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Memories of my travels between 1972 and 1982

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

September 28th: Dogubayazit in Eastern Turkey

On September 28th 1972, I was in Dogubayzit in eastern Turkey.

After the drive north from Lake Van, we reached the main route to Iran at Dogubayzit. As always we wanted to camp out in the country rather than to stay in the town, but this time, so near a sensitive frontier, we were not going to get away with it. We stopped first at a Jandarma, a police station, 10 kilometres before town, and after an hour we were told that we couldn't stay because it was a military area. So we drove past the town and up into the hills where we had a good view of Mount Ararat. First some shepherds told us it was forbidden to camp, and then the police arrived and told us to go to a hotel as the area was dangerous because of Kurds. So we camped outside the hotel where there were other car campers.

In the morning we drove up to gaze at the wild and romantic Ishak Pasha Palace, high on its promontory. I can't remember if the public could access the building itself, but the view was enough. We didn't linger and went back down the mountain and over the border into Iran.

Ishak Pasha Palace in 2003, picture by moondroog, CC

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