Situated on the south shore of the Gulf of Izmit, Karamursel had its humble beginning in 1957. "Mudsite," as it was referred to by initial inhabitants, was little more than a bleak outpost. It was devoid of housing, recreational, and adequate support facilities.TRAVEL ORDERS
Personnel lived across the Gulf in economy housing, commuting by ferry. They left their homes at 5 AM traveling 2 1/2 hours by vehicle and boat to reach their work areas. At night, they reversed direction, arriving home about 8 PM.
In subsequent years, construction constantly changed the base's skyline. "Mudsite" became "Mainsite," dotted with office buildings, dormitories, and other support and mission structures. Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine units set up housekeeping. Roads were built and Mainsite slowly
matured to what is now Karamursel, a facility equal to many topnotch stateside bases.
Allied to the construction program was the increase of personnel assigned to Karamursel. The military were soon followed by dependents, who moved into the l,000-year-old town of Yalova, some 17 miles west of the base and lying on the banks of the Marmara Sea.
Turkish landlords, guided by American billeting officers, begain construction of European-type homes and apartments for the new residents. A paved road replaced the rock and soil lane Alexander the Great supposedly traveled during his conquest of this area. "English spoken" signs appeared in ship windows and the American airman became a familiar sight in town.
On February 21, 1961, some 240 children realized that Karamursel was going "stateside" when a $320,000, 26-room, school building for grades 1 thru 8 opened its doors. A ninth grade was added in September 1962, and a tenth grade was added in September 1968.
In June 1961, a modern 100-unit, on-base housing development officially opened and accepted its first families. Because of the large influx of dependents, military and dependent support facilities underwent extensive reorganization. In March 1964, a 100-unit trailer facility was officially
opened here. In March 1967, the final unit of 200 new homes was completed, making a total of 401 on-base units.
Today, a large European Exchange Service (EES) is centrally located on base. It houses a main store, toy store, service station, snackbar, tailor shop, barber shop, beauty parlor, newstand, drug store, steak house, and beverage shop. Nearby are a 325-seat, air-conditioned theater, clothing sales store, class VI store, and the Armed Forces Radio Station.
Less than a block from the EES facility are the airmen's dining hall, dispensary, dental clinic, chapel, postoffice, officers' open mess, NCO open mess, and the base laundry and dry cleaners.
Within a 5-minute walk from the EES area are such facilities as the gymnasium, hobby center, nursery, airmen's club, service club, education center, dependent school, library, bowling alley, commissary, laundromat, automotive hobby shop, and a large beach facility.
In the general area of the support-type functions are quarters for distinguished visitors, officers, and noncommissioned officers. Unaccompanied airmen reside in dormitories located near the main gate.
Karamursel is the home of TUSLOG Detachments 94, 96, 63, 48-6, 46, 28, 38, 124-2, 134, 150, 164, 180; and a Resident Auditor complement. A Turkish guard detachment also has billets on base.
Not far from the base are many sites of historical interest. A watch tower and bridge built about 300 AD are easily seen from the road leading to the town of Yalova. On the western outskirts of the town are a castle and jail built more than 1,000 years ago.
The modern facilities of Karamursel set beside the age-old scenes of Turkey make an assignment here one you will remember for many years to come. It will be one filled with pleasurable experiences that will provide a memorable sojourn in your Air Force career.
In most cases, military personnel will have been given travel instructions and authority before receiving this pamphlet. However, a few points should be repeated to enlighten you and/or your dependents on important things you should know before traveling to Turkey.
If you have a family, you must request concurrent travel upon receiving your assignment orders to Turkey unless you are planning to serve an unaccompanied tour. Concurrent travel is usually approved for E-7 and above. W-1s and above, and O-1s and above. However, since temporary Government facilities are extremely limited and local hotel facilities are substandard and undesirable by American standards, you are urged to leave your family in the CONUS for from 4 to 6 weeks while you arrange for housing in this area.
In some cases, you may decide to wait until on-base housing is available
before bringing your family to
Turkey. (see "base housing" and "economy housing," pages 12 and 13.
Immediately upon electing to serve a
Be sure to indicate on your passport
Before landing at the Istanbul airport,
Sponsors and dependents should have at
Immunization requirements must be completed before you leave the United States. Because you may need a series of immunizations that require some time to complete, it is advisable to check with your medical facility immediately upon notification of reassignment. You may obtain this service at the nearest military medical facility or from a private physician. In either case, both dependents and military personnel must possess a properly authenticated immunization certificate before departing the United States.
HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE
Immediately upon receipt of your travel orders, contact the transportation
officer of the installation indicated on the orders. He will advise
you of your entitlements for shipping household goods and unaccompanied
He will also be able to provide you with up-to-date information regarding weight allowance, storage facilities, and applicable restrictions.
The normal transit time from the United States to Karamursel is 30 to 45 days for hold baggage and 60 to 75 days for household unaccompanied goods.
Expectant mothers traveling Category Z should have a letter from either a military or civilian physician stating that they are physically fit to travel. This letter should be dated within 30 days of the port-reporting date and indicate the duration of pregnancy and estimated date of confinement. Normally, travel is not permitted within 6 weeks of expected delivery date.
Dependent children, 6 weeks of age or older, are acceptable for air
transportation in passenger status unless medically unable to travel.
In some cases, when certified medically sound by a physician, dependents
6-week limit may be accepted for travel.
SHIPMENT OF PETS
You may ship your pet to Turkey - this is authorized. However,
be prepared to follow the strict regulations that are stringently enforced
at Karamursel. The surrounding area has an extremely high rate of
the dreaded rabies
disease in its animal population, and it is this threat to your health that makes such strict rules necessary.
If you are trying to decide whether or not to bring your pet to Turkey with you, keep in mind that:
Do you really need a pet in Turkey? If your answer to this question is
"yes," then you must present a notarized and certified health and rabies
certificate for your pet to the Turkish Consulate before shipment. The
consulate will Charge you a fee of $9.90 when the pet enters Turkey and an
additional fee (amount depends upon the type of animal). You can arrange
to have your pet transferred on the same Category-Z aircraft on which you
are to travel; however, you must present both a health and rabies certifi-
cate (dated no more than 30 days before your scheduled flight date) to the
airlines-ticket agent at least 6 hours before flight time. you are
strongly advised against shipping a pet that is pregnant.
Information on shipping privately owned vehicles (POVs) is contained in chapter 8 and attachments 34 and 36 to Air Force Manual 75-4.
Personnel are cautioned that a 2 to 3 week waiting period is not uncommon once their POVs arrive in Istanbul. In most instances, the customs officials must research the POV price list to establish its new worth. In some instances, especially during new-model year manufacturing, an even longer waiting period can be expected.
In general, automobiles should be in excellent condition when shipped.
Certain accessories are available thru the EES, however, many must be ordered
from the United States, and considerable transportation delay can
Frequently required accessories peculiar to your particular make of automobile should be shipped in household goods or in your auto. Some examples are heavy-duty shock absorbers, fan belts, and bulbs for lights in your car.
Repair facilities for automatic transmissions and power equipment are
inadequate; therefore, simple standard-sized or compact models are preferred.
Both regular and premium (95 octane) gasoline are available.
However, premium gas is barely adequate for many American cars.
In view of the local transportation conditions in this area and the problems encountered in acquiring transportation, we recommend that POVs be shipped as soon as possible after receipt of PCS orders. Normal transit time from the United States to Turkey for POVs is 30 to 40 days.
In Turkey, you are required by law to have a traffic insurance policy. In addition to the Turkish traffic-law requirements, you must meet the base requirements before receiving base driving privileges.
It is best to purchase your insurance from a local (Turkish) concern before picking up your automobile at the port. Be sure to get at least the following coverage: Bodily Injury - 35,000TL/115,000TL; Property Damage - 12,000TL. This coverage automatically meets on-base requirements.
Before Turkish license plates are issued to you, the Turkish police will inspect your car. Brakes, tires, lights, and other pertinent items necessary to safe driving will be inspected. You must have the following items in the automobile at the time of inspection: first aid kit (AAFEX type costing $1 is acceptable), one spare tire, two red flags mounted on stands (10 x 10-inch sq), one block wood sufficient to chock wheels, two reflector lamps, and one 2-cell flashlight.
The present rate of exchange is 15 Turkish Lira to the dollar. Lira may be purchased before entering Turkey, but customs laws restrict the import of more than 100 Turkish Lira per passport.
Once in Turkey, you may purchase Lira from the customs office located
at the Istanbul airport. All other Lira must be purchased from authorized
exchange points which are located on American military establishment.
25 Kurus - .015¢
100 Kurus - .06¢
10 Turkish Lira(TL) - .67¢
100 Turkish Lira(TL) - $6.67
150 Turkish Lira(TL) - $10.00
Baggage allowance for air travel is normally 66 pounds a person. Cabin baggage should be of a size to fit under your seat. This weight will be included in your 66-pound baggage allowance.
Items not included in this weight allowance are pocketbooks, umbrellas, cameras, binoculars, overcoats, infant food for consumption enroute, and a carrying basket for the food if handcarried.
Do not pack lighter fluid, hair tonic, nail polish, or other inflammable items in any baggage being checked for air travel.
Make sure your baggage accompanies you on the same train, bus, or aircraft
enroute to the aerial port. put a copy of your travel orders in each
piece of luggage as well as with your unaccompanied baggage and household
goods. This will ensure delivery to your final destination should it become misplaced during any phase of the shipment overseas.
Dependents should not discard any copies of orders but should turn them
over to their sponsor after arriving in Turkey. When you report to
the transportation officer indicated in your orders, he should give you
a schedule of travel to the oversea area. Write your sponsor and
give him this information immediately, especially, the expected time of
arrival in Istanbul. Also, ask the personnel officer to send a travel
notice to this base by electrical message. If you are not able to
continue your travel because of sickness or for any other reason, wire
your sponsor (or have the Red Cross do this for you) giving complete circumstances
and the esti-
mated time that you will be continuing the journey.
Flights from the United States generally arrive at Istanbul in the late
afternoon and you may continue on to Karamursel by special military bus
which will be departing shortly after you arrive. It is advisable
this special military bus to the base. If you desire, you may remain overnight; there are two modern hotels recommended. The Cinar Hotel is near the airport, and the Hilton Hotel is in the center of Istanbul. Airline
buses should be departing shortly after you arrive, which will take you to either hotel. Personnel at the hotels are prepared to assist you in your continuing travel.
An Air Force representative is available at the airport to help make arrangements for any reservations required and will provide you with any information you desire.
When you continue either from the Cinar or Hilton Hotel, you will have to take a taxi to the Galata Bridge where the ferry departs for Yalova. From the Cinar, taxi fare will run approximately 35 lira and from the Hilton, it will cost about 10 lira. As the fares are not fixed, it is wise to fix a price before starting. Upon arrival at the Galata Bridge from one of the hotels, porters are available to carry your baggage to the ferry; but, if it is possible, carry them yourself. It is advisable to do this as they will ask an outrageous price for their services. If you should desire aid with your baggage, pay not more than one lira a bag.
Tickets for the Yalova ferry are sold at windows centrally located under
the bridge. Ticket sales windows and the ferry boarding station are
marked with signs showing the ferry destinations. Fare for the ferry
Istanbul to Yalova is about 4 Turkish Lira for military and 6 Turkish Lira for dependents. Ask for Yalova Subay (pronounced "suebye") tickets or use the TICKET PURCHASE FORM found on page 44 of this pamphlet. After obtaining this ticket, keep it in your possession until you debark from the ferry in Yalova where a ticket agent will take it from you. Passenger ferry boats depart the Galata Bridge about every 3 to 5 hours. Check with the Air Force representative at the airport to find out the most convenient ferry for you to take to Yalova.
Suitcases should be checked in the ferry baggage room during the trip to Yalova. You will find the baggage room on the boarding deck of the ferry opposite the side you board. Baggage fee is approximately 1 Lira a bag.
An Air Force bus departs Yalova every 40 minutes. In order to
meet this bus, you must disembark from the boat, walk the length of the
pier, hand over your boarding ticket to the gate guard, and continue about
block to the main street. Proceed straight one city block and turn right and walk approximately one more block. The bus stop will be on your lefthand side. Board the bus and continue to Karamursel. The security policeman on duty at the main gate will instruct you in the proper reporting procedures. An alternate method of traveling from Yalova to Karamursel is by taxi which leaves from the ferry dock. Cost is approximately 25 TL.