Col. Eric Beene, 39th Air Base Wing commander, presents Tansel Estetik, a store owner in the “Alley” a certificate of appreciation Oct. 7, 2010 at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Local merchants outside Incirlik AB work together keeping the area safe on a daily basis. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Alexandre Montes/Released)
Col. Eric Beene, 39th Air Base Wing commander, presents Yilmar Gizir, Incirlik Village Merchant’s Association chairman, a certificate of appreciation Oct. 7, 2010 at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Mr. Gizir was presented the certificate to show appreciation to merchants in the Alley for their continued vigilance and support. Local merchants outside Incirlik AB work together keeping the area safe on a daily basis. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Alexandre Montes/Released)
by Senior Airman Anthony J. Hyatt
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
10/8/2010 - INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- A package with wires and cables protruding from it sat unattended outside a store frequented by U.S. personnel from the base across the street. Unsure of what was in the box, who left it there or why it was left behind, the store owner reported the suspicious package to the Turkish National Police.
Tansel Estetik, the owner of the store, said when he arrived to open for business early on the morning of Sept. 19, he noticed three individuals he did not recognize standing nearby.
"We have been here for many years and we notice new faces," said Mr. Estetik.
Mr. Estetik said after opening for business, he entered the store to help some customers. When he returned outside, the unknown individuals were gone and a box was left behind. Immediately, he walked over to take a closer look at the package.
"Curiously, I walked half way towards the package," said Mr. Estetik. "When I noticed the wires and cables I thought this may be dangerous."
"We, Incirlik Village Merchant's Association store owners, are always warned to be cautious, because if any little incident happens in the alley we could lose our business for good," said Yilmaz Gizir, IVMA Chairman. "We want our customers to feel safe."
The "Alley" is the store-filled street outside the main gate of the base.
After noticing the wires, Mr. Estetik notified the Turkish National Police who coordinated a response. After the box was checked, it was discovered to be full of miscellaneous electronics and posed no danger.
"I was very nervous at first, but when I found out the box was nothing serious I became more comfortable," said Mr. Estetik.
Col. Eric Beene, 39th Air Base Wing commander, later met with Mr. Estetik and Gizir to thank them for their actions and to present them with certificates of appreciation.
"We have great friends in Incirlik Village--in the Alley--and it's a great place for our Airmen and families to enjoy themselves," said Colonel Beene.