I had some meek and faded memories about those years of 1953-1979s. I was just around 17 or 19 years old however it was so bright in my mind what was Fil kafesi or Elephant Cage on the horn of Hersek Bay, Altinova.
By coincidence I had run across some personal web pages included some personal information supported with some white % black pictures of Izmit, Golcuk, Karamursel, Karamursel southern towns, Yalova, Buyukada and some pictures of goods used at those times in Turkey. Those pages were created by either veteran soldiers or officers and or children of base personal.
Ever since 2008 not any reaction arrived concerning Karamursel Tuslog Detachment 94. But two days ago I had a Facebook messaged from Sue Shook asking me about “Tarzan of Yalova-Yalova Tarzani”. Shortly she was describing her past years at Yalova and a strange guy called as Yalova Tarzani.
Sue Shook, May 18 at 9:11pm, Between You and Sue Shook: Did you know Tarzan from Yalova?
Before giving a proper reply to Sue Shook, I said myself it seems a shame over me as a researcher that I am not aware of such a incredible event happened in Yalova so closely connected to Elephant Cage. I have made a short search on net about Yalova Tarzani. The result was not much satisfied but supported by one white and black picture of Yalova Tarzani but a lot of personal memoirs and narrations in brief or in detail in Turkish;
Yalova Tarzani - Tarzan of Yalova
“Tarih: 05 Kasım 2007 12:02, Erol: Amerikalı tamam, Tarzan tamam, berberliği amatör yapardı, adı Emrullah değil Zekariya idi rahmetlinin. Yer Merakuyu Camii’nin altı değil, Eski Bursa Caddesi’yle Karamürsel Caddesinin kesiştiği köşe idi. Düzeltirim. Tşk ederim.
Tarih: 08 Ekim 2007 21:25, Reyhan Coşgun [Bal]: Çocukluğumdaki Tarzan. Ben şu an 52 yaşındayım. Ben ilkokula giderken Tarzan at sırtında Yalova’nın içinde dolaşırdı.....
Tarih: 02 Ekim 2007 12:08, Doktor soldaki, meydanda çalışan Amerikalı bir subay; sağdaki, (Tarzan) eskiden berbermiş [adı Emrullah], fotonun çekildiği yer ise Merakuyu Camii altı.... bilgilerinize”.
Tarzan of Yalova: Zekeriya.. 1960s.. Yalova.
Emrullah is a Yalova resident having a barbershop on the cross of Older Bursa Street and Karamursel Street.
Zekeriya, The Tarzan of Yalova has spent most of his times in front of this barbershop... His Surname is unknown however it could easily be traced from Yalova Birth Registration Office...
In this picture he poses in front of Emrulla's barbershop with a young American navy soldier from Karamursel American Base aka Karamursel US Tuslog Detachment at a time during 1960s...
“Yalova Tarzanı Zekerya’yı bugünün kuşağı tanımaz, oysa yıllar önce Yalova denilince, Kaymakam’dan sonra akla gelen önemli kişilerdendir Yalova Tarzanı.
Soyadını pek kimse bilmez, zaten kimse de merak etmezdi. O‘na sadece Tarzan denilirdi. Ama ünü sadece Türkiye’de değil, dünya çapına kadar dalga dalga yayılmıştı. 1960’lı yılların başında Karamürsel Amerikan Üssü’nde kısa bir süre çalıştıktan sonra “ABD’li askerlerden emir alamam” deyip buradan ayrılan Yalova Tarzanı, At arabacılığına başlayarak Yalova’da at arabasıyla yük taşımaya başlamıştı.
ABD Üssü’nde görev yaptığı sürede İngilizce öğrenen, daha sonra da Amerikalılarla kurduğu dostluklarla İngilizce’sini geliştiren Yalova Tarzanı Zekerya, günün büyük bir bölümünü fotoğrafta görülen ve şu anda Cumhuriyet Caddesi’nde bulunan Berber Emrullah’ın küçük işyeri önünde geçirirdi.
Her sabah, özenle bakımını yaptığı atına binerek, Yalova caddelerinde bir elinde dizginler, diğer eliyle bıyıklarını burmalayarak Yalova esnafına ismiyle hitap eder ve selamlaşırdı. Öğleden sonra ise sabah tur attığı atını at arabasına bağlayarak yük taşımaya başlar, kendisinin, köpeğinin ve atının yemek ihtiyacını karşılardı.
Yalova’da seveni çoktu Tarzan’ın, düşmanı olduğu ise görülmemişti son nefesini verinceye kadar. Yalova ormanlarına gittiği görülmemiştir, Yalova Tarzanı’nın. O’nu Tarzan unvanına taşıyan tek şey, kışın karların altında denize girmesi ve sıra dışı yaşam biçimiydi. Üzerinde devamlı fotoğrafta gördüğünüz kısa kollu gömlek ve kot pantolon bulunurdu.
Sıra dışı yaşam biçimi, yüreğinin ve bileğinin gücü o kadar ün yapmıştı ki, Yeşilçam’ın ünlüleri bile gelir Yalova Tarzanı ile bilek güreşine tutulur onunla tanışırdı. Özellikle Amerikalı kadınları atına bindirirken tek bir şartı vardır Yalova Tarzanı’nın, “Eğer atıma bineceksen, dizginler sende olacak ama arkanda ben oturacağım“ derdi.
Yaz kış, kısa kollu gömlekli dolaşan, kar altında denize giren, eti pişirmeden yiyen, Atı, köpeği ve bıyığı ile ünlenen Yalova Tarzanı ile tanışmak için dünyanın öbür ucundan gelen insanlar, onunla fotoğraf çekilmek, aynı karede olmak için özel bir çaba bile sarf ederlerdi.
İşte bu fotoğrafta da bir Amerikalının objektifine takılmış karede Yalova Tarzanı’nı görüyorsunuz. Herkesle paylaşacak mutlaka bir şeyleri vardı Yalova Tarzanı’nın. Kimi zaman elinden eksik etmediği sigarasını, şarabını, anıları ve yüreğindeki insan sevgisini paylaşırdı Yalova sokaklarında. Sabah saatlerinde Yalova sokaklarında adeta bir çalar saat gibiydi Tarzan’ın atının çıkardığı nal sesleri. Nal seslerini duyanlar dışarı çıkar karşılıklı olarak selamlaşırdı Yalova Tarzanı’yla.
1970’li yılların başında tanıdığım Yalova Tarzanı’nın bir gecekondusu, atı ve köpeği vardı. 2003 yılında yine bir gecekonduda yaşama veda ederken, yanında sadece atı ve köpeği kalmıştı. Yalnız yaşadı, son nefesine kadar hiç kimseye muhtaç olmadan, hiç kimseden hiçbir şey talep etmeden yaşadı Yalova Tarzanı. Şimdi arkasında birçok dostluklar, anlatılacak bir o kadar çok öyküler bıraktı bizlere”. [Eklenme Tarihi: 19.10.2007 00:54:11; http://www.farkyalovada.com/haberler/HaberDetay.aspx?HaberID=315].
There were other narrations and personal memory sharing about Yalova Tarzani however the most striking and sufficient ones seemed me above mentioned ones. As pictures I have got only one posted on the net. Maybe after having written down and posted this essay on net, some hidden, forgotten or left away pictures could emerge from the remote corners of American veteran soldiers or their family members.
I have got ready my detailed reply and sent to Sue Shook added with my personal thanks and appreciations for her kind sharing about Tarzan of Yalova.
Erkan Kiraz; May 19 at 3:18am,
First of all by heart I wanna to express my thanks for this topic of tarzan of Yalova...
I was hearing this fact of life event for the first time from you. I made a short search on that name and found some short or longer information and only one W&B picture of Mr. Zekeriyya The Tarzan of Yalova..
He has lived in Yalova during 1960s. He has worked for some time at Karamursel US Tuslog, later on he left the base and bought one horse. He has that horse and one dog along himself. He has been spending most of his time in front of Barbershop of Emrullah at the cross of older Bursa Str and Karamursel Str.
He has become so famous nationally and many people heard his fame arrived Yalova and taken pictures with him. He has been guiding some ladies on his horse giving the bridles to the rider on the condition that he would hud the rider on the horseback behind for a few bucks...
He has lived up alone at his small hunt with his horse and dog without any demand or begging for food & drinks from Yalova residents. He has made always his life by doing every kind of transport and the likes. Around 2003 at uncertain period of time he left this world leaving back his horse and dog alone.
The story narrated on the web pages points to the time period of 1960-1970 and I was just around 5-15 at those times.
However, ever since when I was around 17-18 I have been to Karamursel for American Bazaar at which every kind of US Base disposals and materials were selling out and exactly remember that Elephant Cage & Base Area so bright like a picture...
Thank you for your kind sharing of your nice memoirs with me...
Greetings from City of Izmit, Turkey.
Sue Shook; May 19 at 6:12am
Tarzan had many dogs... and used to get bones and scrap meet from the butcher and throw it out to his dogs. He had a big mustache. He gave me one of his dogs once, but it got sick. I was there because my dad was on the base Tus det 94. We lived there twice. One time it really snowed in Yalava, he actually was in the paper because he went polar bear swimming that day. I lived on base at one time near the elephant cage and used to play on the playground near it. We always were told never to go close or they would shoot first then ask questions. I loved the parades in Karamursel, so bright and colorful! Nothing compared to what we have here in the US.
Thank you so much for writing me on Tarzan. He was a great man, maybe like another Hodja in his own way. I thought he was a pretty neat person!
I decided to scribble down a short essay about Tarzan of Yalova- Yalova Tarzani and wished to mention the name of Sue Shook and what she has already wrote me on mails by extracting fully her mails to me.
I wrote a short mail to Sue Shook begging her to grant me her written consent publishing her memoirs. She was so generous and benevolent in allowing me doing so;
Erkan Kiraz; May 19 at 12:30am;
Merhaba [Hi] Sue,
I decided to scribbled down the story of Yalova Tarzani including your mails and picture with your written consent. I think that it would be a striking essay for readers and interested ones about this strange guy. What do you say? The text is already written and ready to be posted.
By the way could you get known of Elephant Cage group among that base's veterans and their families if ever you knew some or have some connections..
Probably I say myself that many untold or untouched stories or pictures taken around Izmit, Yalova, Karamursel, Marrmara Islands or Istanbul could be shared on that group...
Hearing from you soon would be highly appreciated.
Greetings from Izmit.
Sue Shook; May 20 at 4:10am;
Yes, go ahead and use any of the stories I have written. It is fun to share about that time in my life.
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 Elephant Cage: In Turkish means Fil Kafesi.
 Tuslog: It is an USA Military abbreviation and stands for “[T]he [U]nited [S]tates [Lo]gistics [G]roup.
 Karamursel: is a town located in northwestern Turkey, in the province of Kocaeli. It is on the coast of Izmit Bay and has beautiful shores. Karamursel has a very long history of being an important base for the navy. The first Ottoman shipyard was built on the Bay of Izmit in 1327 in Karamursel. The ships built there constituted first nucleus of the Ottoman Naval Forces. Due to its strategic and naturally protected location, Karamursel has been used as a naval base that controls Black Sea. In addition A U.S. military base was located in Karamursel for many years during the Cold War for the purpose of intercepting Russian radio transmissions. The station, containing a huge array of antenna called Elephant Cage, was there from 1957 until 1979. This huge landmark was visible from everywhere in Karamursel, from villages on the hills surrounding the town, and also from the shores across the Izmit Bay. After the US military left the base was transferred to Turkish Navy, and is still in operation today. The US military however took an important chip from the antenna, so that it would not be used after they left. The Turkish military eventually took out the antenna in mid 1990s, however everyone still remembers this immense structure.
 Elephant Cage or Wullenwever- Tuslog Det 28 – Elephant Cage, American Navy Base At Karamursel, Izmit City, Turkey: 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 tight 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; http://www.navycthistory.com/karamursel_intro.html http://www.soksa.com/thread.aspx?sku=61&t=Tuslog%20-%20Turkiye'nin%20Yakin%20Tarihinin%20Bir%20Ozetihttp://www.merhabaturkey.org/general/tuslogen.htmhttp://www.merhabaturkey.org/general/history.htm#Ankarahttp://www.bluejeansplace.com/default.asphttp://www.milliyet.com.tr/2003/09/27/pazar/paz13.htmlhttp://www.karamursel.us/registry2.html. 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. Sincerely Yours, Erkan Kiraz, Nov, 4, 2008, Izmit City, Turkey.
 Altınova is a town and district of Yalova Province in the Marmara region of Turkey.
 Yalova [Greek: γιαλός: Gialos > γιαλή: yiáli: plain at the coast > Ottoman: Yalakabad > Yaliova > Turkish: Yalova]: It is a city located in northwestern Turkey, on the eastern coast of The Marmara Sea, and is the capital of the Yalova Province. The first settlement in the region dates back to the Prehistoric Period, in around 3000 BC. The Hittites ruled the region in the 2000s BC, followed by the Phrygians in the 1200s BC. The region was conquered by the Romans in 74 BC. Following the division of the Roman Empire in 395, the region of Yalova remained under the sovereignty of the Eastern Roman Empire [Byzantine]. In 1302, Yalova was incorporated into the territory of the Ottoman Empire. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey occasionally lived in Yalova in his final years. In one of his speeches he famously said: "Yalova is my city."
 Tarzan: It is a fictional character, an archetypal feral child raised in the African jungle by apes, who later returns to civilization only to largely reject it and return to the wild as a heroic adventurer. Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan first appeared in the novel Tarzan of the Apes, magazine publication 1912, book publication 1914, and then in twenty-three sequels and innumerable works in other media, authorized or not.
 Izmit: It [It’s ancient name was Nicomedia] is a city in Turkey, administrative center of Kocaeli Province as well as the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality. Nicomedia: [Nikomedes - Nικoμηδης] [to think of victory], derived from Greek [νικη] [nike] [victory] and [μηδομαι] [medomai] [to think]. Thus [Nicomedia - Νικομήδεια] stands for “The Land of Thinker of Victory”. Its other names were such as: İzmit: Astacenus, Astacus, Astagus, Astakenos, Astakos, Astakus, Chodjaly, Cocaeli, Εις Νικομήδεια, eis Nikomedeia, Iskimid, Iskimidt, Ismid Sandjak, Ismid, Ismidt, Ismit, Ismitt, Isnicmid, Isnicomid, Isnimid, Izkimit, Izmid, Izmidt, Izminik, Izmit, Iznigmid, Iznigumid, Iznikmid, Iznikmit [ ], Iznikomit, is Nikomidian, İskimid, İskimidt, İsmid, İsmidt, İsmit, İsnimid, İzkimit, İzmid, İzmidt, İzminik, İzmit Sancağı, Izmit Sancagi, İzmit, İznigümid, İzniğmid, İzniğumid, İznikmid, Koca Eli, Koca İli, Kocaeli İlbaylığı, Kocaeli Ilbayligi, Kocaeli Mutasarrıflığı, Kocaeli Mutasarrifligi, Kocaeli Mutasarriflik, Kocaeli, Kodgea illi, Kodgea-Illi, Kodjaeli, Kodja-Eli, Kodja-Ili, Kodjaili, Koja-Eli, Koja-Ili, Nichomedia, Nicomedia, Nicomédie, Nicomidia, Nigomid, Nigömid, Nikmid, Nikomedeia, Nikomedeya, Nikomedia, Nikomedya, Olbia, Olbianus, Olbiya, Olvia, Olviya, Smits, Νικομήδεια, Isnikomidya, İsnikomidya, [Kocaeli-İzmit]. “eis Nikomedeia”. Ancient Izmit-Nicomedia..
 Tarzan of Manisa: One such warming eccentric of the 20th century was Ahmet Bedevi, the Tarzan of Manisa, a figure who became a symbol for the city by greatly contributing to raising consciousness for protection of the environment across the country, and by preserving and enriching Mount Sipylus's forests almost single-handed.