Crossing the border was remarkably easy after the todos we had had entering and exiting China, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran. The Iranians did not seem too worried about our luggage as we were leaving, the Turks were very relaxed about our entry, and the ladies in the group were keen to remove the hajibs as soon as possible after leaving Iran. We were soon on Turkish soil, and without hajibs.

We were quickly introduced to kebabs, a dish that would be with us for the next two weeks in Turkey. Dogubeyit today is a fairly scrubby border town with little to commend it. You can see two nice things from the town

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Ishak Pasha Palace

Ishak Pasha Palace is a semi-ruined palace and administrative complex in the mountains above Doğubeyazıt. It is an Ottoman-period palace whose construction was started in 1685 by Colak Abdi Pasha, the bey of Beyazit province, continued by his son İshak Pasha and completed by his grandson Mehmet Pasha. According to the inscription on its door, the Harem Section of the palace was completed by his grandson Ishak (Isaac) Pasha in 1784. The Ishak Pasha Palace is a rare example of the historical Turkish palaces. The palace was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 100 lira banknote of 2005-2009

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Butic Ertur Hotel

Dogubeyazit is a border town catering for the trans-border traffic between Iran and Turkey. There really is not much to see in the town, and the roads are mainly dirt. When we were there , the army was on alert after a number of "incidents" with the Kurds. So we had dinner in the hotel to avoid having to go out after dark.

You stop here because you need a place for the night en-route from Tabriz to the west of Turkey. Whilst you are here you can visit the Ishak Pasa Palace, visible up the mountain from the terrace on top of the hotel. You can also see Mount Ararat from the terrace, assuming of course that the skies are clear, which they were the evening we arrived.

Ararat consists of two major volcanic cones: Greater Ararat, the highest peak in Turkey and the Armenian plateau with an elevation of 5,137 m ; and Little Ararat, with an elevation of 3,896 m. It has been known as the traditional resting place of Noah's Ark since the 11th century. The peak is in Turkey. Searches for Noah's Ark have traditionally concentrated on Mount Ararat. Augustin Calmet wrote in his 1722 biblical dictionary, "It is affirmed, but without proof, that there are still remains of Noah's ark on the top of this mountain; but M. de Tournefort, who visited this spot, has assured us there was nothing like it; that the top of mount Ararat is inaccessible, both by reason of its great height, and of the snow which perpetually covers it." Despite numerous reports of ark sightings and rumors, "no scientific evidence of the ark has emerged." Searches for Noah's Ark are considered by scholars an example of pseudoarchaeology. Kenneth Feder writes, "As the flood story itself is unsupported by any archaeological evidence, it is not surprising that there is no archaeological evidence for the existence of an impossibly large boat dating to 5,000 years ago".

Butic Ertur hotel is a modern building right on the main road. It is certainly not a destination in its own right, but if you need a hotel for the night, then I would recommend this hotel, The rooms and building are reasonably well kept, and breakfast passable for the location. I had a front facing room and was not troubled by the noise of traffic. It is not smart, it is not luxurious, but the best you will get in this border town

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So on into Kars and westwards in Turkey

On to next town - Kars

Back to Overall Itinerary for Silk Road Trip 2016