The Catamaran Adventures of Noel and Ceu
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Hot in Marmaris

Hot in Marmaris and becoming a Turkish resident

The reason we paid a visit to Marmaris by traveling inland and not waiting to sail there is because we had a strategy. We needed to apply for Turkish residency and it takes 2 weeks to complete. It will take us now 2 weeks to sail around Datca peninsula and into Marmaris just in time for the pick up, because of course it has to be done in person.

We are going through this procedure because our Visa in Turkey will expire soon. They only give you 90 days, no renewals, and if you stay longer you must apply for residence here, anywhere from a few weeks up to 5 years.

But wow…what was supposed to be an easy task, became a long procedure. We took a bus at 1:00pm from Karacasogut into Marmaris and started the enquiry at the Marina. They told us they have an agent who for a fee could do it all for us without having us running around to different offices. Except their agent was very busy that afternoon with another yacht. They told us it would be easy to do it on our own and pointed to us up the road to the Port Police office. 10 minutes walk took us through police security at a gate where you have to show passport and reason for visiting. We noticed that was also the cruiseship dock and some duty free shops.

After finally finding the Port Police office, the very last door on the very last building on the docks, Police told us they don’t deal with that, we must go Immigration Police on the other side of town. We walked back to the main road in what it felt like the hotest day of the year, and took a taxi. Downtown, the thermometer registered 42 degrees. No wonder it felt so hot.

The taxi dropped us off at the Immigration office and we were hoping to have the process started. Another surprise. They told us I could not apply for resident because on my transit log, upon arrival in Turkey, they wrote me down as passenger and not crew. As a passenger I cannot apply. I must go back to town and see the Harbour Master to change it! We couldn’t believe our ears!

We took a 5 minute bus ride into town and into the office of the Harbour Master. He told us he couldn’t do it. He could not just change my name from being a “passenger” into “crew” without me showing him certification. I said, listen: I am very disappointed they wrote me down as a passenger on my own boat,and it was written in Turkish, which I don’t understand. Every country we have been I have been CREW and no questions asked. Noel said: we are going back to Greece.
The Harbour Master stopped pacing himself and asked where I was from. I said I am from Portugal and Noel from England. He thought about it for a second and said “just between You and I and God above….go next door, get an agent and he will do all it takes to have that changed for you.

Walked over next door and within 15 minutes he had it changed and ready. He charged us 100TL, about $50CAN and we were off to go back to the Immigration office when he told us not to bother going, because they would be closing soon for the day.

Well it meant another trip to Marmaris, but not the next day. We enjoyed being back on the boat and explored the little village and the walks along the fig trees….lol

On the bus ride back from Marmaris we were treated to a ‘delightful’ show of lower-class British holiday makers. This group of ten, loosely related to each other, were on the Gulet next door to us in Karacasogut. They had spent the day in Marmaris like us, and were catching the same dolmus back.

But their day was spent buying, and drinking, beer.

By the time we were to catch the bus, they were already well gone. So, instead of getting on the bus that was ready to depart, they sat down and ordered some beers in the bar. The bus driver patiently waited. And, it seems, a certain member of the group, named Ron, has a habit of rocking the boat with his complaints. Well after almost an hour of escalating conflict, frequent swearing and shouting, and multiple tears among different members, everyone finally got on the bus.

Everyone, that it, except for Ron and wife who decided they would remain behind – no doubt to catch up on a bit more drinking.

I presume they later caught an expensive taxi back as later on that evening the shouting and swearing resumed as they had arrived at the shore and wanted to come on board the gulet.

The day after we set off on the 7:30am bus, much cooler then. We were at the Immigration office by 8:30. They quickly processed our application and sent us on another walk to the taxation office to pay and come back there with receipt.

It was a tall building was up on a hill. No one around spoke English. At each floor we showed our paper and on each floor they pointed “Upstairs”. When we arrived upstairs we showed our paper and they again pointed “Upstairs”. 5 floors later we were on the right office laughing of course. Nice lady with perfect English took our money and gave us the receipt. We paid 138TL each.

Within 5 minutes and the receipts in hand we walked back to the Immigration office which they call “Police”. We then paid a bit more money (200TL each) to them and it was all finalized. We were told to pick it up in about 2 weeks. With the total cost for resident permit in Turkey for 9 months, of 676TL ($335) for the two of us.

We were happy and on our way to downtown Marmaris just a 5 minute bus ride. Started walking along the promenade looking for a place to have breakfast. The sun was already scortching hot at 9:30. Funny that we bumped into this place serving English Breakfast with “proper” bacon. Of course we walked right in! Remember, this is a muslim country. No pork here.

Bacon is very hard to find here. Noel saw it once in the grocery store,and didn’t buy it because it wasn’t the “proper” bacon he has been craving and it was also $80 per kilo!! Outch. I did go shopping on my own the other day and I did surprise him with bacon for breakfast, he was not allowed to ask the price! We had a laugh.

We really enjoyed our English breakfast in Marmaris complete with freshly squeezed OJ and were off to get some groceries and pay a visit to the Chandler. We finally bought some floating long line to take ashore and tie up. It will make it much easier. Distances are hard to judge and we were always at last minute tying more and more lines together so we could reach the shore.

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