When I began a love affair with Turkey 11 years ago I didn’t expect that it would also lead to me falling for a local man, 17 years my junior, who has been my husband for fi ve years.
My friend Pauline and I came out to Turkey for a holiday in 2000 having both had a tough year.
Her 10- year relationship had ended and I’d lost my eldest brother.
At the time I was 45 and dedicated to my career managing student university accommodation in Manchester.
As for anyone who thinks Sezayi might have pursued me because he was after a visa, he has never even been with me to visit England and since we’ve worked together I’ve earned more money than ever before.
Just like Shirley Valentine, I married young – I was just 18 – and had my children soon after.
It was hugely flattering but I took it with a pinch of salt.
We had a lovely holiday and went back to the same resort for two weeks that October, which is when I met Kazim Bashire.
After we married we set up our company, Ladybird Estates, an estate agency selling property in Turkey. A decade ago I’d have scoffed at the idea of marrying a younger Turkish man and moving here but we have a happy and strong marriage.
We always felt so comfortable with one another and I liked the fact that he is well-educated and had a successful career, just as I did.