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Eastern Turkey (Nemrut Dagi) ?

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1. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Travel100 has indicated that this thread is about Turkey

Has anyone ever been to Eastern Turkey, especially to visit the giant stone heads at Nemrut Dagi?

Is it safe for an American (traveling solo) to visit this area? This is my main concern (the PKK, close to Iraq/Syria borders, etc.).

What city would I fly into from Istanbul (Erzurum?, Van?)

How many days would I need to have a look around Eastern Turkey, primary visiting Newrut Dagi? (I prefer not to take too much time, because if I go here, it will be between Europe and India, so I won't have much time).

Note: I've been to Turkey before (spent 3 weeks traveling around the western half of the country).

I would probably go to Eastern Turnkey (end of July, I understand the weather in the East is nice then, but the West is hot).

Thanks in advance, I hope someone has some Info. on Eastern Turkey.

2. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

Is it safe for an American (traveling solo) to visit this area? This is my main concern (the PKK, close to Iraq/Syria borders, etc.).
What city would I fly into from Istanbul (Erzurum?, Van?)

3. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Hey wouterr,

I was all excited that someone had some answered my post and you didn't say anything :(

4. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

Is it safe for an American (traveling solo) to visit this area? This is my main concern (the PKK, close to Iraq/Syria borders, etc.).
What city would I fly into from Istanbul (Erzurum?, Van?)

Sorry, in a way I pushed submit button allready (edit button?)

I understand this is your next adventure Jeffrey?

Concerning safity. I think it will not be a problem. I travelled there (on transit to Iran so don't ask me about highlights)in 2003 a few days before the Iraq war started. I was a little bit concerned before I went but it was no problem. In Erzurum in seemed that the locals never have seen any foreigner so you are an attraction, people will spontanously talking to you . No aggresive people at all and all very kind (just like Iran). I think that it doesn't count for the locals whether you are an European or an American. From Erzurum (dogubayazit) it is very easy to get in Iran, go there to Jefferey

5. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

What city would I fly into from Istanbul (Erzurum?, Van?)

There are also some excellent sleeping trains from Istanbul to Erzurum.........clean, cheap and not totally full with people (like India)

6. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting wouterrr

Quoting Travel100

What city would I fly into from Istanbul (Erzurum?, Van?)

There are also some excellent sleeping trains from Istanbul to Erzurum.........clean, cheap and not totally full with people (like India)

How long did the train Istanbul-Erzurum take? How much do you remember that it cost (about)?

7. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

How long did the train Istanbul-Erzurum take? How much do you remember that it cost (about)?

I went by sleeper from Istanbul to Ankara where I stayed a few days. In Ankara I took another sleeper to Erzurum. I actually remember the costs of the Ankara-Erzurum sleeper pretty detailed. It was like 27.000.000 lira (now they have the so called "Turkish new lira" without all the zeros), about 17 euro (19 US$, this the 2003 exchange-rate). It took all night, from 7 pm to 9 am.

8. Posted by tankut (Budding Member 10 posts) 11y

It's been some four years I went up the to the top of Nemrut. I am no American, but I too went solo. I looked the part of the tourist well enough, with long hair, windbreaker, the backpack and the camera; the works. Though there have been some recent incidents with the remnants of PKK in the southeasternmost border, the overall security situation has improved. I had actually missed my flight to Gaziantep (which was the most convenient for me at the time) so I took the next one to Diyarbakir and travelled using whatever was available (coaches, hitchhiking etc). Obviously it took longer, but proved to be a lot more fun. The mountain is in Kahta, which is in Adiyaman. So Erzurum is way too far, I think.
A couple of suggestions: you want to be at the top before the break of day, the sunrise is justifiable famous. Take a windbreaker, it can get quite cold and windy at the top at night. Days are hot, but dry so it's not unbearable. Also, if you can spare the time, try to visit Mardin. It's a beautiful historical city.
Bon voyage..

9. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Hey Tancut,

Thanks for your reply and Information. I found it on the map and Erzurum does seem too far East. I think I will try and visit the Ruins on top of Memrut Dagi, but may not travel around Southeast too much. I wanted to also visit Lake Van, Ani, and some other places but maybe with the PKK, Iraq problems, etc.., it will be best to just go visit the Stone heads on Nemrut and then return to Istanbul.

Can I fly form istanbul to Adiyaman? Or would I fly to Malatya? (and then get to Kahta).

Thanks again

10. Posted by k2 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y

hi,

i am an auditor who s travelling a lot. I have been some of the places that u have been mentioning.

First of all we aint no barbarians, so i dont think that people will get pissed off since u r only american citizen. Secondly, as i said before i both travelled with car and plane to those regions, and there are not as much terorist activities as much before. Some small exceptions are being reported only and they r not against to tourists. But if you see any PKK terorists, you can tell that u are from a country thats helping to them indirectly. So u wont be in trouble ;). U may also travel during the day in order to lessen your excitement.

I have a Auto Ruote program and i ve measured some distances for u..

Gaziantep - Kahta 167 km. (sorry we dont use miles)
Malatya - Kahta 90 km
Diyarbakir- Kahta 170 km
Sanliurfa -Kahta 145 km
Van - Kahta 520 km
Kars(the city which ANi is within)- Van 297 km

So as far i see, u have chosen a route that will be tiring for u. Because the Ani, VAn, Nemrut etc, are far away from each other. But u have also one chance. In that area, there is a good airway transportation. Except Adiyaman, all cities (Gaziantep, Malatya, Diyarbakir, Sanliurfa, Van and Kars) have an airport thats is working. But considering the frequency of the passengers, the Turkish airways only go there with transit flights from Ankara. Each flight (including transit= 2 flights actually) nowadays cost about 100 YTL which is less than 100 usd. (1 usd= 1.36 ytl).

Considering the distances. Malatya seems to be more closer to Nemrut Dagi. Since i have never been there before, i cant give any info about the roads.