USASA TUSLOG Det. 4, Sinop, Turkey 1965-'66

Rick Hudson

2003 by Author

I'm sure all of us who served in Turkey have our own favorite stories.

Mine involves a Turk who worked in the AFEX on the Rock. After I was there for a few months I got to know many of the Turks. This guy who worked in the AFEX was always after me to buy American condoms for him. After about the fifth time he asked, I questioned him as to why he wanted American rubbers. His response was: "American rubber ok-ee, (very good) Turkish rubbers ok fena! (not so good)." Well I wasn't happy with that answer so I asked him why he said that. He said "with American rubbers you could use them, wash them out, and use them again for about 5 times. Turkish rubbers were only good for 1 use, then you had to toss them out." Oh well, after all it was a different time (30 years ago), and a different culture. I just hope the quality of Turkish condoms has improved over the years!

I do have some very good memories of my time in Sinop. I loved the job and I'm still amazed that for the most part we were young kids making a very important contribution to our defense effort. Back then smoking was sociably acceptable. We use to light Barfa cigarettes and put them into ashtrays near people that we weren't that fond of.

I don't know if anyone knew Ali Bash. He worked for TOMCO in the Mess Hall. He also had a restaurant in downtown Sinop and we would go into the restaurant kitchen and tell him what we wanted and he would fix it for us.

Then there was Vepi. He was the Fire Chief for our single fire truck fire station on base. His house was on the corner by the soccer field just as you started up the hill. I can remember going to his house and drinking raki for the first time. Still have about half a bottle of that raki left! It should be good now after 30 years so it's a shame I stopped drinking about 10 years ago.

I do have good memories. I can also remember a water shortage in the summer of 1965. We were told we would get an article 15 if we took a shower.

I just remembered, the First Sergeant at the time was Ray Cunningham.

Rick Hudson

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