and adhering to tradition, her and her husband as newly-weds had been given the best room in the house.
Whether or not, Fatma Teyze’s achievements in life are because of luck or hard work, she is an inspirational role model for all women and as I write these words, I suddenly realized what she has that I do not.
She has found a balance in life between work, family and play. As a western woman, I have more or less had everything handed to me on a plate, yet I am unable to do the same. This is something I must strive to achieve.