An Internet Survival Kit for Turkey -- Watch Your E-Mail's Back!

Jim Masters

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There are two sources of Internet problems in Turkey - those of big city origin and those of small city origin. Because we live remotely down here on the beach in small-city Gümüldür, both types can strike us without warning.

This past Friday afternoon, for instance, we got hit by the big city problem-variety - when our primary email provider, EgeNet (out of Ege University, the largest university in Izmir, the third largest city in Turkey, with a population of around 5 million), suddenly went into a black hole (for the second time in two months), from which it still hasn't emerged almost 3 days later.

We presume that it will rise from the ashes again (just like the last time) sometime around mid-afternoon today, now that the no-work weekend is over. But we're not sure - because the telephone call we made and the 2 email queries we sent have each disappeared into that same aforementioned black hole.

Which is why, besides EgeNet, we have 3 backup email providers. . . Currently, they are TTNET Mail (run by Türk Telecom) in-country and Google's GMail and Yahoo's YahooMail out-country.

That may sound like overkill to you, but once (about 5 years ago) when Turkey's Internet access to the outside world ‘went south’ (due to a severed underwater communication cable off the coast of Greece), our triple failsafe email backup operators (of that time) took up the slack that EgeNet couldn't handle and helped us through a very dodgy 6 week period. And when another underwater cable was severed less than a year later, we hardly noticed a ripple - because, by then, we were practiced hands at that particular sort of ‘ Internet workaround’.

In fact, we even surprise ourselves sometimes - at our ability nowadays to work around most of the operational problems that can affect our ‘Internet life’ . . . from electrical brown and blackouts, downed telephone lines, telecomm service breakdowns, equipment failures, international internet connection cutoffs, and so on. But, we've been through a lot since we arrived in 1992 - and if we hadn't learned to cope by now, it'd be even more surprising. Now, wouldn't it?

[Click following to access a fully illustrated HTML version of Internet Survival Kit for Turkey. ]

Jim and (co-author) Perihan Masters are a husband and wife team, living on the Aegean Coast of Turkey just 50 miles south of Izmir. Jim was born in Shanghai, China - of American military parentage. Peri was born on the Black Sea coast of Turkey near Trabzon, of Turkish military parentage. . . Enticed by a Financial Times advertisement, Jim joined a NATO sponsored enterprise in Ankara in 1974 where he met the beautiful and brainy Perihan, a rising young Turkish banking executive. Settled now in the heart of what was once the ancient Ionian Empire - the couple live an idyllic life by the sea. . writing, drawing and painting, teaching English, and providing computing service support to local businesses. They also sponsor the MSNBC award-winning Learning Practical Turkish Website which has built an enthusiastic international following of devoted Turkophiles and inquisitive language students of all ages.


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