This is a translation from the Turkish of Hurriyet newspaper coverage of Delbert Thomas return visit to Turkey

THE RETURN OF THE WILD PILOT AFTER 44 YEARS
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     Lieutenant Thomas came back to *Turkiye after many years with a *Hurriyet article in his hands. 
This wild American pilot from 44 years ago has aged into a sweet old tourist, who records everything he sees with his video camera, who makes jokes and laughs all the time. 
     After all those years the factor that has brought him back to Turkiye was the life he lived and the memories he had of Turkiye. 
     Ollie Cook is an American flight engineer that worked in *Ankara (1955) wrote memories in an Internet page named" American Military is in Turkiye".  It also was talking about his close friend Delbert Thomas and his merry life.  However, Ollie Cook's memories were published in Hurriyet even before Delbert Thomas read them. The name of this 3-day series of article, which was published in January 1998, was "The memories of Yankee's in Turkiye."  Wild Pilot Thomas "was taking a huge space" in Ollie Cook's memories on the Internet.  "He was the most interesting member of the group. He was a pilot that had been trained to fly jet aircraft but he had to be content with an L-20 (a small cargo plane) after the war of Korea. In order to relieve stress Lieutenant Delbert Thomas sometimes would use the plane as if it was a jet aircraft. 
     One day, he dived over the headquarters near *Ataturk Boulevard. He was flying so low that everybody came out of the American Military Headquarters in fear.  A Plexiglas panel on top of the cockpit was pulled off. Those days Thomas was going out with an American Colonelís daughter and the reason he did this was that he wanted to show off to her since he knew she was lived near the headquarters. He succeeded on his mission and he was able to get her to come out of where she could see him. 
     However, one of the anxious viewers was the General and he was furious. He sent the piece that had fallen off the aircraft to Thomas with an invitation for him to come to his office. Thomas went to general's office.  The General scolded him badly. After returning to *Esenboga Thomas replaced the Plexiglas panel and continued working as if nothing had happened...According to Cook: "Thomas was the best actor at the night parties. He spent many days with little sleep. Once, because he did not have enough sleep the night before, he gave me the aircraft controls on a flight to a Turkish airbase. It was the first time I was flying a plane in my life but this did not keep Thomas from sleeping like a baby..." 
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COMING FROM A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT
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     The series of memories called "The American Soldier is in Turkiye," which you have read some of its lines, was recognized by the Hurriyet writers and had been put on the Internet pages. Delbert Thomas had noticed what's going on later when he was looking for information on Turkiye. He saw both the Cook's writings and the articles in Hurriyet on the internet. That was at the time his interest to go back to Turkiye had peaked.  Two days ago my phone rang. It was a tourist guide; Burcu Gunden. "I have an American tourist who has your writings and wants to meet you." 
Turkiye: country and land of Turks. 
Hurriyet: A Turkish newspaper. 
Ankara: 
The capital city of Turkiye. 
Ataturk: The founder of Turkiye. 
Esenboga: A city and airport in Turkiye
     I asked the name of the tourist with a great excitement; Delbert Thomas!  Thomas was the wild pilot that had shocked me two years ago. The person that I have known in a virtual environment was becoming real to meet me!  Thomas and his wife were on a Turkiye tour. After visiting Istanbul, western turkiye, and Cappadocia, they have come to Ankara and he wanted help from the guide Burcu Gunden: "I want to let him know that I am here. I think it would be nice for me to say Hi to the person who wrote those articles after so many years." Of course, it would be nice. We decided to meet at *Anitkabir. It was not very hard to find the American group at Anitkabir; Thomas was a funny man as I knew him from the virtual world.  Apart from the group, he was recording the beauties of Ankara. At the same time, he was murmuring and making jokes about the images.  He shook my hand with a smile on this face. He showed me the article he took out of his pocket. It did not take long for him to make his first joke; "Before I go to my own tomb, I came back to see Ataturk's tomb one more time." 
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LOVE WITH COLONEL'S DAUGHTER
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     His wife Janet was far away those days. First, we talked about the day that he shook the windows with his plane. However, I figured the real reason was that the girl was not showing enough attention to him those days. The girl, who usually came out and waved at him, was inside. He says, "I decided to try it this way" and dives over the building where she lived..  "Finally his girlfriend waved at him. Her mom convinced her by saying: 'I will kill you if you do not wave at him. If you don't, this man will kill us all."  Thomas did not specify the real reason for the colonel's daughters offensiveness, but it is obvious that he did something naughty. He changed the subject to talk about beautiful girls. He talked about the sweetness of a girl called Husniye. But, unfortunately, while we are talking about them, his wife came along so he had to end the conversation about the ladies.  They have been married for 36 years and Thomas could not talk about the ladies before his marriage in front of his wife.  The weather was dirty and smoggy in Ankara. Thomas pointed to the weather and had a flashback: "I was in Ankara from May 1955 to March 1957. Ankara was little then. It had clean weather, I used to fly through crystal clear air.  Next, he started talking about his memories. "There are so many memories,"  he said. He remembered the non-verbal conversations he had with the Turkish officers in *Kayseri, *Merzifon, and the other bases that he visited quite often. "We used to drink coffee or tea all the time with the Turkish officers. Since I didn't know Turkish and they didn't know English, we had to chat with head shakes, nods, and smiles."  Thomas also saw the opening of Esenboga Airport. The airport was finished, the runway was finished but because of the unfinished communication cabling, The Turkish government wouldn't let flights land at the airfield.  One day, Thomas and other American soldiers were headed to Esenboga: "Two  Turkish soldiers stopped us at Esenboga. They said "You do not have access to enter." We said: "we are 10 people, we outnumber you, we can enter." One of the Turkish soldiers said: "One minute" and left, he came back with 15 soldiers and said: "now we are many, you cannot enter." 
*Anitkabir:  The tomb of Ataturk located in Ankara. 
Kayseri: A city with a Turkish military base. 
Metzifon: A city with a Turkish military' base.
     The same type of thing happened the next day too. On the third day the Turkish military did not stop them so they went to Esenboga and set up their operation.  They finally got away from Etimesgut Airport which is much smaller than Esenboga.
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TURKIYE HAD CHANGED SO MUCH
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     I now asked him this question: "So Thomas, did you ever ask yourself; 'Why am I so far from my country? Why am I in Turkiye so far from home, in those days so many years ago?" His point of view was different: "When I first came here I cried a lot. Everything was so different then. However, I got used to it and I got to know the people.  Some of the greatest memories of my life are from here."  I wanted him to compare recent Turkiye and the old Turkiye. He was surprised by the volume of the traffic. "In the old days cars did not even turn their lights on at night.  There were no tractors on the farms then.  Turkiye has changed a lot and improved the quality of life for its people at the same time.  I am so happy to see Turkiye as a modern country.  Only one thing bothered him in the new Turkiye and that was the air pollution.  We said our good-byes. Thomas kissed his wife on the cheek and they walked towards the museum part of Anitkabir. Later they headed to *Bursa and they went to Istanbul. Istanbul was their last stop before their return  back to the Unites States. 
Bursa: A city in Turkiye. 
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