Friday, 26 August 2011


Sinop is a town on the Black Sea Coast. During the 1980's it was host to a Turkish - US Military base on the peninsula.

This part of Turkey is very green and also has colder winters than the south coast of the country. Tobacco is grown here and during the hamsi ( white bait ) season the roads would smell of fish from the overspill from transportation carrying the catches.

The town itself in the 1980's was fairly conservative even by Turkish standards but it has grown into a much larger town today.

What many people do not know is that there was a British contingent on the hill at Sinop. They worked with the Turkish government and it was an important site for intelligence during the cold war period. The base closed in 1992.

The British had their own camp, consisting mainly of terrapin huts running off from a central communal area, bar and kitchens to the bedrooms and individual accommodation of the 30 strong personnel.

The bar was known as the Carlyle Bar and  it was a popular watering hole for Brits and Americans during the duration of the bases history. There was an old tradition of cutting off the lower part of the ties of visitors and hanging them up in the bar area as token trophies.

The staff had several Turkish personnel who looked after the cleaning of the accommodation and cooked meals for the staff. The personnel at the camp would typically stay around 3 months in duration before returning again after a time back in the UK.

The base had its own compound and it was guarded by the Turkish military. Brits could and indeed did use the facilities at the American base and Americans were also welcome at the British bar.

The base had its own transport, generators running off solid fuel and plenty of transport including landrovers and transit vans. Perched right up on the hill overlooking Sinop and the sea it was home to many for short periods of time during the 1980's.

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