Turkey: A cigar country
The idea for this road trip through Turkey was born in October 2021, when I was a guest at the Cigar Club Istanbul and met Ömer Tomruh, who manufactures custom-made humidors of all sizes in Uşak, a town about 320 km southwest of Ankara. I liked what he showed me in photos at the time so much that I spontaneously decided to write a story about this likeable man.
Ercan Hazar, owner of the legendary Cigarstore in Vienna and Turkey connoisseur, offered to be my guide.
And already after this first day one thing is clear: these conditions together with our driver Chino, who - I think - falls asleep with the cigar in his mouth and thus wakes up again - are a real stroke of luck.
From Vienna we take the plane to Izmir, there we continue by car to Selçuk, which will be our starting point for a few days. The town is close to Ephesus, which is on the program for tomorrow. And: exactly here the first tobacco seeds were planted in the Ottoman Empire. Maybe that's why I immediately feel at home...
Here we stay in an enchanting hotel, the Ayasoluk 21st Century, which is lovingly decorated both inside and out. Cigar smokers are welcome here!
After a short snack (it tastes fantastic) we are already back in the car and Chino drives us to Izmir, where we meet the people from Puro Kulübü Izmir.
The meeting place - in the garden of a shopping center - seems a bit weird at first: but the place, "Fabrice" is cigar friendly: immediately there are nice cigar ashtrays on the table and fine cocktails are served. Also here: Cigar smokers are welcome!
The cigar club is still "young", exists only for about a year and is still happy about new, gladly also female members. The 17 members meet once a month at different places in Izmir.
After the cigars (La Aurora, 115 anniversary, Exclusivo Austria) we are hungry and Chino knows a restaurant with home cooking. It smells wonderful there, everything is fresh (e.g. from the grill, which can be seen directly from the guest garden) and there are specialties like tripe soup, which tastes really fine.
After a Smoke in the garden of our hotel we fall into bed - some earlier, some later! 😉
Not true Chino and Ercan!
See you tomorrow, then it's through the ancient city of Ephesus,
Ayasoluk Boutique Hotel & Restaurant
1051. Sokak No: 12 Ataturk Mahallesi,
Selcuk 35920 Turkey
Yalı Mah. 6522. Sok. No:3 D:GF.L98
Vali Kazım Dirik Cd. No:3/B
35210 Konak/İzmir, Turkey
Kontakt Puro Kulübü Izmir (Baturhan Kinay)