Back To Europe Travel Page


Incirlik  Turkey

Photos from several trips in 2001


Interesting facts about turkey


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)




* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


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!




Incirlik aerial7

Landing at Adana Airport in Southeast Turkey.




Incirlik aerial1

The city of Adana, Turkey, with the Tarsus Mountains in the background.

Incirlik Air Base is about 8 miles from the airport.




Incirlik alley2

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.




Incirlik carpet shop

Good prices on Turkish rugs!





Incirlik copper shop3

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.




Incirlik copper shop2

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.




Incirlik shops3

Some of the shops were obviously not too authentic.  Skip this one!





Incirlik shop7   Incirlik shop9

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.





Incirlik alley7

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.





Incirlik bike shop1

This bike shop specializes in repairing and re-selling old bikes.

 No Turkish children I saw in the area had new bikes.




Incirlik bike shop3 family

A bicycle repairman and his two sons.  They were straightening a wheel.




Incirlik men game1

Turkish men enjoying a board game.




Incirlik kitchen

Yumm Yumm, something smells good!  One of the many Turkish restaurants lining the alley.

Fresh produce and meat are a must!




Incirlik restaurant1

Just outside the gate is the Red Onion Restaurant.  Great food!



Incirlik chicken tava

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.




Incirlik camel2

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.




Incirlik camel6

I even got the Turkish flag in the background.




Incirlik body shop2

Just around the corner was this auto body/paint shop.  Hollowood?  I don’t think so.




Incirlik guard

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.





Incirlik dolmus5

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. 





Incirlik Dolmus3

The inside of a Dolmus before becoming packed with 12-15 people.




Incirlik Sabanci Mosque2

I rode the dolmus to Adana, site of the Sabanci Mosque.  This is the second-largest Mosque in the world.




Incirlik Sabanci Mosque10

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.





Incirlik Sabanci Mosque11

This appears to be the place the person leading the worship performs his duties.




Incirlik pistachio vendor1

Across the street from the Mosque was this gentleman selling pistachios, a popular treat in Turkey.




Incirlik pistachio

Yumm Yumm.  I did prefer the baked pistachios to the raw ones.




Incirlik workers

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.




Incirlik airport4

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.




Turkey Lake near Tarsus

Just west of Adana, the Tarsus Mountains are home to many villages and lakes.




Turkey Tarsus Mts area10 plains

The middle section of Turkey is a large, treeless plain.  A close look will reveal a network of dirt trails.




Turkey Lake between Konya and Isparta3

As we approached Istanbul and the Black Sea, there were many beautiful lakes and mountains.




Turkey Europe Asia border

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.


Click here to learn more about Turkey online


Click here to learn more about Adana, Turkey online




Hope You enjoyed



Back To Europe Travel Page