tisdag 8 april 2008

Turkey, Dogubayazit/Diyadin

Tuvalie and Luka inspecting stones outside the Ishak Pasa palace, Dogubayazit. /Pentax

After staying a few days in Erzerum to pick up our visas for Iran, we continued to Dogubayazit - a town about 35 km from the Iranian border. This is said to be a popular place for overlanders to meet, passing to or from Iran but we did not manage to meet anyone...

The nearby Ishak Pasa Palace is one of the most famous landmarks of eastern Turkey. The day we decided to go and visit it it was closed. Instead, as we arrive we are welcomed by a film team busy making a couple of kurdish music videos. They immediately wanted to film the children and, later on, Pia and Lina were dressed up in kurdish folk dresses and filmed. Who knows, in a couple of months we might all appear on TV in a kurdish music video..? We ended this perfect daytrip with some kurdish folk dance in the sunset.

Admiring the view. /Pentax

The film crew made use of our Land Rovers! /Pentax

The recording of a music video with the Ishak Pasa as a backdrop. /Pentax

Pia and Lina in Kurdish folkdress, and sandals... /Pentax

Milan and friends dancing in the sunset. /Pentax

After a couple of nights camping in Dogubayazit we went in search for somewhere nice to spend a couple of days waiting for a package from Sweden. We ended up in Diyadin, the highest situated town in Turkey about 70 km west of Dogubayazit. Diyadin, which is mainly a kurdish town, is known for its thermal springs (rich in sulphate which gives an interesting smell to the whole town). It also used to have quite strong connections with the PKK, but this is apparently changing.

We never managed to solve the problem with the package but after one week in a former hotel (now a pension for teachers and nurses) we have made some real good friends and been given a unique opportunity to really get to know Turkey. We´ve experienced late evening barbeque with newly made friends, dancing to live turkish music at the Diaydin/Agri annual police party, a personal sightseeing tour of Agri, endless hot baths and an unforgettable amount of hospitality and friendliness.

Sad to leave Turkey, but convinced we will return, tomorrow we pack ourselves back into the Land Rovers and head for Iran...

Tanja contemplating the 65 degrees hot water in our hotel pool. /Pentax

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