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  1. If you're in or around Adana, might be at Incirlik Air Base which is about 10 or so kilometers east of there. Honestly I found Adana to be a bit bleak compared to other Turkish cities, but there are things to do. Adana is a working, industrial city that doesn't particularly cater to tourists. There's a large lake (Seyhan Gölü) with a road going along the shore where there are a some very pleasant restaurants. Nice place to relax. There are also a few places around the lake where you can drive up and hang out on the "beach," or go for a swim. There's also the M1 mall where you'll find modern conveniences, shopping, and restaurants. There are some good restaurants and night clubs in city center as well. The city has a few top-notch hotels including the Hilton. The Mediterranean Sea is a mere 25 minutes away, Karataş being the closest beach town. It's a rather sleepy fishing village on the shore. Better beaches are to be found west of Adana, by taking the highway to Mersin and driving along the coastal road. You're not far from Cappadocia, which is absolutely worth the visit! Allow three days for that, there are many wonders to see there! Mersin reminded me of a more touristic city. It is definitely worth a visit for its seafood restaurants and the lovely promenade along the shore. Tarsus, where the apostle Paul was born, is very close to Adana, and any tourist coming to Adana probably comes for that! Or perhaps the absolutely huge mosque there built by one of the richest families in Turkey, the Sabancı family. The patriarch of the family is from Adana, and he decided to build a mosque there. It rivals the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and you shouldn't miss it. If you're going to Adana, I've lived there and would be happy to answer your questions.
  2. Are the air force bases in turkey still restricted for US retired military personnel and their family members?
  3. While I was staying in Adana, I went to Incirlik Alley, which is just outside Incirlik Air Base. It's normally a very busy place, with local Turks selling anything that can be sold to military personnel. It also has a lot of bars, discos, and restaurants. The Alley currency is the US Dollar (Turkish Lira is also accepted, of course). It its heyday, the shops, bars, and restaurants were open until 2:00 AM, and were sometimes quite crowded. Unfortunately because of the recent threat condition, Incirlik has been in lock-down for about a year and a half now, so the local merchants' customers have completely disappeared. I wanted to see what the Alley was like these days. Practically everything is closed. Most of the old places were there, like Incirlik Coin, Copper Ali's, Smiley's Disco, Falcon Bar, Moonlight and Royal Restaurants, Great Wall Chinese Restaurant, and Woody Woodpecker Furniture. All closed with their interiors collecting dust. Here are some photos I took of The Alley as it is today. The Entrance. Pop's Leather and Abe's Carpets. I remember Blue Angel Bar, Paris Leather World has appeared since I was there. Spent a lot of time at Cheers myself. Everybody who has ever been to Incirlik knows Copper Ali's! Deja Vu Bar, which appeared a few years after I left Incirlik back in 2006 or so. Deja Vu. I could swear I have seen this before. Falcon Bar. One of my other hangouts. They had fantastic chicken wings. The Chinese restaurant, Great Wall, had a chef from China. The food was excellent. I heard they relocated to Adana. I couldn't find it, my friend said he thought it had closed. If you're in Adana and see it's still open, go there for the best Chinese food around. The Huğlu Shotgun Shop. Military people would often buy fine Turkish shotguns, often engraved with their names on them. The shop also has a partner in Texas which has a federal firearms license, so they can mail the shotgun to them, and have them forward it to the customer. A great shop with a great reputation. And they're still open. And serving tea. If you're interested in buying a shotgun in Turkey, here is their contact info: Çukurova Av ve Spor LTD. ŞTI Yeni Mahalle Atatürk Caddesi No: 39/A Incirlik/Sarıçam/ADANA Tel: +90 322 346 7182 Web: www.curkurovaav.com.tr Here are some shots (no pun intended) of the interior. Not much going on at Incirlik. Now there's a supermarket there for those living in the apartments in the village. Great Wall Chinese Restaurant. All the military guys used to get their unit "challenge coins" made here. They also make fantastic plaques and shadow boxes for retiring military personnel. I am sure they still do that, it's just their walk-in business that has suffered. The door was still open and there was somebody there. I ate many a meal at the Moonlight Restaurant. They were popular for hail and farewell lunches. Rooster! Rooster's patch shop is still open, and Rooster's still there. He remembered me as soon as I walked in. The Turks have an incredible ability to remember someone they've met before, it's uncanny. Rooster's patch shop interior. He can make any kind of patch imaginable. The Royal Restaurant was also a great place to eat. If you needed any kind of furniture made, Woody Woodpecker could do it. You could just show them a page from a catalogue and they could reproduce it at a much lower price. Because of the relatively high weight allowance US military personnel had, they would often have furniture made at Woody Woodpecker and then ship it back to the states when they left. And for carpets? Go to Yellow Star. Well, not now of course.
  4. Hello, I am not really sure how many retired personnel in Adana or how many people are interested with this new topic but this is just an information to those retirees out there. As a retired military personnel we had a base privileges to use commissary and BX, exception of ration items as hard alcohol and gas since October 2013, and as of last week they banned access to the base for all retired personnel including use of the medical facilities, when I asked the question why was this happening they said a few that caught of doing black marketing and new Turkish base commander has changed the policy. Now correct me if I am wrong but if there was a change on policy would be according to SOFA (Status of Force Agreement) between the host countries if there is a black marketing why not just punish those who made the crime rather than punishing whole. As I read some of the posts there was letter of notification for allowing retirees to use commissary and BX.
  5. New Travel Friends One or more men will find a reason to start a conversation, by asking you the time or saying something to you in Turkish. When you reply, they will address you in English. Coincidentally, they will be going your way or offer to show you around. They may even travel with you for a while. At some point they will offer you candy or gum laced with a knockout drug. On a train or bus, it will appear to everyone else that you simply went to sleep. Then at an opportune moment, they will relieve you of your money, credit cards, and anything else you have of value. They may even take your luggage. Let's Go to a Bar I Know In this scenario, a one or more men will approach you and talk about a great bar he wants to take you to, where there are beautiful women. The workers at the bar will also be in on the scam. Some of these bars are called paviyon or gazino (not to be confused with "casino"). Paviyons and Gazinos can range from hole-in-the-wall bars to extravagant night clubs. They have women working there as "hostesses," who chat up the male customers and get them to spend as much money as possible. The price for your drink will probably be at least double what you would normally pay, and drinks bought for the women may be five to eight times more expensive than usual. They are actually legitimate businesses, even with their outrageous prices. What your new friend(s), and the bar owner will be counting on is that you don't know this. After an evening with your friend and whatever women sit at your table, your friend will disappear and the bill will come. It may be 1,000, 2,000, or even 3,000 TL, and they will demand immediate payment. Because you probably won't know exactly where you are, you will be at a complete disadvantage. If you don't have the cash, they will demand your credit card and run the charge on it, and even walk you to the nearest bank machine to take out cash to pay the bill. Your new friend will return later to the bar get his commission. Technically, this isn't illegal. Someone stiffing you with a bar bill doesn't really rise to the level of a crime. If you were to ask the price of the drinks first, and make it clear that you were not buying drinks for your friend or any of the women, the barman will probably just be disgusted, the women will go sit somewhere else, and your friend will storm off to find another victim. That is, unless they spike your drink. Drink Spiking In this case, you will be taken to a bar exactly as in the previous scenario, but at some point either the barman or one of your "friends" will spike your drink with a knockout drug. When aroused, you will be highly open to suggestion. You will then be taken to the office and relieved of your cash and credit cards, then taken to a bank machine, and instructed to withdraw as much money as you can. When you wake up the next day, who knows where, you won't remember anything. Your credit cards will be in your wallet, and you won't know how bad the damage is until you get a credit card bill for hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you do happen to run in to your "friends" again, or return to the bar, they will tell you that you became very drunk, acted horribly, and bought drinks for everyone in the bar over and over again. They will do this to lessen the chance that you will report what happened, and hope you will just forget about it. How to Keep from Being a Victim Never put anything in your mouth which is offered by new acquaintances. Say you're on a diet, don't like candy or gum, or put it somewhere "for later." Throw it away as soon as you have a chance. Make an excuse, say you have friends waiting for you. Or just leave offering no explanation at all. Rather than go to the place they want to take you, insist on going to a mainstream bar or cafe in a public place, of your choosing. If they balk at this idea and keep trying to talk you in to going to their bar, it's a sure sign that they have bad intentions. Get away from them. If You Become a Victim Report it to the police. If you have simply been stiffed with an exorbitant bill, the police may or may not act. But it may also be that the police are fed up with this particular bar and are just waiting for the next case to do something about it. A police report will also help getting your money back from the credit card company. If you have been drugged, the drug typically used is metabolized quickly by the body, but may still be present in your blood the next day. The police may or may not have you give a blood and urine sample. That will all depend on how serious the local police take it. They may just say "you should have been more careful" and do nothing, but if you don't report it, it is certain that they will do nothing. Contact your credit card company and explain what happened. In one case, a man in Adana, who was taken to paviyon, drugged, and had unauthorized charges racked up on his card returned to the bar. He obtained the price of the various drinks, then informed the credit card company that he would have to have bought 400 cognacs (their most expensive drink) or some 3,000 beers in the three hours he was there (using testimony of workers at bar where he was previously and the time of the charge to frame the time). The credit card company disapproved the charges and refunded all of his money. See Also Crime, Safety, and Terrorism in Turkey Forum: If you have questions or comments about this topic, please post them in our forum.
  6. Here is the latest information regarding access to Incirlik Air Base for medical care for US military retirees. The 39th Medical Group offers space-available medical care and pharmacy services to US military retirees and their dependents as always, but only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You will need to arrange an escort from the main gate to the hospital. To do so, call the patient liaison at 0322 316 3373 to arrange a gate pass. The patient liaisons will then submit the paperwork for the gate pass. Because of the recent changes to the base access policy, you must be escorted from the main gate to your appointment, and back to the main gate. Unfortunately you will not be allowed to use anything else on the base such as the BX and commissary. Make sure you are registered with the Tricare representative at the hospital, with a valid address and telephone number so you can be updated on any further changes to the policy. Military retirees can still, of course, access medical care atht eh Acibadem and Medline hospitals and clinics, which are in the TRICARE network. You can also access International SOS at (44)20-8762-8384 (toll free 008008829200) or visit www.tricare-overseas.com for additional information.
  7. Hello all, just discovered this forum and it's awesome! I am likely inbound to Incirlik and I don't have a vehicle, but would like to purchase one when I arrive. What are the options to purchase a car that's a decent size (new baby with lots of baby goods)? I understand that there isn't a lemon lot on Incirlik. What do folks normally do? Also, I heard there isn't a pet boarding facility on incirlik -- what do people with dogs do? We have a small dog who I don't want to have to leave behind for two years! Thanks all! Jim
  8. Hello all, I'm in the Air Force and have received orders to PCS to Incirlik. I have been given a lot of information stating that Turkey is not safe for dependents, especially since they now receive Imminent Danger Pay at that base. I was wondering if Incirlik is safe for dependents and if there was any information/documentation about the safety of the base out there.
  9. Devilhawk

    Incirlik Alley

    The Alley...
  10. Devilhawk

    Incirlik Alley

    Another pic of the Alley...
  11. Devilhawk

    Incirlik Alley

    Pic of the Alley...
  12. My buddy Fuat and my wife in front of his shop. I have known Fuat since 2002, he is a one of a kind guy and a great friend.
  13. Moonlight Cafe in the Alley...
  14. Closet in the car port that I turned into my "man" space/small workroom.
  15. The back of the house...
  16. Decent sized carport...
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