wehican

Early 70's In Izmir

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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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You could probably ask around the Eko pub on a Friday or Saturday evening, somebody there would know where to get in contact. I did a search but didn't find anything but old information on the old Izmir Hash House Harriers.

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On ‎1‎/‎2‎/‎2017 at 2:58 AM, Ken Grubb said:

Was the Eko Pub there when you first arrived? I also lived on Talatpaşa for a while. Have you ever read the book "Scotch and Holy Water?"

God yes....I have that paperback book in my book collection somewhere!

I need to buy a new copy as the one I have is all dog-eared etc.

 

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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.

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Mine too. It's still there, and probably looks much the same.

One new place that opened up is called Stone. After Eko a lot of people go there, they play mostly rock music, and have an area outside where people sit. You might check it out when you're in Izmir and want to go somewhere after Kalyon or Eko. It's only around 300 meters from both of them.

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Eko Pub, Sunset Pub (on the 1st Kordon, to the left of Eko)....they're all still there...they are all still in business. :)

It's funny...my old boss gave me a copy of that book when I first arrived in Izmir.  He simply said: "Read it.". 

It may be old, but 99% of the situations that occur in that book still occurred in 2007-2009 while I was there....even now 10 years later when I go back and visit lol.

True to my word, I actually bought another copy yesterday on Amazon...

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so glad to find this site. I was USAF 77 78 disko hit. turkey is very special to me. I am searching for anybody in the military or civilian that maybe I can remember. one name. Phil overman. or the comanders name. I remember. looking for memories. 

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Well, after reading things on this site for years, I finally got an account...

I lived in Izmir from 1966 to 1967 (8th grade at Izmir High), 1970-1971 (graduated 1971),  with the years in between in Ankara. (You can guess which was my favorite!)

Many, many happy Izmir memories... (what a place)!  Can't think of a better place to be in my high school years...

My Dad worked for a company called Tumpane, it provided support for AF in Turkey. His boss was John Tumpane (author of 'Scotch and Holy Water'), or 'John D' to those who knew him. Boy was he a character. If you've read the book, you've probably already got an idea about that.

I've been back a couple of times to Turkey since then, in '99 and '02. Boy has Izmir (& Istanbul) grown up since the old days.

The last couple of visits, it was funny. My Turkish was pretty rusty, but the locals got all excited hearing me speak Turkish. Though I could remember just a bit, they would grab their friends to listen to me speak; I asked why, they said that I spoke Turkish like a Turk, not a foreigner! (a real compliment to me)

I'm a little saddened to hear about what's going on in Turkey right now. Hope all of my family's Turkish friends are doing OK.

My classmates get together every few years for an Izmir High reunion. Many folks with great memories of that wonderful city!

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Thanks for joining, moc!

I read John Tumpane's book, Scotch and Holy Water. What a great book! I didn't know he started a company after that. There was a Turk at NATO Izmir named Alpan, said he was mentioned in the book but not by name. I never did figure out which character it could have been. He might have just been telling a story himself. He had been working with various American contract companies since the 1950s.

Quite a few of the older Turks regaled me with stories about what it used to be like. Like at the Kordon Hotel. And when there were lots of Americans there. Unfortunately the old days are gone now, but Izmir is still a nice place to be. I also go back there from time to time.

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I spent almost two years in Izmir Turkey in the US Army 1969-1970 working at the Sirinyer Garrison in the Signal Corps. Spent the first few months working at Disko Hit then spent the rest at the garrison. There was a group of us that were almost always together spending time at the beach on most weekends. We have all reconnected recently and are having a reunion in Hilton Head SC in the spring.

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Ken,

The last and only time I had raki was when our Turkish landlord invited us to there home for dinner. That stuff has one heck of a powerful kick lucky the meal consisted of several courses and lasted many hours.

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I agree! That is probably why they keep telling us to drink it with meze (appetizers) and fruit. And also to sip it. I had a tendency to forget that advice...

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Ah, it's always a delight to hear old Izmir stories! From first showing up there in the fall of '66 (8th grade), to graduating high school there in '71 (with a few visits back since then).

When my family first arrived in '66 (from Southern California), we spent a few days in Ankara as my Dad got 'briefed, in-country', by his company (Tumpane). The story of being there, then, is worthy of a short story all by itself.

Long story short, Ankara in November is a dark, gloomy place (at least it was then). After a few days there, all of my family's enthusiasm for being in Turkey had sort of vanished...

We then caught a THY hop to Izmir; everything changed. My Dad's soon-to-be coworker (a retired Turkish army colonel) and his wife met us at the airport with an AF van. They warmly welcomed us to Izmir. Nejat casually mentioned that he had heard we had been stuck in a dump of a hotel in Ankara, said " We're going to put you someplace a little nicer". (Turned out to be the Buyuk Efes overlooking Ataturk Square & the bay... From my very first day there, I think that I've had a very soft spot for that wonderful Turkish city! (It seems that I'm not alone.)

Following up on Ken's earlier comments (above), I can say that I have drank my fair share of raki. Not my favorite, honestly, but sometimes 'there it is' in social situations. (And 'social situations' in Turkey can be some of the best!) One thing that I can say is that I've never actually got a hangover from drinking it, and drinking it in copious quantities is a situation that I am familiar with... <smile>

Years and years ago (maybe 1970), a high school classmate and I were out late, visiting a classmate (and her AF security policeman husband) at their place on the outskirts of town. As we left their place at ~1 am, we walked along the street looking for a taxi back in to town. (Usually plentiful, none that night, everything was deserted.)  As we started hoofing it back into town, we hear a car coming; turned out to be a taxi! (good stuff!). We flagged him down, turned out to be an 'off duty' cabbie, returning from a day at Cesme with his buddy. (Also turned out to be a martial law/curfew night, which all of us had forgotten.) Yes, one or two blocks later, there was a Turkish army checkpoint with a jeep, two serious looking soldiers with sub-machine guns and no sense of humor...  After some preliminary 'roughing up' of the cabbie and his buddy, we explained to them (in Turkish) that it was all our fault (i.e., dumb Americans) that we were all out that night. After some sharp comments, they let us all off.

Well, we were 'gods' to the cabbie and his buddy after that. They took us to an 'after hours' sort of speakeasy in any industrial part of Konak! When those guys explained to the others there what had happened, we were (for that night) like the most VIP folks in Izmir! What a night (and a lot (!) of raki later, we finally ended up home in Alscancak...)

For this, and many, many more adventures, Izmir will always have a soft spot in my heart!

Best to all,

moc

Albuquerque, NM, USA

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While I was there the country was placed on martial law for several weeks. There was a 6:00 pm curfew which didn't fit in with none of our plans for the evenings especially since there was no TV or radio to entertain you. So we moved about carefully avoiding the Turkish Military standing with weapons on many street corners. However one evening we were caught by surprise rounding a corner when we had two machine guns pointed in our faces by a couple of Turkish military. I quickly flashed my NATO ID badge hoping they would buy off on some official business excuse. They didn't speak English and we only had learned a few Turkish words none of which I thought would help in this situation. After much non communication we decided to raise our heads and keep walking like we were suppose to be there. They followed us to our apartment and that was the end of it. I was also there when they were conducting a census it was forbidden to leave your dwelling at all during that day. Imagine if that was tried in the US.

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I didn't get to Izmir until 1997, but heard stories of Izmir's "glory days" including when they had this big hotel on the First Kordon, the Kordon Hotel I think it was called. Also heard quite a few stories about the 1980 coup and the curfew. A lot of the Turks who were there when I first got there were also there during those days. We even had a clock from the Kordon Hotel in our office. It has since been turned over to the Turkish military I believe, who are running it as a regular hotel now.

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