From: gurdeniz To: Bob Orleck Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 2:39 PM Subject: Ynt: TCG YUCETEPE Dear Bob She is gone. It is very touchy to watch the video casette. She was like a queen and leaving her last reign and departing for a new kingdom. I felt so different. She was home to me for 10 months and I really gave so much to her in order to make her look better and crew feel pride with her. Now while leaving Izmir harbor under tow the sight was so strange to me. Hundred times she crossed those waters and now she is under tow and leaving us forever. However she is a lucky ship. I try to visualize the day she will be christened as a museum ship. Attached is the picture taken in early may.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a message from Captain Cem GURDENIZ. Cem served as Executive Officer aboard TCG YUCETEPE D 345 and loved his ship. In large measure he was the man who saw to it that the USS ORLECK, built originally to last about 10 years, after making it through 37 years in our Navy, continued to serve the free world in Turkey for another 16 years until 1998. Captain GURDENIZ became an Admiral l in the Turkish Navy and served his country and freedom. He has presently a prisoner of conscience in his own country. You can read more about this on our Forums pages as well on posts on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/UssOrleck. If it was not for Captain GURDENIZ our ship would never have made it back to the United States and while things have not turned out as I and Cem dreamed, the USS ORLECK DD 886 is still in existence in Lake Charles, LA and there are people with good intentions trying to preserve her as a museum. While her experience in Orange was not good, and while it was painful for many to see how she languished under poor leadership there, there were good times when we gathered on-board her, did strip trips, had a reunion and more. So it has been good and we owe Admiral Gurdeniz a deep debt of gratitude.
The USS ORLECK DD 886 is presently at a temporary berth in Lake Charles and we have been advised that there are plans to move her onto the Lake sometime in 2013 or 2014. We will try to keep you updated in the future through the forum so please check in there once in awhile.