|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;
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…
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…
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!
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…
People & Language
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.
Things to be Careful About
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)
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