Elephant Cage: This common usage is well known all over world. In Turkish we said it “Fil Kafesi”. It was used for purposes of “Surveillance and Intelligence Gathering” about mainly the Military Activities in larger extent tracing every kind activities within the borders of once USSR [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics] and its Alliances; older Eastern European Countries also known as “Iron Curtain” Block, the members of Warsaw Pack, by through American Navy Bases located in various countries, under NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization]. It means much for many countries, nations and places, but more much meaningful for American Military service men, their family members and the ordinary people like us.
Technically it is a type of Circularly Disposed Antenna Array [CDAA] sometimes referred to as a Circularly Disposed Dipole Array [CDDA]. It is a large circular antenna array used by the military to triangulate radio signals for radio navigation, intelligence gathering and search and rescue. Because of its immense size and huge circular reflecting screen, the antenna is colloquially known as the Elephant Cage. Wullenwever was the World War II German cover term used to identify their CDAA research and development program, its name is unrelated to any person involved in the program. Its original name was introduced by Dr. Hans Rindfleisch.
Elephant Cage was built at Karamursel American Navy Base in Izmit, Turkey in or around 1957, Which one was made earlier or later is not clear however “Elephant Cage” should be built later years after 1970s and it should be dismantled at around 1977-1980 after Economical Embargo imposed by USA on Turkey against Turkey’s “Peace Operation” on Cyprus in 1974, which set free Turkish Cypriots from the oppression of Makarios Regime in Cyprus.
Surveillance over USSR or “Curtain Iron” countries was made on American Navy Bases called as “Tuslog Det 28”. What does “Tuslog Det 28” stand for? Shortly it means “Tuslog Detachment 28” namely “[T]he [U]nited [S]tates [Lo]gistics [G]roup". According to some narrations on the text documented at a veteran webpage, for example; a Soviet military plane flying over Kars city of Turkey, which takes place on the eastern-north far off end point of Turkey, is detected and traced from Elephant Cage situated at Karamusel American Navy base in Izmit, which is located on the tip of Bay of Izmit of Marmara Sea, Turkey.
The aim of mine in creating this group is so simple and plain; reviving old nice memories and taking off the dust covered on some common memoirs attached to this “Elephant Cage: Fil Kafesi”. There have prevailed always two different life styles around those “Elephant Cage”s American Military bases all over world.
Many Americans soldier veterans or their children have created some web pages dedicated to that matter either for sharing some common thoughts or only their own memories supported some black & white pictures, which depict the surrounding places, towns or major cities they have lived or stayed. The differences between life styles, understanding, perception and evaluation were not same. The gap between Americans and the host people were always so wide and having less contact in either under working conditions or in daily lives.
Given the example in “Tuslog Det 28” at Karamursel, Izmit, Turkey, Turkey was experiencing a tough state-controlled economy while she was governed in so-called “Democracy” and “”Free Economy” as a staunch member of NATO in one hand and USA was a dominant country on the world both economically and militarily on the name of “Free World” against “USSR Block World” on the other. To my some personal experience and knowledge there were many unbalances both between the USA & Turkey and Americans & Turkish people.
Turkey was on every aspect of life in great tatters and poor conditions and accepting American Financial and Military Aids & Credits, some of them were charity contributions made both Turkey and Greece.
During the years of 1972-3 I was around 17 years old and have many memories about Karamursel daily life connected to “Tuslog Det 28 Karamursel” or that “Elephant Cage”. The bad and never unforgettable one was that the household garbage and trash were taken away by some people and were ended up at “American Bazaar” at Karamursel Downtown.
At that “American Bazaar” every kind of garments but especially “Jeans”, readout books, boots, household materials, kitchen materials and the likes were displayed for sale. I was occasionally at that “American Bazaar” for selection of some older issues of Newsweek, Time and some used pocket-size English Books. My pocket money never was enough buying out one of those un-sized, unfitted, used “Jean” trousers…
As a member of “Free World” and “Lesse passé Capitalist Economy”, Turkey was never compared to any member of either West Europe or USA on any point. Turkey was ruled with “Tight Fist Policies” and her economy was governed more tighter and tougher than any member of “Communist Block” countries. But Turkey was a member of NATO and her economy was so-called as “Capitalist Market Economy”!
Herebelow I will add some addresses which dedicated to that American Navy Base located at Karamursel by some service veterans. If you wish you could pay a visit or would like having a short glance at memories they have written or the pictures they posted, displaying older times of Karamursel and Izmit;
Up to this section, I have tried to tell and describe what I know and remember about “Tuslog Det 28” & “Elephant Cage” at Karamursel, Izmit, Turkey. The way of narrating or the information I have supplied, may bear some lack of information, some errors, mistakes or unintentional emphasizes, however let it be known clearly that all informative support, assists and corrections would be accepted heartily and the honest and correct ones would be reflected on this text.
Nov, 4, 2008, Izmit City, Turkey.