Online matchmaking on the rise in Turkey

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As more and more Turks participate in the digital age, more traditional institutions are also moving online, as in the recent proliferation of matchmaking websites over the past few years.

Now boasting millions of active members of all age groups, these sites attract users easier by providing them with more options.

A recent global poll regarding attitudes towards online dating by Globscan Incorporated for the BBC World Service showed that 34 percent of Turks consider the internet "a good place to find a boyfriend/girlfriend," slightly higher than the global average of 30 percent and double China's 17 percent.

Established in 2000, is Turkey's oldest online matchmaking site, boasting a total of 13 million members, 1 million of whom are currently active.

Siberalem Coordinator Ayse Gozde Ekmekci told Xinhua that "as life shifts online, so does the search for relationships."

Ekmekci said that the rise in online matchmaking is a consequence of certain trends. Particularly, as the taboo of meeting people online diminishes, more people are likely to take advantage of such forms.

However, while people have become more ready to share their success stories, there is still a degree of apprehension behind this novel form of finding one's partner.

One self-proclaimed "romantic girl" in her late twenties who asked not to be named said that she has been looking for love on- line for two years, and there is still a stigma attached to finding a partner online.

She admitted that "Many people don't take it seriously when they find partner online. Even I myself will consider a man more trustworthy when I meet him in real life."

While still expecting long-term relationships or even marriage, the girl has her fair share of not-so-successful dates and described most of her suitors as somewhere between "waste of time" and "unreliable."

Most of the men that contacted her just wanted to "hook up," she said, adding that "in my personal experience, I know very few online connections end up with marriage."

However, she said that she will continue to use the sites because they provide a "much larger pool of options" than one can possibly meet in real life.

Of course, there are also men who complain about their slim chances online.

A man in his mid-30s said that many women users of these sites become "arrogant" after being bombarded with so many offers, therefore he sometimes cannot get response from them.

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