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Letter From Turkey

I received these emails from a current resident of Turkey. I think that many will find it interesting.

29 Dec 2002

Thank you very much for your kind reply. Unfortunately it seems silly but government officers are not willing to give such information to any one even they are doing historical research. at the moment I am preparing a book regarding guns and ammunition. A couple of years ago I wrote a letter to only ammunition and rifle supplier of turkey, which is MKE (makina kimya endüstrisi kurumu), regarding their products and historical information of them. I received very short stupid reply that mentions that kind of information is secret and not available to civilians. In contrast I received wide information from other countries arms producer which are very useful for my book. But I will do my best to find you official information which would be useful for you.

In Turkey old rifles are available in the hands of civilians. Some of them are licensed, some of them remained from their grandfathers who joined the war but unlicensed. I have seen some ottoman Mauser rifles sold to collectors. mainly available ones are ottoman Mausers, 6,5mm Steyr (in turkey every bolt action rifle is called as Mauser therefore these Steyrs are called Greek Mauser because they were used by Greeks against Turks), single shot martini rifles and Russian Mosin-Nagants converted to 7,9mm German cartridge due to lack of availability of 7,62x54R. I have also see a very nice single shot St. Etienne Mauser, 45 caliber.

In Turkey shooting is popular but ammunition, rifle and handguns are extremely expensive. to give you an idea second hand desert eagle is sold to 10,000 dollars, SigSauer 4,000 USD and it goes on like that. One 9mm pistol cartridge is apprx.1 USD if it is 357 mag. price can be double. If you have money another problem is to get the right cartridge as except 9 para, 9 short, 38 spc. 32 acp others are not always available. for example my friend has 44S&W Russian and only have one original cartridge and it is impossible to find second one. Only cartridge seller is MKE and you have to buy what they give you.

Every Turkish resident have right to have handguns but not to carry. But carrying permit also available if you can meet the special conditions. every handgun and rifle owner can buy only 200 cartridges per year by special permit (it was only 50 until last year). Also reloading any rifle and handgun cartridge is crime and has fine up to 8 years prison. as you see we have a lot of stupid laws. In whole Turkey we have only 5 or six handgun shooting range.

Hunting is popular in Turkey. in my area we go hunting for rabbits, and wild boars. In winter we can hunt ducks and geese. There are alot of boars in the forests here. Semiautomatic, pump action and other shotguns available very easily in here. Another interesting thing for Turkey some people can produce pistols by using only one drill and other simple tools. They make very strong barrels from engine parts. Also old Montenegrin pistols are available here for collectors.

4 Jan 2003

I asked a gun repair master who is repairing guns for more than 40 years about model 1938. He told me that in 1938 turkey had it own factory and machinery therefore all the parts were made in Turkey. This information is not official and reflects his experiences.