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Trabzon, Turkey 1966-1967

Larry Jaffe

© 2003-2011 by Author


We're very fortunate to have Larry Jaffe on board. First, he is an exquisitely talented photographer, and he managed to find local historical sites to photograph that provide a fascinating context for his time in Trabzon. Even if you weren't stationed in "Trab", you'll appreciate the just-right timing Larry had in snapping these pictures which capture, perfectly, everything from his immediate surroundings to a cliff-hanging monastery. Thanks, Larry!

The Trip to Rize, Turkey
(added 2/1/2008)

Larry JaffeMap showing Trabzon and Rize

    During my 18 months in Trabzon I got the chance to visit Rize and the ruins of a Catholic Monastery inland from Rize. The actual road from Rize was an unpaved road like most were during that time. In the winter time you could go only so far and the rest was by foot. We would drive inland as far as we could and hike the rest of the way, it was pretty tough in some places. On the other side of the coin however, because we were Americans, people were usually curious to see us walking by, mostly because in the interior we were the only Americans they had seen.

    Trabzon, and all along the coast, wherever we stopped, people were very friendly and nice. I spoke a little Turkish and that, and a little sign language, was enough to get frequent smiles. We would stop in a town, the guys would sometimes eat box lunches prepared at the mess hall, but I usually dined locally. For a few Lira I could eat like a king, great food - most of which I did not know what I was eating, but it really tasted good.

     One day on one of our excursions, a truck driver in one of those big trucks that always seemed to be overloaded with stuff, came too close and we touched outside mirrors. I stopped in the next town to report the accident, as the other truck just kept on going. In so doing, I made great friends with the local Turkish Army garrison in town. One of the guys spoke a bit of English, and we had a great conversation regarding life in the military, Turkish vs USAF. As you can see by the picture we were all smiling.

     While I did not explore Rize as I did Trabzon, walking through the streets was just fun. The colorful shops and local people were a lot better than looking at seeing the same faces all the time back on base. I do remember one residential area we walked through in Rize on the way to and from the Monastery. The large houses, and the stream that ran in front of them, with small wooden walkways to the entrance doors are to this day a big impression. Coming home late at night in the winter could be a problem if you tripped. I'll bet that water was cold! Some other pictures of this area are in my first posting I did a couple of years ago, below.

     In the warmer months we drove up to the area, which as I recall is a national park now. The lush beautiful countryside, clean air and scenery made these trips really memorable after chasing ditties back at the base. I expecially remember the quietness of the countryside too. The tour of duty in Trabzon was probably one of the best I had in my military career. The two major cities, Istanbul and Ankara to me were just big cities when I visited them, but when I traveled in the interior, the true hospitality of the Turkish people came out. Everywhere I went people were so welcoming that even though I only spoke a little Turkish, I only encountered friendliness. I remember going into one town, seeing the local butcher shop, carcasses hung off trees, and wondered about how they lacked refrigeration among other things. We stopped for lunch and my travel buddies ate the box lunches from the club, but I found a restaurant and for a buck I ate like the aforementioned king. Yes, the meat in the stew was fully cooked, and tasty too. I had no problems later either, actually it was quite good. So much for modern conveniences.

Scenes of Rize, Turkey

(Added February 3, 2008.)

(CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE)

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey



Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 

Riza Turkey

 



Newly-Discovered Trabzon Photos

(Added February 2, 2008. CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE)

Outskirts of Trabzon from Boztepe

This is a view of the outskirts of Trabzon taken from Boztepe looking at the cement factory and the road to the airport

 

Down-on-the-ground view of the cement factory. Trabzon harbor in background.

  A happy lot.

This needs no explanation, but they are a happy lot

 

The Happy Lot again...

  Ship being unloaded

View of ship being unloaded.

Ship being unloaded

View of ship being unloaded.

  Happy Crew at Warehouse

The happy crew at the warehouse.

  Somewhere near the docks.

A scene down by the docks.

  View of Cement Factory


Cement Factory area. If I remember right, Roberto, the professor at the university, had a friend who ran this place.

  View of Cement Factory

Same as at left.

Tumpane Company Workers at mess hall

Tumpane Company local workers at the Chow Hall and NCO Club were some of the nicest guys one would ever meet, and good cooks too!

  Tumpane Company Workers

Same as at left.

  Downtown - guys I traded with.

Downtown, some of the guys I traded with.

  Downtown - guys I traded with

Same as at left.

  Tumpane Company worker

Not sure, but this man may have worked for Tumpane Company.

Downtown Trabzon - square.

Down at Trabzon's square.

  Man I bought ingredients from for dinners at Father T's.

This is one of the guys I use to trade with for ingredients for evening meals at Father Tís

  Trabzon.

Downtown Trabzon

  Downtown Trabzon
Downtown Trabzon
  Trabzon

Trabzon

Trabzon

Trabzon

  Trabzon

Trabzon

  Trabzon

Downtown Trabzon

  Trabzon.

Trabzon

  Trabzon.

Trabzon


Trabzon

  Trabzon.

Trabzon

  Trabzon

Trabzon

  View of Cement Factory

Trabzon

  View of Cement Factory
Trabzon

Trabzon.

Trabzon

  Trabzon.

Trabzon

  Trabzon.

Trabzon

  Trabzon

Road to the base from downtown.

  Trabzon.

On the road leading outside of Trabzon on the way to the Airport

Trabzon.

Downtown Trabzon

  Trabzon.

Downtown Trabzon

  Trabzon.

Downtown Trabzon

  Trabzon

Downtown Trabzon

  Trabzon.

Downtown Trabzon

Trabzon.

A night shot of Trabzon taken from the outskirts in the west.

  Trabzon.

I believe this was a religious site, off to your right as you were heading down to ops from the base. I remember talking to this soldier several times - nice kid.

  Trabzon.

Trabzon, taken from bostepe

  Trabzon

Trabzon, taken from bostepe

  Trabzon.

Trabzon, taken from bostepe

Trabzon.

A view of the roman catholic church taken from above

  Trabzon.

Same area as the church as I recall, some type of Roman era bridge or support at center.

  Trabzon.

THY shots, our daily link to the outside world

  Trabzon

THY plane on runway.

  Trabzon.

View from our base.

Trabzon.

Scene on road to the base from downtown.

  Trabzon.

Another view

  Trabzon.

Road leading up to the base from downtown.

  Trabzon

Another roadside scene

  Trabzon.

Trabzon, taken from Bostepe

Trabzon.

Trabzon from the harbor (taken on one of our R&R boats).

  Trabzon.

Another shot of the outskirts of Trabzon taken from the hill below ops, notice the landmark cement factory, lower left.

  Trabzon.

Taken from the base, I believe the stairwell outside of the main barracks.

  Trabzon

A scene from the road up to the base

  Trabzon.

Another view from the same road.

Trabzon.

Same road, different view.

  Trabzon.

a shot at the harbor from above.

  Trabzon.

Taken from the base.

  Trabzon

the other side of the harbor breakwater, looking at Bostepe, notice the antennas on the top of the hill

  Trabzon.

Following were taken in Father Tís house and balcony

Trabzon.

Ditto.

  Trabzon.

Ditto.

  Trabzon.

Ditto.

  Trabzon

Ditto.

  Trabzon.

Ditto.

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Original Trabzon Photos

(Added 2003-2005)

Looking in from the main access road thru the main gate, we see the barracks, chow hall, NCO club on the right, Motor Pool on left, straight ahead at end is back end of HQ building ,


Ops site antenna field, on the outside looking in, little different than looking out from within 

Remember those guys, Mutt and Jeff?  Famous askeri (soldiers) guarding us, on the way to the station, just outside on the left.  If you think we had it bad or primitive, these guys had it worse.

My famous quarters, notice the Sealy Posture-pedic matress and bedspring set

Mail room entrance, chow hall, and the front of the main Bosteppe Hilton would be on your left if it was in the picture

They used to fly in via THY Airlines if it was flying, a rabbi and his assistant for me, because I was the only Jewish guy on base.

Oh we just love it there

Guys from my flight, I don't remember their names, HQ building on the right, NCO club on the left,and supply was the building in the back I think

 Me before I went on that unpublished mission to a hot steamy land that really sucks

Somewhere on the coast of the black sea between Russia and Trabzon on a modern Turkish highway:)  Yeah, I was the designated driver, everyone else wore civies, I think the deal was they only shoot uniformed personnel, civilians are left alone:)

We weren't supposed to be in Iran, but...  Along the dark side of a winding road up a mountain where the sun does not shine and the snow does not melt, still in Turkey.   I got stuck in the snow and my akidash road crew helped me out of the ditch

From high upon the last floor of the Bosteppe Hilton, looking at the motor pool and behind the long building was "AFARTS", our home away from home broadcast radio station

A good shot of the Bosteppe Hilton and Annex on the right and left

Me outside the famous Trabzon airport main entrance.  You had your choice, THY or C130 airlines.  So much for deregulation

Me on the Black Sea below the Russian border on one of those trips we don't talk about.

Modern communications at its best, ATC at Trabzon airport. Radar was non existent, two soup cans and string was the norm :)

Motor Pool with AFRTS in the background

The base chaplain and Fr. T, Bosteppe Hilton Annex behind the chapel and library building on left, with the main gate and motor pool back of building to the right

This picture needs no explanation, if you don't recognize it you weren't there to remember it in the first place.  And oh yes mom, we have hot and cold running water, ya all come back, here now

Me and a bunch of guys from the base, pressing grapes at the Catholic mission in town. The only place you could meet western women, peace corps types, but they were women at least

A picture of Bosteppe as taken from the Black Sea in a motor boat that special services had for us, sorta R & R, in the harbor

This one is of the kids that always were there begging for candy or cigarettes, "joe chicklet" as they say

Trabzon from the hill #2

Trabzon from the hill #3

The road on the way to the airport

Modern crash truck at the airport

The ditch that I got stuck in, ref. photo #11, notice the snow in the left rear of the bed!

The Turkish road crew that helped me get out of the ditch.

Local "bacal" market in Trabzon I frequented

Getting a dolmush in Rize

Some of the working women in the countryside

Some other working women in the countryside

«ay (tea) house in Trabzon that one of the PKT drivers took me to

Downtown Trabzon

Downtown Trabzon

Downtown Trabzon

Downtown Trabzon and check out the DESOTO pickup:)

Downtown Trabzon

Downtown Trabzon

Downtown Trabzon

Downtown Trabzon

Downtown Trabzon

Downtown Trabzon

Turkish PKT bus drivers for the base shuttle

A modern bakery in downtown Trabzon that I frequented

The entrance to a old Catholic Monastery outside of Rize, in the mountains

A wide view of the Monastery looking up.

Father T's but I don't recognize anyone

Roberto and Gloria at Father T's. They are both from Italy and he was a chemistry professor at the university.

A evening meal at Father T's, peace corps, military folks and civilians from Italy.

Ditto

On the balcony with Father T and I can't remember her name.

A evening conversation after supper.

ditto with two military and she was a peace corps girl.

Another evening meal.

The guys were military and two peace corps girls.

Christmas time dinner at Father T's.

Roberto, Gloria and a Italian civilian one evening listening to music.

Dinner meals at Father T's with some lively conversation.

Dinner meals at Father T's with some lively conversation.

Dinner meals at Father T's with some lively conversation.

Dinner meals at Father T's with some lively conversation.

A literary discussion after supper, nice legs.

The back walkway from the compound to the courtyard, with Peace corps couple, two PC girls, Father T, Roberto & Gloria with kids.

Evening meals at Father T's.

Evening meals at Father T's.

Beautiful map of a beautiful country, hung in the living room as I recall.

A old map of early Europe, I don't remember where it was hung though.

Another meal, Paul was enjoying his wine.

The four of us.

Looking down from the top floor at the utility building where Father T has his scooter, and the bocci court was to the right.

The steps to the entrance to the compound as you came from downtown.

The Bocci court and the garden.

Just a good group of friends of Father T's and us.

Making wine with Father T, and the Brother. We had fun as you can see.

Italian couple from the University who accompanied me on this trip, and their family

The Turks bombed the Monastery from atop the mountain by throwing large stones down
upon the building, the remains of which are seen in the accompaning photos

Entrance to the Monastery, another shot

A daily evening meal at Father T's compound.  Peace Corps, western civilians and a few of us GI's were almost always there

Another shot of the Monastery

In the winter it was a different story going to the Monistary, were talking high drifts and no snow plows.  It was a long cold walk

On the outskirts of Rize

A mid afternoon shot in Rize

Another evening meal at Father T's

Monastery interior

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Bosteppe from the water looking up

An overview of the harbour in Trabzon taken from the back of the Antenna Field behind the compound

Ditto but of the city

Ditto but looking towards the airport outside of the city

Modern communication facility at Trabzon Intl Airport, note the modern crash truck

On the way to Iran, these are the Turkish Highway workers who helped us get unstuck in the snow, where the sun does not shine.  On the other side of this mountain it was actually spring time.  Ref photos 27 and 11

One of the "Becals" that I used to shop at for supper ingredients in Trabzon

In Rize, one of the "Donmushes" (buses) that we took from Trabzon when we went to Rize

Some of the "girls" 

Ditto

A chie house that I used to frequent in Trabzon

A B/W of beautiful downtown Trabzon

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

On the outskirts of Trabzon

Ditto

Ditto

On the road from Rize, we used to take a 6 pack 4X4 truck with one military driver, guess who, and go into the courntryside.  Sorta a R & R in the guest relations mode

Another shot of beautiful downtown Trabzon

Beautiful downtown Trabzon

My "Arkadas" buddies, our G.I. bus drivers who drove the shuttle buses

The bakery where I used to get my "Ekmek" (bread) for the evening meals, in Trabzon.  These guys were actually pretty nice to work with.

Making wine with Father T, and the Brother. We had fun as you can see.

Making wine with Father T, and the Brother. We had fun as you can see.

Making wine with Father T, and the Brother. We had fun as you can see.

Making wine with Father T, and the Brother. We had fun as you can see.

Making wine with Father T, and the Brother. We had fun as you can see.

Making wine with Father T, and the Brother. We had fun as you can see.

Making wine with Father T, and the Brother. We had fun as you can see.

Making wine with Father T, and the Brother. We had fun as you can see.

THY Airlines at the Trabzon airport.

THY Airlines at the Trabzon airport.

Me at the entrance to the PAX.

Taken at the boat dock when the Russian cargo ship came in. That was the one that I caused all the trouble with and kept everyone on base for the duration of its port call. Also some of the locals that were there at the time.

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

Ditto

I think this was taken from the balcony at Father T's but I am not sure.

One of my good friends who drove the bus. These Turkish guy were really good guys to hook up with, very personable and friendly. I would invite them home if I lived there now.

If you don't recognize this, forget it - you were not there.

On the road from the base to the operations compound as you walked down, this was taken on the right hand side.

Just below the previous photo.

Just below the previous photo.

Just below the previous photo.

Taken from someplace on the base, top floor looking ?

Taken from someplace on the base, top floor looking ?

Old Roman Ruins in Trabzon.

Old Roman Ruins in Trabzon.

Old Roman Ruins in Trabzon.

Old Roman Ruins in Trabzon.

Me on one of those Rize trips.

Ditto.

Ditto.

This was some old ruins on the way to Rize that my notes say I actually climbed up onto.

Old ruins but I honestly do not know where in Turkey I took it.

- Leaving Rize on the way to the Monastery ruins

On the road to the monastery with one of the guys from the base (AF type) whose name I do not remember.

Some kids from a nearby house on the walk up to the monastery from Rize.

These were taken I believe on the road up the mountain to the base in the winter time or someplace on the hill.

Ditto

One of the guys from the base, Tumpane company worker.

The statue in the square downtown Trabzon.

Another great leader, taken behind the barracks

This was taken on our trip to Iran on the warmer side of the mountain that I got the truck stuck in.

Some of my friends in the motor pool.

Father T, Roberto and his family roasting marshmallows at a campfire in the park at the monastery on one of our many trips there.

One of our quarterly visits from the rabbi and ?

Ditto.

Ditto.




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