|Captain Ibrahim and friend|
As we left Captain Ibrahim's restaurant last week, the eponymous owner reminded us that he'd been born while Atatürk still drew breath and in historical terms, this restaurant keeps popping up in my time line. I will probably tell my not-yet-conceived grandchildren that I used to watch the Captain dress up as a pirate, (complete with black şalvar, eye patch and dodgy fake facial hair) and dance around the tables firing a pistol into the air. A minion would be positioned on the roof to throw down a dead bird. I'm not sure what the life expectancy of this job was but it appeared to be as dangerous as being a rear gunner in a Halifax in 1942. Incredulous foreign yachties would watch opened mouthed as the show continued, not entirely sure whether they should continue eating their meze, or run for the hills. We were regulars; crew on the lead boat of a flotilla. We'd moor up our 12 or so sloops, take part in a bit of showing off; being towed behind a speedboat on a windsurf board being one of the dafter activities, before donning our glad-rags (Yachttours t-shirt, very short shorts) and shepherding 50 guests ashore. Alcohol was so cheap and plentiful that we were reluctant to let guests try and make their own way back after a night out so we were ferried by restaurant tenders. In 1982 there wasn't much competition, everyone went to Captain Ibrahim's. These days, each restaurant in Çökertme sends a dinghy out to newly arriving yachts to entice them to tie up their jetty.
There has rarely been a year in the subsequent 33 that we haven't paid at least one visit to the Captain. There is no shooting anymore but the place hasn't changed much. Except for the immaculate showers and toilets, it could still be 1982.
|2015 with Simon, friend from 1975, on Captain Ibrahim's jetty.|