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Ken Grubb

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    Ken Grubb got a reaction from as012a2568 in Stranded in Turkey - Corovid-19   
    Very informative! Thanks for posting that.
  2. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to as012a2568 in Stranded in Turkey - Corovid-19   
    From which animal the Covid-19 came from has yet to be determined, but it is thought to have originated from bats. These infected bats could have passed the virus on to chickens or other animals that were sold at the Wuhan Market.
    Since the virus first emerged at the beginning of the year it has spread to nearly every country in the world. Currently more than 615,000 people are known to be infected and 28,000 deaths have been recorded, including 1,019 in the UK and 108 in Turkey. The total number of cases in Turkey now stands at around 7,400. It is pure speculation as to how bad it could be, no one really knows how big the pandemic could get. The disease has already taken hold in Europe, the United States and South East Asia and it is spreading to Africa and South America.
    Covid-19 is related to SARS, the virus which caused havoc in 2002 and 2003. It died out much more easily than Covid-19 will die out because Covid-19 is not so easy to control but the respiratory problems and risk of pneumonia that comes with it are already proving fatal to those at risk and even in some cases, healthy individuals.
    So, with countries on lock down what can we expect. Many large cities have seen panic buying, hospitals overflowing and a variety of decrees by governments trying to halt the spread of the disease so that the medical profession can cope with the large numbers affected. Whilst many people will only experience mild flu symptoms, around 20% of Covid-19 cases could be severe and the current death rate is estimated to be between 1 and 3.5 percent. The numbers are huge. 
    Here in Turkey the government has announced a series of measures designed to slow the virus. Schools have been closed and lessons are now beamed across the country by television. All sports events and large gatherings have been cancelled. All unnecessary shops, including restaurants, cafes, clubs, bars and shopping malls have been instructed to close until further notice and senior citizens over the age of 65 have been ordered to stay indoors with the threat of fine if they do not comply. The authorities have set up road blocks to check who is travelling and why they are travelling and the Jandarma, rural police units, are deployed to the villages to make sure that places remain closed and that the elderly stay indoors. The damage to industry, tourism and the economy in general is pretty much the same here as it is in Europe.
    Whilst supermarkets and market places, petrol stations and pharmacists remain open, the streets are very quiet and the towns and villages have an eerie atmosphere about them. We ventured out once this week to do some shopping and there was no sign of the panic buying experienced by others, our supermarket was nearly empty at a time when it would normally have been busy. There was no shortage of food either. The Turkish people are doing a great job of "Keep Calm and Carry On" There are many who wear face masks and surgical gloves but other than that there is no shortage of food or fuel.
    Today we here that the government has now ordered the first lock down in 12 locations in the Black Sea provinces of Rize and Trabzon. The curfew will commence tomorrow in some of the towns and villages most affected. Essentially, residents will be banned from leaving their homes except for emergencies and until further notice. All non-essential businesses are to shut down and there will be strict controls in place to make sure that people abide by the rules.
    Part of the problem in this particular region is that a large group of pilgrims were returning from Saudi Arabia to Rize. They entered the country with no health checks  in recent weeks to an area that has a large number of Arab tourists and people from Arab countries who have made their home here and become semi permanent residents.Even the road signs and shops display words in Turkish and Arabic, a clear indication as to the numbers involved. This strict curfew gives us an insight as to the alarming speed with which this virus can spread.
    Moving between cities will also be forbidden as from tomorrow. Parks and recreation centres will be closed to the public and even jogging and fishing are to be banned. The country has shut down all international flights for an indefinite period and even domestic transportation between cities is now subject to permission from local authorities. The land borders of Turkey have all but closed. So far, in Turkey, more than 210,000 private businesses have been shut down. Tourism, an important part of the economy of the nation is now in trouble and the already fragile economy is subject to even more upheaval for an unexpected and unpredictable period of time.
    As our cities and towns go quiet, the pollution clears, and the birds and animals breathe more easily. Is our human existence flawed and in jeopardy as a result of our own foolishness? As satellite images show once foggy cities now free from smog we have to ask ourselves, has it all been worth it? How selfish have we all been? Where do we go from here?
    Perhaps in these difficult times businesses will adapt and find new ways to function. Old jobs might change in their roles and application as we struggle to come to terms with what is happening around us. So what do we do now? We sit tight and follow the advice given by our governments. There will always be people who will bend the rules. There will be many who think that they are invincible and that this virus will not affect them. I had to smile as one village chief in Sivas put out an announcement over the tannoy to his village, he was clearly exasperated with people not listening to the advice given. Lets take a moment to listen to that.
    Wherever you live in the world, now is the time to look after your friends and relative and the wider community. Do not put them at risk. Stay at home and act responsibly and do you bit to make sure that you are looking after yourself too. Corovid-19 is a killer. Lots of people are going to die. As hospitals struggle to cope we must respect the advice given and the efforts of the professional services that are there to protect and care for us. Make sure that you do everything that you can to ensure that it isn't you and yours that are put at risk. Stay safe. 
  3. Like
    Ken Grubb reacted to Rodolfo Gabriel in Coronavirus   
    So that might be the reason I still didnt get an appointment date for my RP. I have applied on the 18th March but still didnt get any date either by SMS or e-mail.
    The current situation with COVID-19 is probably slowing down other administrations other than healthcare ones.
    Thank you for sharing this great information!
  4. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to REDDERS in Coronavirus   
    True 157 have said this to one of my Surgery members ,but they too found the GOC office closed,as i say the last official notification from the GOC was to re open on the 6th April. For those applying in Istanbul the table below shows revised appointment dates.

  5. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Rodolfo Gabriel in Residence Permit Online Application System Errors   
    Are you in Istanbul? What happened during the appointment phase of your online application? Were you able to create one, or did you see any message displayed about it?
    It may be that you'll get an appointment sent to you by SMS or e-mail, depending on your choice of communication. This often happens with applications in Istanbul.
  6. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to Rodolfo Gabriel in Residence Permit Online Application System Errors   
    Thats great info!
    So it means i wont have an appointment written on the document?
    Because currently theres none on it.
  7. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to REDDERS in Residence Permit Online Application System Errors   
    Ever since the online payment system was introduced it's barely worked 10% of the time. So the message is saying your payment cannot be found,so ignore this and before your interview go to your Tax office & pay the 2 fees.
    All GOC offices  are currently closed till the 6th April.
    A text will be sent to you in the coming weeks of your interview date & time pre arranged for you.
  8. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to Rodolfo Gabriel in Residence Permit Online Application System Errors   
    Hey everyone!
    So i did my residence permit application without any problems and i got the final document with all details except an appointment date.
    When i check the process on the official website the following messages comes when i try to get an appointment date or when I try to get details for payment.
    Ödeme yapabilmeniz için bilgilerinizin Gelirler İdaresi Başkanlığına sistem tarafından gönderilmesi gerekmektedir. Bilgileriniz GIB'e gönderilirken bir hata oluştu. Daha sonra gönderim denenecektir. Daha sonra Ödeme sayfasından ödeme yapmayı deneyebilirsiniz.
    Do you guys now anything about this?
  9. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to REDDERS in Bimcell   
    I have had a Bimcell sim for over 5yrs...You go to any Bim shop with your Passport & Residence Permit + one photocopy of each .
  10. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to Meral in Bimcell   
    After 2 years on Bimcell, I'm quite happy with it.  I have noticed its signal is slightly fainter but that doesn't seem to affect the calls at all.  
    Star,  I chose to keep my Turkcell number so didn't need to buy their Simcard. They had to notify Turkcell first, then texted me the date & exact time the transfer would happen --  about 4 days (weekend in between).  You will lose any credit you have with Turkcell, so it's good to choose a time when your credit is low. At the appointed time the Turkcell signal drops out & Bimcell signal kicks in, with one lira of credit, enough for a quick test call.  Then you must go to Bim & buy credit (minimum 15 lira), or a package of your choice, and you're all set!
    Hope it all goes well... Good Luck! 
  11. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to REDDERS in Bimcell   
    Star...go to their website & you can top up from there each 30 days using your bank card.
  12. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to Rodolfo Gabriel in Bimcell   
    Also using BIMCELL for a month and cant complain while using it in Istanbul. Normal coverage and the packages are really good for the price they ask for.
    Basically they are under Turk Telekom so the connections u get are pretty much the same and reasonable. You might have some disrupted signal while in the countryside away from the big cities but that would be almost the same problem for any other phone company.
    Buy a card with a TC card or Residence Permit in the BIM supermarket prepared for that, top up the card, activate the package you want and start using. Every month you just top up again to keep the package activated. You can do this in BIM supermarket or in their online website.
  13. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to REDDERS in Coronavirus   
    All GOC offices are closed until 6th April provisionally.
  14. Like
    Ken Grubb reacted to Meral in Coronavirus   
    Confirmed cases now well over 1800, with 44 deaths.  Yes, it would be interesting to know the locations of these deaths, & even more interesting to know why the authorities are withholding that information. Because those of us over 65 are now forcefully confined to our homes, we can't travel or "avoid" areas of high deaths anyway...
    Yesterday in Ceşme I was reprimanded, first at the Electricity authority for coming in to pay the bill, & then by a traffic policeman who kindly encouraged me to return home a.s.a.p.   Though I was masked & gloved all along I knew I should be at home but really needed to get stuff done, so risked going out.. I imagine the officials tasked with helping us to do these things would be flat out with the many requests, but I did see many elderlies out & about, unmasked & not bothered with keeping distances.
    We now have arrangements in place to get all our errands done for us, & banking business done remotely.
    Stay safe everyone..
  15. Thanks
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Fizyo.deniz in Antalya in summer - How to cope with the heat?   
    I don't really find the heat to be all that bad... I mean not debilitating or anything like that. it is a humid heat though, and I tend to run my air conditioner all day! Mornings and evenings would be best for the beach for sure. That's mostly because there's no cover to protect you from the sun unless you go find a shade tree somewhere.
    Konyaaltı Beach is a pebble beach with some great ammenities, shopping and restaurants, park-like landscaping and shade trees. Lara has a kind of soily-sand public beach which also has trees for shade but it doesn't have the posh facilities of Konyaaltı Beach. 
    There are a few Antalya expat groups on Facebook, also I understand Internations has a rather active group in Antalya with lots of get-togethers. Couch Surfers also meets once per week, you could check that website for more info.  I'll be attending the Internations meet-ups when I get back to Antalya later this month, perhaps we'll meet at one of them. I also live in Muratpaşa.
    I really don't think anybody in Antalya is going to care about the tattoos. I can't imagine you getting that kind of a reaction, so I really wouldn't worry about it. There are quite a few tattoo parlors in Antalya, and it wouldn't surprise me that any comments you get were complimentary or just out of curiosity because your tattoo is interesting. In the night spots it would be considered more "cool" than anything else. So don't worry about it.
  16. Thanks
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Fizyo.deniz in Antalya in summer - How to cope with the heat?   
    I've never seen the white tarps in Antalya. They do it with umbrellas, though, in the dönerci çarşısı (kebab market). But that's mostly for decoration.
    In the old city in Muratpaşa, the streets are more like alleys, and its easy to find shade. It's not really that hot there. There are also some excellent seaside restaurants along the cost where there's plenty of breeze, and usually huge umbrellas or even trees for shade, which makes it quite pleasant.
    The only time the heat has really bothered me is when I had to go out and run a lot of errands, spending a lot of time walking along busy streets, sometimes in the shade and sometimes not. Or if I'm on my rooftop terrace for a long time. Or if a place doesn't have air conditioning and the heat accumulates. If you're going to be in Antalya in a hot month like July and August, of course, you're going to be hot, but while I may feel it and comment on it, I really don't find it so oppressive that I would think of moving somewhere else because of it. In spite of the heat, Antalya might be the best place I've ever lived, with San Diego CA right up there with it. And San Diego has the best weather, year round, in the entire USA.
    Yes. But it's a lot more fun, and faster, to take the antique tram. That runs all along the outskirts of the old town, all the way up to the museum and the entrance to Konyaaltı Beach. When you get to the museum stop, you just walk a little farther to a huge public elevator which will take you down the cliff to the beach. It's a very pleasant way to get there. To take a bus you'd have to bypass all of that and come in to Konyaaltı Beach another way because of the traffic patterns, and it wouldn't make sense.
    For more information see:
    On the home page click Nostaljı Tramvayı (Nostalgic Tram). It will have a map showing you the route. It takes the same transportation card the buses do.
    Regarding clothing, my advice would be to wear whatever you want, whatever you would wear anywhere else which has a climate like Antalya. If you're going to go out at night, you might want to wear long pants. But during the day, shorts and sandals are just fine. That said, Turks generally don't wear shorts. As I understand it, a lot of Europeans don't, ether! But that's a cultural thing. If you wanted to blend in as much as possible then I'd say yeah, wear long pants and dress very modestly. But it isn't necessary. Antalya is full of foreigners living there and visiting, and you'll be one of them, and the people of Antalya will be glad to have you there. I think how you dress won't matter to them even one iota. 
  17. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to PeteJF in Coronavirus   
    COVID-19 update for March 21.
    In Turkey there are currently 947 known cases and 21 deaths.
    The Ministry of Interior today announced a curfew for those who are over the age 65 or chronically ill.
    That includes both me and my wife Zuhal as we both have asthma and hypertension.
    It was also stated that starting from midnight, restaurants and dinning places are to be closed to the public and are only allowed to offer home delivery and take away.
  18. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to PeteJF in Coronavirus   
    Turkish government reports on the number of COVID-19 cases and number of deaths but not as far as I can see the location of the cases or deaths. As of Friday 20 March there were 670 identified cases and 9 deaths, with all deaths being pensioners. It is not officially confirmed but our taxi driver yesterday told us that two of the deaths were in Mersin (where I currently live) and were taxi drivers. This makes sense to me as many Turks who have taken retirement continue to work part time as taxi drivers.
    I will be taking a short online course on SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 from The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
  19. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to Dona Timani in Coronavirus   
    So we should assume we have community transmission of COVID-19 at this point? I was hoping the spike in numbers is the result of testing all the quarantined people who came back from performing umra in Saudi.
  20. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to Cukurbagli in Coronavirus   
    I think we would be wise to assume community transmission has been going on for some time and to not relax our personal safety regimes Donna. If we are wrong it will only cause us minor inconvenience but if we are right.....?
    According to the Turkish press 25000 returned from Umrah but only 8000 were being tested. Not all of those tested will be confirmed with CV19 but it would be interesting to know the percentage who are because that could then be applied to the rest of the returners. As to how many there were carrying the virus but not showing any symptoms I suppose it is anyone's guess at the moment. Also, as Pete says, it would be helpful to know the location of the confirmed cases and deaths but I doubt that information will become public.
  21. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to Dona Timani in Coronavirus   
    Yes definitely, I've been operating under this assumption even before the first case was announced and the fact that I work from home has been a blessing. I just wish we had more information available.

    On the other hand, we have our interview for residence renewal next month, and because we applied back in February, our appointment was not postponed. I'm not too happy about the prospect of being around too many people and I can imagine the employees who have to interview dozens of applicants each day are not happy either. 
  22. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to Cukurbagli in Coronavirus   
    Having your RP renewal interview must feel a bit of a daunting excursion to be making, I must say I'd be a bit reticent about it too but good luck with it. I feel for all of the people who have to have meetings like that as well as all the shop staff and others who are still working.
  23. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to Cukurbagli in Stranded in Turkey - Corovid-19   
    Thank you for that, that's a very nice post and we will help if we can. As I am over 65 I am now confined pretty much to my house and garden so helping others online will be a pleasant distraction from my normal day to day activities.
  24. Thanks
    Ken Grubb reacted to as012a2568 in Stranded in Turkey - Corovid-19   
    My heart goes out to all those tourists stranded in Turkey at the moment. They must be feeling very vulnerable. Being stuck in a foreign country, not understanding the language and trying to find suitable accommodation without being ripped off is bound to be difficult. This is where this forum can help people. There are many helpful people on this forum who are living in Turkey in various locations around the country. I am sure that if you are reading this and are stranded or worried sick about what to do then why not post a request here for advice or confirmation on something that you are not sure about. This forum has several Turkish speakers who can put your mind at rest about notifications that you might have received or just general information about procedures in hospitals etc. 
    There is no need to feel alone or in a panic. The expat community in Turkey is quite large and there are plenty of people on hand to offer you advice. Stay stafe!
  25. Like
    Ken Grubb reacted to MEIzmir in Searching for a Furnished Apartment in Karşıyaka or Konak, Requesting Info on Property Agents and Health Care   
    Thanks Ken, we did find a place literally overlooking Kultur Park in Mimar Sinan Mah. It took us quite a while and looked at a lot of places before we found one we liked. Now if coronavirus does not upset our plans, we are scheduled to move on April 01. 
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