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Somewhere near the Mehaba Palace
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I live on Buyuk Elgi Sokak about two blocks from the Mehehaba Palace. It was a huge apartment, we played soccer in the living room. It was a 4 apartment building and Americans lived in the other apartments but the neighborhood was all Turkish. We used to go sleding down Buyuk Elgi Sokak and must have driven the neighbors wild, late night parties, snowball fights. I spent most of my time hanging around GIs for safety. I remember being so unsafe on the street, getting harrassed by all the men. Anyone else remember that treat?
Deborah Parr
 
Posts: 2 | Location: Cambria, CA | Registered: October 02, 2004Reply With Quote
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Hi Deborah, this is Michael Gifford, class of 1974. We lived in Ankara from 1964 to 1974. We lived in Cankaya, just across Turtle Valley from you. I have been back to Ankara several times since 1998 and I think it was my visit in 2000 that we saw the Merhaba Palace was torn down. I don't know what is there now. I have seen Ron Tickfer many times since going back. He is now the teaching at Balgat. Balgat is mostly a Turkish military base now, but the gym, high school, jr high, football fields and the old milk plant building remain American facilities. Turkey has changed ofcourse, but you can find the old under the new if you look hard enough. I plan to return again in 2005 before our reunion in August. Travel, communication, transportation are all very easy in Turkey. I always feel very safe there. My wife fell in love with the area, the food and the people. She too felt very safe. I think in the late 60's and early 70's it was difficult for American girls. My sister, class of 69', does not have fond memories of Ankara, only that her brothers were in tow wherever she went. There are many Ankaraites in Seattle now. Take care and get your room booked for next year in Dallas.... It will be the ride of a lifetime.

Michael
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: November 09, 2004Reply With Quote
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Deborah,

Yeah, I remember a lot of the girls I knew didn't feel very safe in Ankara in 69/70. I found it pretty easy to have a "date" so to speak because I was a big guy and the girls felt safe with me (little did they know!!). I also remember riding in the Dolmuses - the "shared" cabs that held about 9 passengers - the Turkish men thought it was great fun to "goose" people as they tried to exit the cab - we learned quickly to back out and have a nasty look on our faces. If I remember the phrase was "lutfen, sagda inicek var" - please let me out at the right. I didn't play soccer at that time - but I think our living room would have been pretty decent for a 5-a-side game - it was huge - we didn't have enough furniture to fill it! It was hardwood - one time my mom wanted to strip the floor and rewax it - so a Turkish friend said he would arrange it. Next day two boys showed up and conveyed to my mom that they were there to do the floor. They proceeded to pour gasoline on the floor then skated around on it on wood blocks with steel wool attached! It worked, but it scared the hell out of mom!!

Michael,

I envy you all your trips back to Ankara! I've wanted to get back there but just haven't been able to arrange it. Someday! Speaking of the old milk plant - remember the "filled milk" with the coconut oil? It was definitely an acquired taste! The football fields opened the year I was there. I didn't have Mr. Tickfer, but I remember the name.
 
Posts: 21 | Registered: September 02, 2004Reply With Quote
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