Part 9 of a Series on Islamic Doctrines
By Mike Scruggs- I spent three years as a USAF intelligence officer after graduating from the University of Georgia in 1961, but by the summer of 1965, I was navigator in a C-124 Globemaster squadron, stationed at Charleston, South Carolina. Although we were heavily involved in the Vietnam buildup, we occasionally got a mission to Europe we could really enjoy. After several months of grueling trips from Charleston to Southeast Asia and back, we got a dream mission. Our route stops included the Portuguese Azores, Madrid, Crete in the Mediterranean, Wheelus AFB in Libya, Izmir on the Aegean Sea in western Turkey, Athens, and back to Charleston via Madrid and the Azores. We usually stayed overnight at each place, which should have made the trip less than ten days. Due to some serious engine troubles and extended maintenance delays in Greece and Italy waiting for parts, we were gone more than a month.
Nobody had ever heard of Izmir, but I found out that it was the third largest city in Turkey, one of the most famous international ports in the world, and before 1928 was known by its Greek name of Smyrna. Western Turkey had been firmly Greek in language and culture for centuries after Alexander the Great had defeated the Persians there in 334 BC. Smyrna was, in fact, the Biblical city mentioned in the book of Revelation as the home of one of the seven churches of western Turkey.
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