Izmir Air Base, Turkey is one of the strategic military installations run by the US Air Force in Europe. It is almost 400 km away from Istanbul, in one of the oldest and largest cities of Turkey. It is also close to the Aegean Sea, which means it has direct access to the Middle East. Although the base is seen as being run by the Americans, it is not quite like that. The United States of America are not among Turkey’s best friends. As a matter of fact, the USA have provoked Turkey and turned up against them during one of their conflicts, with Cyprus. At that time, the Turkish government decided to close down all the American bases on its territory, except for those that also implied NATO activities. Although two bases were left open, the American operations were stopped. This base is one of them. It was initially run by the US Air Force, but now it mostly concentrates on NATO activities.
Izmir Air Base history dates long ago. Judging by how stormy the Turkish history is, it is not hard to figure out that the local armies had multiple bases in pretty much every city. It was a warring kingdom back then, therefore the military bases in this area date from centuries ago. However, the American history in the area is more recent. The first connections showed up in the autumn of 1952. The Allied Land Forces dealing with the southeastern part of Europe decided to maintain a military post in this place. In 1953, the first unit arrived there. The US Navy supported all these moves and decided to actively involve by sending over a small part of the 7206-th Air Base Squadron in the spring of 1954.
The USAFE (US Air Forces Europe) took over the responsibility for their own actions in the area in the first day of 1956, not to mention about the support towards any actions conducted by NATO. Over the next year, they took over two similar bases located in the close proximity of Izmir. The ’60s brought in a wave of updates. The American forces improved the water lines, the electric lines and the roofs. In 1963, they built a concrete pad for the tanks stationed in the area.
Izmir Air Base was in a tight competition with a close base – Cigli AB. The competition was over in 1970, when the Izmir base was given more responsibilities, while the base in Cigli went in a stand-by position.
Luckily for the inhabitants, Turkey is a peaceful country. The on site housing system is operated by a local office. You need to contact it before getting there, to ease and rush the process. You will be given a sponsor to help you accommodate to a new culture and new habits. The people who prefer the off site system must rely on the local real estate agencies. The prices are not always higher, while the facilities may even be better.