Eastern Anatolia shares boarders with Iran, Iraq, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan making it a land of many cultures. Most of the area was once a part of the Kingdom of Armenia and is largely populated by Kurdish people. Kurdish and Zaza along with local Turkish dialects are the native tongues you will here when travelling through the region. Turkish largest lake (Lake Van) and highest mountain (Mount Ararat) lay in this land.
Places to visit in Eastern Anatolia
Ani: The medieval Armenian capital is only 45km from the city of Kars. The city thrived until it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1319 and was not re-built. Known as the city of 1001 churches, visitors can easily spend a day walking around the triangular abandoned city.
Doğubayazıt: The last city before the Iranian border, the city is the place to stay when wanting to visit Mt. Ararat. The mountain is believed to be the final resting place for Noah’s ark. Ishak Pasha Palace is also a great Ottoman architectural marvel to explore when in town.
Erzurum: The largest city in the east, Erzurum is best visited in the summer months due to its moderate climate or in t winter as it hosts some of the best ski terrain in Turkey. The city is scattered with Selcuk, Saltuk and Mongol mosques and seminaries.
Kars: This city was once the capital of the Kingdom of Armenia and was long fought after by the Russians. Throughout Kars you can see many Armenian churches as well as Russian style houses. Butter and Honey is also a popular delicious breakfast choice.
Van: Situated on the shores of Lake Van, the city does not provide many touristic monuments besides the citadel and the Rock of Van as the city was burned by the Ottomans in 1915. Most travellers come to Van however to visit the Church of the Holy Cross. The church sits alone on Akdamar Island in the middle of Lake Van and can be reached by boat.