Stonepark Travel
EASTERN TURKEY
As the center of Anatolia, Eastern and Southeastern part of Turkey holds many different cultures, amazing geography and an unique cuisine.

As most of Turkey, Eastern part of Turkey also has many small airports. But you can always fly to Ankara, Kayseri or Nevsehir (Cappadocia) airports and attend to an Eastern tour from here which is more reliable as these parts offer best Eastern tours.

But if you prefer to visit a specific region you can also fly directly to the following airports;

  • Adana Sakirpasa Airport
  • Adıyaman Airport
  • Ağrı Ahmed-i Hani Airport
  • Antakya Hatay Airport
  • Diyarbakır Airport
  • Erzurum Airport
  • Gaziantep Oguzeli Airport
  • Kahramanmaras Airport
  • Malatya Erhac Airport
  • Mardin Airport
  • Van Ferit Melen Airport
  • Sanliurfa GAP Airport
     

Stonepark Travel Agency would gladly arrange your flights suitable with your travel needs.

Eastern part of Turkey has dry and harsh weather conditions. The winters will be very cold and usually under snow so it’s best to visit these places starting from the end of March till November. Summers will be quite hot so the best times are usually spring and fall. 

Eastern usually has a dry weather which causes to the winters to be very cold and the summers to be very hot. The region will be under snow from November till the end of March or sometimes April.  

Gaziantep – Zeugma Museum: Gaziantep is one of the best examples to the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world. Besides being an economic center in Eastern Turkey Gaziantep is mostly famous with it’s Archaeological Museum. Known also as the Zeugma Museum, thanks to the Zeugma mosaics excavated from Nizip,   this is a World class Museum that you wouldn’t want to bypass.

Sanliurfa:  Located on a plain about eighty kilometres east of the Euphrates River, Sanliurfa was home to many civilizations throughout the history. Also called as the Prophets' City because of legends telling that the Patriarch Abraham was born in a cave here. That’s why the cave is visited by hundreds of Muslim pilgrims every year.

It’s has also highlights like; Balıklıgöl (Fish Lake), teh old covered bazaar; the Throne of Nimrod fortress… etc.

Harran: Located 45km southeast of Sanliurfa, Harran was a major ancient city in upper Mesopotamia. The archaeological remains of ancient Harran, shows that it was a majör center of culture and religion in the Early Bronze Age III (3rd millennium BCE) period.

Other than it’s ancient history Harran’s most distinctive aspect is its mud beehive houses, which you can visit models of these at the Harran Kültür Evi (Cultural Center).

Gobekli Tepe: Located 15 km away from Sanliurfa, Gobeklitepe is one of the oldest pre-historic sites found.

What makes Gobeklitepe unique is the date it was built, which is roughly twelve thousand years ago, around 10,000 BC. It is said to be the oldest temple of the World.

Göbeklitepe is a series of mainly circular and oval-shaped structures set on the top of a hill. The purpose of the structures is not yet clear. It was excavated by a German archaeological team under the direction of Klaus Schmidt from 1996 until his death in 2014…

Mt. Nemrut: You can recognize Mt. Nemrut from the large head statues. It is famous with two hierothesiums, open-air shrines to the gods, with huge limestone statues of Apollo, Fortuna, Zeus, Heracles, and Antiochus I Epiphanes, King of Commagene. Mt Nemrut is visited usually at sunrise or sunset which offers an unforgettable sight.

Van: Located on the eastern shore of Lake Van, lies the city of Van. This city has a long history being important capitals for Urartus first and then for Armanians.

Lake Van: Located in the far east of the country Lake Van is the biggest lake in Turkey. Receiving waer from numerous small streams this lake is very importan as it’s a saline soda lake. Lake Van is one of the world's largest endorheic lakes.

Akdamar Island: Akdamar Island is the second biggest island located inside Lake Van. It is home to the 10th century Armenian Holy Cross Cathedral, which was the seat of the Armenian Apostolic Catholicosate of Aghtamar from 1116 to 1895.

Dogubeyazit: Dogubeyazit is at edge of Turkey, the last Turkish town before the highway to Iran. Once you’re here you should visit the beautiful Ishak Pasha Palace. It’s an Ottoman period palace which was started to contruct in 1685 by Colak Abdi Pasha and continued by his son Ishak Pasha. But it couldn’t be finished until his grandson Mehmet Pasha.

Another amazement in Dogubeyazıt would be to gaze upon the legendary Mount Ararat!

Kars - Ani: Kars may seem to be at the end of Turkey, a very far place to visit but it’s also rich with history and culture. As it was once served as a capital to Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia and after that taken by the Ottomans you can find different structures like; Church of the Apostles (937 AD), the 15th-century Ottoman Stone Bridge (Tas Köprü), the grim Citadel (1579), a 19th-century Russian cathedral…

Ani is another former capital of Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia said to be called after the ancient Urartian fertility goddess Anahid.

Erzurum: As one of the largest cities in Eastern Turkey we can call Erzurum the capital of Eastern Turkey. This city was especially important for Seljukians in 1100s and 1200s. That’s why you can visit many beautiful and important Seljuk era structures like; Çifte Minareli Medrese, the Mongol-built Yakutiye Medrese, a very old citadel, and various distinctive Seljuk Turkish tombs.

Erzurum is also important as a ski center. Palandoken Mountain offers one of the biggest ski resort in Turkey!

There are many centers in Eastern Turkey region also but it’s important to know your itinerary while you’re travelling in Eastern Turkey region. It’s best to have a guide which knows the region very well.

The accommodation options are quite limited in Eastern Turkey so be prepared not to expect much from the Hotels (except some regions).

Eastern Turkey is mostly famous with handcrafting in jewellery. Especially gold and silver hand made jewelleries are very beuatiful and mostly much more cheaper than other countries. Also different handcraft copper pottery is very appealing too!

Another highlight is the cotton linens, towels, pestemals… Cotton and wool is hand-spun and worth to check!

Like Black Sea region also the Eastern part of Turkey is very rich with it’s cuisine aswell. A very different and authentic cuisine will be waiting at the Eastern Part of Turkey. But you should be careful as it may be a little to heavy for people not used to meat eating.

First lets start with “Baklava”! This famous and delicious dessert is originated from Gaziantep. So keep in mind that the best Baklava you can have will be the ones you’ve eaten in Gaziantep.

Ali Nazik is another delicious treat coming from Gaziantep. This is a dish made with minced meat served over an eggplant and yogurt mixture.

Cag kebab is one of the most famous kebabs in Turkey which can be eaten in Erzurum region. Basically this kebab is like doner but this time the tender meat is cooked on a horizontal spit. Then this meat is served with fresh bread, salad and onions.

Turkey is famous with its kebabs, everybody know that!. Another delicios kebab dish is Beyti Kebab. You can find the best Beyti Kebab in Van. This kebab is made with minced meat kebab wrapped in lavash topped with tomato sauce and yogurt.

Van is also famous with the rich breakfast they serve. You can find anything you can desire in a Van breakfast from different kind of cheese to, honey and olives and many more!

Kars is famous with its Goose Kebab. Not very popular in other parts of Turkey you can find a nice goose kebab in Kars…

And finally, Kahramanmaras is famous with its ice cream. Don’t pass this beautiful city without stopping for a cool treat. I can guarantee it will be worthwhile!

There are many different and delicious dishes you can find in Eastern Part of Turkey but you should discover some of them by yourself!

Currency
Most of the touristic areas in Turkey will accept USD and EUR aswell as Turkish Liras. You can even exchange money at most of these places but make sure you ask the exchange rates and know the legal rates while travelling to Turkey.

But Eastern Turkey region has less popular touristic places than other parts of Turkey so it would be best to carry Turkish Liras with you instead of EUR or USD as you may not always find an exchange center.

You can always use the banks or exchange offices. In these parts you should trust your money with banks only…

Local time
Turkey has the same time period through out the country. But we have summer time and winter time differences; GMT+3 hours (April-September) GMT+2 hours (October-March).

People & Language
Turkish people are usually very friendly and hospitable. Eastern Turkey people are very hospitable and fun. Even though not many people speak English in these parts, they will do their best to help you anyway they can.

It will be best to carry a Turkish Phrase book or Google tranlate to help you communicate with the people at non-touristic parts of Eastern Turkey.

Eastern Turkey people are a little conservative than Western and Mediterranean parts so it’s best to be conservative about your clothing aswell.

Tipping
Giving tips in Turkey is customary at a rate of 10%-15% of the total. Especially for drivers and guides and establishments such as hotels and restaurants. 

Electricity
220 volts AC/50 Hz. all over Turkey. (Industrial:380 V) Plug: European round/ 2-prong plug.

Measurements
Metric System is used in all of Turkey

  • 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters / 1 centimeter = 0.3937 inches
  • 1 yard = 0,9144 meters /1 meter = 1.0936 yards
  • 1 mile = 1,6093 kilometers / 1 kilometer = 0.6214 miles
  • 1 pound = 0,4536 kilograms / 1 kilogram = 2.2046 pounds
  • 1 acres = 0,4047 Hectares / 1 hectare = 2.471 acres
  • 1 UK gallon = 4.546 liters /1 liter = 0.2199 UK gallons
  • 1 US gallon = 3.7831 liters / 1 liter = 0.2643 US gallons

Things to be Careful About
Eastern Turkey has many different sites with interesting mosques and ancient Byzantine structures. Usually there are no dress codes but as the people are a little conservative in these parts being humble about your clothing will help you blend in easily.

Some of the museums you’re not allowed to take photos as the mosaics are very fragile. But mostly, it is allowed to take photos without flash. It is definetely forbidden to take photos of the military bases.

Taking photos of the local people is generally fine but in some countryside some people can be conservative. If you are in an area like that, it’s better to ask their permission before taking the photo. Even if they don’t understand your language they will understand your gestures. As most of the local people are very friendly, they also may come to you to take a photo with you.

As much as Turkish people are friendly and good willed, like in many countries we may have ill-minded people also. Don’t believe everybody or go places with them without searching or asking someone you would trust (your hotel or your travel agency for instance)

Istiklal Cad. No:59/E 50400 Urgup / Nevsehir / Turkey • Phone: +90 384 341 8897 • Fax: +90 384 341 5348 • info@stonepark.com.tr
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