Stories and Photos From Turkey
Including the Agora at Izmir and the Jupiter Missiles
1961-1962 (and Beyond)

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by
George Smith
(and other contributors)



I was fortunate as a young lad right out of high school in 1961 to be able to travel with my family to Izmir (formerly known as "Smyrna"), Turkey. My dad was serving at the time with the United States Army, and was assigned as a member of TUSLOG to serve in Izmir. His offices were located right along the picturesque waterfront.

Shortly after our arrival in Izmir, I was also fortunate enough to have been able to land a job with Chrysler Corporation's Missile Division, working out of Cigli AFB several miles down the road from Izmir, with their Installation and Checkout Team #2. Our job was to install Jupiter missile sites around the mountains of Turkey as a protective measure during those cold war years against Russia and her allies.

Our family rented an apartment in a brand new building located in a suburb of Izmir known as "Guzelyali," located on the road named Mithatpasa. Our apartment address was Mithatpasa Cad. No 1164. I found it very fortunate that we lived "on the economy" rather than in Army-provided living quarters as I was therefore able to meet and befriend numerous Turkish people during my visit there.  Looking back, I remember this experience with great fondness. The many and kind Turkish people I met were a treasure. Historically, you couldn't ask to be living in a more interesting place.

I was keenly interested in photography as a youngster, as I still am. Gainfully employed at this early age, I purchased my first 35mm camera, an Argus C3 Match-Matic, to record some of my experiences while living in Turkey. This page forms a beginning of many of these photos to come. I want to thank the proprietor of Mithatpasa Photograph Studio, Mithat Cirit, for teaching me a few things about photography. His studio was located on the main level of our apartment building. I would also like to thank one of Mithat's  friends, Zafer Karamete, whom I met at Mithat's studio one day and who was kind enough to take me on a tour of some of Izmir's oldest ruins including the Agora, the Kadifekale, and the great Bazaar of Izmir. I was fortunate to have such friends while living in Turkey who took the time to educate this young American living amongst them. My knowledge and understanding of Izmir, the Turkish people, and Turkey itself were so enhanced as a result of these friendships.

I started with my photography efforts using Kodachrome slides almost exclusively, and it is from these slides, some of them having deteriorated somewhat with time, that I've scanned and extracted these photos. I've recovered the images as best I can. I also have many black and white photos that I'll be posting soon. Please enjoy!
 

If anyone has any photos of Cigli AFB taken around the early 1960 timeframe, please get in touch! I personally don't have any to post or share, and I've been contacted by a visitor who lived on Cigli AFB during that time. Unfortunately, he lost all of his photos. I'd like to post collections of these photos for his benefit as well as others who may have lived on Cigli AFB. Send info to me at: glsmith@hlswilliwaw.com. Thanks!