Travels in Kurdistan (part 1): Massacres in North and West Kurdistan

It’s June 2015, and we arrive in North Kurdistan (the part of Kurdistan within the Turkish borders) at election time. The Kurdish population is ecstatic, because for the first time in the history of the Republic of Turkey, the pro-Kurdish HDP party has won 80 seats in parliament. The HDP could only have any seats…

More reflections on being alone: Hiking the Carian Trail (part 3 )

I am walking the Carian Trail, an 800km long hiking route in south-west Turkey. See parts 1 and 2 here and here. Day 8: Eski Datça to Pigs Hollow (15km) I have started a new section of the Carian Trail – the Datça Peninsula. To my relief, the trail becomes unbelievably beautiful and, thank god,…

All alone with my mind: Hiking the Carian Trail (part 2)

I am walking part of the Carian Trail, an 800km hiking route in south-west Turkey. Read part 1 here. Day 4: Bahçeli to Cumhuriyet (Söğüt) (9km) Today is a day of letting go. Letting go of the egotistical desire to complete a certain amount of kilometres each day. Letting go of my aversion to the…

Hiking the Carian Trail (part 1): endurance and struggle!

The Carian Trail (or the Karia Yolu in Turkish) is an 800km hiking trail along the south-west coast of Turkey. Having walked the Lycian Way in Turkey a few years before, I am certain that I know what I am getting into. My intention is to walk 400km of the trail, and I want to…

Ghost Towns of Turkish Kurdistan

It is 45 degrees celsius in south-eastern Turkey and the population is not eating or drinking anything, even water, during daylight hours. It is Ramadan – the month of fasting. Chris and I guiltily glug water all day long (it’s 45 degrees, for god’s sake!) and instead of scowling at us, people offer us iced…

Bird Killers and Gun Fire: more tales from Turkey

Whilst sitting on beaches in Turkey, I have been known to mock English tourists, commenting on their bright red, burnt skin. So I get my comeuppance when Chris and I lay in the sun on Olympos beach, then both spend the next week with blistering, lobster-like skin. Turkey is the country of good fortune: whenever…

Georgia and Armenia: The Wrong Time Of The Year To Visit The Caucasus!

Kar means snow in Turkish, and the north-eastern Turkish city of Kars certainly lives up to its name. The residents here are super-friendly and the kindness of Turkish and Kurdish people can be compared to nowhere else. The Turkey-Georgia border close to Posof is very remote indeed! I don’t like borders because of political reasons…

An Update About Hitchhiking Solo As A Female In Turkey

I wrote this blog post when I was feeling very low after experiencing sexual harrassment whilst hitchhiking. This post is not meant to scare women, and I hope that you will find the comments section at the bottom useful, as a number of people have commented. I have previously written a lot about Turkey, gushing…

When The Seagull Ate The Sparrow: the road to Turkey

I have left the Rainbow Gathering in Spain and I am in Barcelona, listening to Turkish music with my friend, Julien. I turn to him and say, “I miss Turkey. Let’s hitchhike to Turkey together!” A few days later, a spontaneous Julien has packed a (heavy) rucksack and said goodbye to his life in Toulouse….

Learning about Turkish Kurdistan

Any traveller who has spent time in Turkey has probably heard racism directed towards Kurdish people. It is believed that 20-25 million Kurds live within the borders of Turkey. I am often told that south-eastern Turkey, which is predominantly Kurdish, is dangerous, and that I shouldn’t get into cars with Kurdish numberplates. This is, of…