Traveling Turkey: Saklibahce

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Daniel Phelps
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Editor's Note: This is part of an ongoing series of spots of interest in the area. For information on various trips offered on Incirlik AB visit

After spending a short time at Incirlik, one is sure to hear complaints of there being nothing to do while here, but the fact is that is completely untrue.

During my time here I've seen pieces of ancient history, climbed castles around the country, ate lunch by sea, taking a cruise through Istanbul.

Options vary between week long trips and simple day trips down the road to see amazing things.

On my latest trip, the transportation for a trip into the mountains was free for me as an unaccompanied Airman.

Many times while driving along the roads of Turkey, one can see little stops along the way. In the case of this trip with Incirlik's community center, a little unassuming spot turned out to be a quaint little hide away.

The group met during the midmorning at the community center ready to begin the trek for lunch and took off north into the mountains.

An hour or so down the road, we exited off the highway and into the village of Pozanti. Mountains towered around us as we eased on down the road. To the left of us a small river wound around the side of the foothills. Tiny restaurants rested along the water and families splashed around.

After a bit, we pulled in front of what appeared to be a hole-in-the-wall building with a sign reading "Saklibahce." As we piled out of the van, we were led down a flight of stairs and into a garden. The area was surrounded by flowers and trees with a small creek for an added bonus.

In the center of the garden was a small play ground surrounded by a little red fence where children ran up a slide and swung on a swing set.

Throughout the garden were various areas to sit and eat. Friends and families could rest at picnic tables or cushions placed on the ground around low tables.

My hungry companions and I took a seat around the picnic tables, which surrounded a small fountain with trout swimming around in it.

Freshly baked bread was put on our table as the servers took our orders of fish, beef or chicken. People explored the secluded garden, watching the area where trout swam around, following chickens, roosters and even ducks as they waddled around a grassy field.

Plates of fresh fruit and salads that were grown on location were brought to our table along with drinks to enjoy. Shortly, after they brought out the salads, the main courses were brought out.

The meals were delicious, and it was fascinating to discover that all the food they brought was taken from the location we were on.

After our meal, we wandered about and explored the area. I meandered through the groves where the fruit was grown and came across a creek and a hiking trail through the mountains surrounding us. The walking trail looked inviting, but there was too little time before we had to hit the road again. I may need a repeat trip.

It just goes to show, you never know what you may come across by making a random stop along the road or taking advantage of the numerous trips that Incirlik provides for you.