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Southeastern Anatolia

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to most places along the Syrian border in Southeast Turkey.

Southeastern Anatolia is a unique part of Turkey, with a predominantly Kurdish population that is extremely welcoming to visitors. Sadly, renewed hostilities from 2015 between the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) and Turkish government forces, along with possible effects of the Syrian conflict in territory near the border, have rendered large areas risky for travellers. While the dangers to travellers are statistically small, over 1000 people, including many civilians, died in violence between the PKK and government forces within nine months. Check your government's travel advice before considering travelling here.

The brightest spot in the gloomy picture is that Nemrut Dağı National Park, a highlight of Turkish travel with its haunting 2000-year-old statues, is not, at the time of research, among the areas considered risky.

Should the security situation improve, look forward to exploring historical cities like Mardin or Şanlıurfa, enjoying the beauty of shimmering Lake Van and savouring superb local food in places like Gaziantep.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Southeastern Anatolia.