Photos from several trips in 2001
Turkey’s highest peak, Mt. Ararat, was supposed to be the resting place of Noah’s Ark after the flood.
Adana, Turkey (where I visited) is on the route Mark Anthony took to Tarsus to meet Cleopatra.
97% of Turkey is in Asia, and 3% is in Europe.
Istanbul was once known as Byzantium and later as Constantinople.
99% of the population is Islam. The Turks do respect your freedom to worship as you please. However, you may not interfere with another person’s choice of beliefs. Sorry, no “spreading the word” here.
The Turkish fishing industry’s #1 catch: Anchovies!!
It is against the law to insult a Turkish citizen, the flag, the currency, and especially the country’s founder, Ataturk. These are punishable by jail! Average sentence: 2-3 years.
The automatic sentence for possession or use of heroine or cocaine: life in prison.
The current exchange rate is $1 US = 660,000 Turkish Lira. A “Million Lira Bill” is worth $1.50. (2001)
(The rate has changed to 900,000 Turkish Lire = $1 US in 2002)
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Turkey covers over 300,000 square miles and is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. It has a dry climate, with hot, sunny summers and cold winters. The population is 61,000,000.
The nomadic forebears of the modern Turks came out of Central Asia in the 11th Century, conquered the Arab and Byzantine Empires, and set themselves up as rulers. It was at this time Islam replaced Christianity as the principle religion of the region.
The modern Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal (later Ataturk) from a portion of the Ottoman Empire, following the empire’s collapse as a result of World War I (1914-1918). Mustafa Ataturk is revered throughout Turkey. It is his teachings and philosophies that guide modern Turkey. At the birth of the country in 1923, less than 10% of the population was literate. Now that rate is 82%. School is mandatory for children for 5 years. Unfortunately, in 1995, only 63% of children were enrolled in secondary school (middle/high school). Ataturk taught the people to be kind, honest, and hard working.
Adana and Incirlik are located in Southeast Turkey near Tarsus (see the red arrow on the map).
Notice the neighboring countries: Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and Iraq. Tough neighborhood!
Landing at Adana Airport in Southeast Turkey.
The city of Adana, Turkey, with the Tarsus Mountains in the background.
Incirlik Air Base is about 8 miles from the airport.
Welcome to “The Alley”. This is the main street outside Incirlik Air Base. It is about a mile long, and is lined with small shops selling everything
from Turkish rugs to t-shirts, leather goods, food, records, antiques, etc. etc. The crescent moon and star on a red background is the Turkish Flag.
Good prices on Turkish rugs!
This store caught my interest, mostly because it was one of the few without someone
standing out front trying to get you to come into their store.
Inside, I found hundreds of old, handmade pots, jars, and vases made out of tin-plated copper.
I bought a copper candy dish and a Turkish yogurt pail, similar to a small milk pail.
Some of the shops were obviously not too authentic. Skip this one!
One common sight in “The Alley” is the large number of children working on the street trying to bring people into the stores,
or actually selling products themselves. The storeowners use the children to prey on visitors’ pity on children.
These children were playing around the railroad tracks that run through the center of “The Alley”.
There are no crossing bars or any warnings of approaching trains.
This bike shop specializes in repairing and re-selling old bikes.
No Turkish children I saw in the area had new bikes.
A bicycle repairman and his two sons. They were straightening a wheel.
Turkish men enjoying a board game.
Yumm Yumm, something smells good! One of the many Turkish restaurants lining the alley.
Fresh produce and meat are a must!
Just outside the gate is the Red Onion Restaurant. Great food!
Chicken Tava, a very popular meal. Very spicy chicken baked in a tomato sauce, and served with
rice, flat bread, and humice (bread topping). The dish is made of oven-baked sand.
A meal like this costs around $3 - $4. With Pepsi.
After lunch, I was walking down the street and met up with this gentleman.
He was kind enough to pull over and let me take a few pictures – for a dollar, of course.
I even got the Turkish flag in the background.
Just around the corner was this auto body/paint shop. Hollowood? I don’t think so.
This is as close as cameras are allowed to the base. Incirlik is still a Turkish Base, and we are guests. We follow their rules, which are very strict.
It’s a little uncomfortable walking on and off base the first few times. You must present your ID and your base pass to guards carrying machine guns.
More guards like this watch from above. They take their jobs very seriously.
The dolmus is a 12-passenger mini-bus common around Turkey. There are hundreds of these running around, and on no schedule.
You just stand by the road for a couple minutes, and one is sure to come by. It costs 250,000 Turkish Lira (about 40cents) to ride.
You get in and pass your money to the front, and the driver passes your change back.
The inside of a Dolmus before becoming packed with 12-15 people.
I rode the dolmus to Adana, site of the Sabanci Mosque. This is the second-largest Mosque in the world.
The inside of the Mosque is one large open room. Note the huge circular rings suspended from the ceiling.
There have been as many as 28,000 worshippers in this building at once. I would not want to be
in the middle of that crowd and have to go to the bathroom. There are none in this
building; you must go outside to the next building.
This appears to be the place the person leading the worship performs his duties.
Across the street from the Mosque was this gentleman selling pistachios, a popular treat in Turkey.
Yumm Yumm. I did prefer the baked pistachios to the raw ones.
As I returned to the base, many of the Turkish workers were lining up to get rides home
in the back of several trucks. Most probably do not own cars.
Leaving the next day from Adana Airport. In addition to high-tech security (x-ray luggage and metal detectors),
the airport also relies on low-tech methods. After checking your luggage in at the counter and getting your ticket, you must stop at the luggage cart on your walk out to the airplane to place your luggage back on the truck. This ensures no “extra” luggage makes its way on board. Simple, but effective. Just don’t forget to put your bag on the truck! It will be removed from the parking lot by the guards after the plane has departed.
Just west of Adana, the Tarsus Mountains are home to many villages and lakes.
The middle section of Turkey is a large, treeless plain. A close look will reveal a network of dirt trails.
As we approached Istanbul and the Black Sea, there were many beautiful lakes and mountains.
Here is an interesting picture. Turkey is located in both Europe and Asia. This small water passage
marks the border. In the bottom of the picture is Asia; on the top of the picture is Europe.
You can locate this site on the map just east of Istanbul.