Random observations on guns in Turkey


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MatthewVanitas
April 4, 2005, 07:23 AM
Greetings. I'm sure that there are members of the board who have more experience in this area than I, but just thought I'd throw out a few interesting things I've run across.

I've dropped in to check out a couple Turkish gunshops while I've been backpacking around Turkey, just out of curiousity. The shops I've seen usually stock a few 9mm pistols and .38 revolvers and a large number of shotguns. The 9mm (and some .380) are generally knockoffs of FN products using brand names I've never heard of, most notably the Highpower rıpoff labeled 'Rambo Magnum'. Revolvers seemed to be S&W copies with poor fit/finish. Shotguns I've seen were primarily semiauto, many with short (18'') barrels. Even saw a few with ghost ring sights, which struck me as interesting. Also a good number of over/unders. Many seemed decent quality, although the semis had a lot more pseudo-engraving than you'd see on a similar American shotgun.

A Turkish friend-of-a-friend met me in Anakara to show me around. He states that a good percentage of Turks keep a shotgun or pistol in the house for safety, but only police can carry in public. The police here frequently carry MP5 copies, and the Army carries G3s. I've also seen a few uniformed men carrying AKs, not sure what unit (Jendarm?).

I'm a bit unclear as to the legality of rifles in Turkey. I had some gunshop owners in Diyarbakir tell me that rifles were completely illegal. But that might be an incorrect belief held by them, or it may be possible that rifles are illegal in their province only (as Diyarbakir was the hotbed of Kurdish resistance in recent years). Not ten years ago the streets of Diyarbakir were filled with Kurds, Turks, and Armenian and Assyrian Christians stalking each other through the warren of medieval streets, so local ordninances may vary.

I was very surprised to see a familiar rifle while wandering the back streets in Trabzon, up on the Black Sea coast. Passing a tailor shop, I see men inside drinking tea and looking over an M1 Garand. I poked my head inside to say hello, but my Turkish is minimal and they didn't speak Arabic or Russian. All I could gather was that it was an American rifle, it worked, and the owner was very pleased with it. They didn't try to hide the rifle or seem covert about it, so either rifles are legal in Trabzon or else old Turkish men just don't care.

If anyone has any insight as to firearms in Turkish culture, I'd be glad to hear about it. Back I go to wandering...

-MV

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Redneck Revolver
April 4, 2005, 09:50 AM
the turks were the first people to really use firearms. way back when they sieged constantinople. they brought the idea of gunpowder over to the west from the east. id assume they still hold firearms especially high in their heritage.

jefnvk
April 4, 2005, 09:52 AM
Glad to see that there is at least some RKBA there, however stripped down it may be. I think too many times in the US we simply believe that we are the only country where firearm ownership is legal.

El Tejon
April 4, 2005, 10:14 AM
Red, don't say that around our California Chinese Contingent! :D I have a copy of a print from the 10th century showing the Chinese using firearms (hand cannons) against each other.

Thanks for the insight into Turkey. Maybe that area of Turkey is like places like Crete--lots of red tape for guns but no gives a rat's rear end. :confused:

DigMe
April 4, 2005, 10:15 AM
most notably the Highpower rıpoff labeled 'Rambo Magnum'.

That gave me a chuckle. :)

Interesting read though.

brad cook

Crosshair
April 4, 2005, 11:03 AM
Weren't the Turks the fist to use repeating rifles in a major military battle. From what I heard, they used Sharps rifles to engage them at long range as they where advancing, aiming for the officers. Then switched to repeating Winchesters when they got close. Does anybody have specific info about that war, as I am interested in their tactics and the battles themselves.

El Tejon
April 4, 2005, 11:14 AM
Cross, are you thinking of the Russo-Turk War of 1877-78?

IIRC, some Turks were armed with Snider rifles (second line troops). Do not recall Sharps being used? :confused:

Navy joe
April 4, 2005, 11:19 AM
Found a nice indoor range in Antalya a few years back on deployment. 75 yards in a basement, carpeted, lounge with nice furnishings, and pistol rentals. If I go back I will live in that place.

Lone Star
April 4, 2005, 11:30 AM
Crosshair-

I think you mean the Battle of Plevna, in about 1871. Winchester M66's were a mainstay of the hail of lead put up by the Turks. I don't know which other rifles they had, but Martini-Henrys might have been a bit early, as they'd just been adopted in Britain. Sniders or Remington Rolling Blocks seem more likely.

Later, of course, Mausers were the Tukish mainstay. They were an ally of Germany in WW I, and the casualties they inflicted on Australian troops at Gallipoli cost Churchill his job as First Sea Lord. Winston then obtained a commission as an Army captain and went to the trenches in France, Colt M1911 .45 in his holster.

But Lawrence of Arabia avenged the British against the Turks quite effectively.

Lone Star

El Tejon
April 4, 2005, 11:37 AM
Lone, think they were using Maritini-Peabodys during both wars, right? :confused:

TimRB
April 4, 2005, 11:42 AM
Excellent post, Matthew--thank you! I find it most interesting that rifles are banned (or at least perceived to be banned) where handguns and shotguns are not. I loosely interpret situations like this as further evidence that a person with a rifle is a citizen, not a subject.

Tim

Lone Star
April 4, 2005, 12:24 PM
Turkey adopted the Mauser M93; later M98 variants. They used these until after WW II, then largely had US aid, meaning a lot of Garands. (May have had Mausers like the M91, before the M93.) Don't have time now to look it up.

Might have had Martini-Peabodys in the 1870's. Sounds familiar, but I can't swear to it.

Lone Star

sturmruger
April 4, 2005, 12:34 PM
I wonder if they would let you buy a firearm???

Old Dog
April 4, 2005, 12:54 PM
I have it on good authority that some darn nice Turkish shotguns came back in one Navy squadron's cruise boxes from a deployment to Incirlik AB in the late '90s. As all good things must end, the powers-that-be quickly realized that this violated several military (and federal) regulations, so that was the last time ... It's not a matter of being able to buy there, but rather, being able to bring back what one buys to the U.S.

My father-in-law (retired AF) brought back a Kirrikale (spelling?) pistol in .380 in the '60s. Decently made copy of the Walther PP, nicely finished, shoots well.

cxm
April 5, 2005, 08:27 PM
I have been sttioned in Turkey twice.

At Izmir we had an active rod and gun club and shot quite a lot of skeet...same at Adana.

Shotguns were freely available... while I was there the PM's wife was found with a sort of illegal pistol... so the law was changed to allow some private ownership... not sure how much.

FWIW

Chuck

Standing Wolf
April 5, 2005, 09:51 PM
Turkey, by the way, is where Circassian walnut is from: the loveliest of all walnuts.

cracked butt
April 6, 2005, 12:23 AM
So you didn't see any Turkish mausers attached to a logging chain dragging behind cars? Hmmm. Kills that theory.

El Tejon
April 6, 2005, 09:48 AM
I think Standing Volk is in love. :D

Fumbler
April 6, 2005, 09:57 AM
Red, don't say that around our California Chinese Contingent! I have a copy of a print from the 10th century showing the Chinese using firearms (hand cannons) against each other.

El Tejon, certainly the 500S&W wasn't around at that time period :confused:

;)

Jalexander
April 6, 2005, 11:26 AM
My grandfather was stationed in Turkey sometime in the '50s, and I know from talking to my mother that he hunted a lot while he was there. I'm not sure for what, since it's been a while since we talked about it, but I seem to recall hearing about boar hunting while they were over there. I'm pretty sure that he carried a rifle and a shotgun whenever he travelled, because I know he had the rifle when they were in Germany. He hunting, needless to day.

James

Redneck Revolver
April 6, 2005, 05:23 PM
Red, don't say that around our California Chinese Contingent! I have a copy of a print from the 10th century showing the Chinese using firearms (hand cannons) against each other.

well i could be wrong. all the history i have read is that while the chinese were the first to invent gun powder, the turks were the first with true firearms. but agian i could be wrong.

Standing Wolf
April 6, 2005, 08:41 PM
I think Standing Volk is in love.

Truly. The most beautiful gun I've ever handled was a Holland and Holland double rifle quite a few years ago. I've never seen more richly grained wood before or since, and the steel was nothing to sneeze at, either.

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