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Everything posted by Vegasturk

  1. I’ve found most things in Turkey can be negotiated, real estate included. It depends on how bad the seller wants/needs the money. We bought most of our real estate in the 80s/90s; things were different then, inflation was running around 100% a year. I have no idea about taxes, however, commissions/non-government fees could be negotiated. But don’t forget my point about you being a rich American, even if you don’t feel you are. Let me tell you a story: In 1988 we were going to buy a taxi plate and the car for $15,000. The taxi was at the main bus station and the car was a 1976 Ford Tarsus diesel in very good shape. My wife and our friend who was a taxi driver negotiated the deal. Unfortunately my friend brought the seller to my house to close the deal instead of meeting at the bus station; he saw I was an American, wanted $20,000 and wouldn’t back down. He needed the money and wanted dollars, but felt we were cheating him as I was a rich American (I was a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force). So he walked and we never bought a taxi. My friend, don’t be in a hurry, most Turks are not. To get the best price, find a trusted agent (this may take time), have them negotiate a price. Best of luck.
  2. Merhaba, I’ve been reading your posts and questions and would like to give some advice: Do not buy an apartment without seeing it first. Like in the US, the real estate ads only show the best features. The price of apartments you mentioned are (by my experience) in a lower working class neighborhood. This isn’t bad in itself, but the building could be poorly build/maintained due to lack of funds by the owners. I’d rent first, then get to know the area you like. Once you buy you are on the hook for all building expenses shared by all tenants including repairs and improvements agreed upon before you bought. My apartment in Izmir is in a working class neighborhood and I’m very happy there. Remember, look before you leap. The noise issue; I must admit I’ve never had an issue with noise from the neighbors in all 7 apartments I’ve lived in and I’ve never lived on the top floor. The noise you will have is street noise: i.e., cars/trucks/buses honking their horns, scooters without mufflers, street dogs, etc., for me it all became background noise in a couple of months. Blocks of high rise apartments act like canyon walls and the noise echoes back and forth. Don’t expect people to speak and understand English. In tourist areas, it’s not an issue. In most working class neighborhoods it may be hard to find an English speaker. My closest friends don’t speak a word of English. The forms you sign in Turkey will be in Turkish, do not sign unless you have a trusted agent/friend tell you what is in it. Once signed it’s legally binding. Electricity; as Ken said the plugs are European and the voltage is 220. Also the frequency is 50 Hz, we use 60 Hz in the US. A transformer will not change this, only the voltage. Your cell phone/tablet/laptop power supplies should work in Turkey with an adapter, but check the small print on them to ensure they work in 50/60 Hz; if not they will slowly overheat and stop working prematurely. Lastly, you stated you don’t like getting ripped off. Well, to most Turks you are a rich American compared to them. Unless the price is marked on the product, it will tend to be higher for you in my experience. My wife of almost 40 years is Turkish, when we go shopping, she will almost always go back and buy the item without me being there as the price will be lower. Learn to bargain, don’t be in a hurry, drink the tea offered, be friendly and you will do well.
  3. I saw on a U. The Turkish State Department link that short term residence permits for tourist reasons will be stopped. Anyone else see this?
  4. Ahh Izmir, I arrive there 37 years ago today. While I winter in Las Vegas, I spend my summers there and Çesme; I love the area and the people. If you are looking for something away from tourist but close to Izmir may I recommend you take a trip down the highway from Seferihisar to Kusadasi. The road is quite good and there are many places you could buy and still be only an hour away from the shopping and support in Izmir. If you are looking at Çesme, may I recommend Ovacik; it's on the southwest part of the peninsula and is mainly farms and open land. Unfortunately, I don't know the prices for real estate as we stopped looking years ago. Hope this helps.
  5. When the strike began, we all assumed it would be a normal strike situation like in the states. It would be annoying but peaceful; man were we wrong. On base, the tactical dining facility set up to feed over 1500 military on base without kitchen units was vandalized the first night. The TAF commander refused to allow repairs, so we had no way to feed these people. Due to threats made to our people in the alley, it was off limits since the first day. When a man was followed to Adana on the second day of the strike and beaten up in front of his family, Adana was off-limits. People then tried to order food from the alley restaurants and brought on base by taxi; only to have the taxi stopped by forces unknown and ground glass put in their food. So ordering food off base was stopped. The BX, commissary and Shopette were all closed as any facility that wasn't mission essential and had Turkish worker striking there were not allowed to open. So there wasn't anyway to buy food on base. Additionally, air conditioning units and emergency generators all over the base were also being vandalized. This was just by day two of the strike. I have no problem with workers striking, but when they break the law and threaten children with harm and attempt to cut off all attempts to feed our people; this is war. I could go on for pages about the strike, but I would bore most of the readers to this site. The strike ended at after almost three months and they accepted basically the same terms offered the first day. Most of the workers didn't want to strike, as they were stuck outside at their assigned post in the hot/humid Adana summer weather. The more radical members of the union were easy to identify and were fired afterwards for breaking the law.
  6. The Red Onion never completely recovered from the strike of 1998. As the restaurant was right across from the main gate to the base, the union made it their strike headquarters. One of their classier actions was to throw eggs at the DODDs teachers returning for the first day of school. To be fair, it was never proved the union members did this, just like all the other "misfortunes" that happened during this time. Those of us that lived through the strike boycotted the restaurant since and told all newcomers about their role in it.
  7. Yes the Eko pub was there in the early eighties, however, I didn't frequent it until the nineties. Our haunt was the Kaylon pub across the street. As for reading Scotch and Holy Water, we all read it, in fact my daughter has my copy now. In the early 80s, many of the stories in the book I could relate to, even though over 20 years had pasted.
  8. What a small world, from 87 to 90 while assigned to JSSG (later JSG) I lived at Talatpasa Blvd 45/5. The car dealer lot next to the apartment building was turned into a 8 story building in late 1989. I first came to Izmir in 1982 as a 21 year old E-3, over the next 20 years I spend almost 16 years stationed in Turkey, finally retiring as an E-8 in 2002 from Incirlik AB, Adana. Like most old timers I have many stories about Izmir and Turkey and how it has been transformed over the last 35 years. If I won't be boring folks, I'd be happy to talk about the "old" days.
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