The Euphrates and Tigris Basin
At the East of the Mediterranean coast, you leave touristic Turkey behind. Yet for many, this area, a broad plain ringed on three sides by the mountains, is the most exotic part of Turkey , offering ancient sites and fascinating, isolated towns.
At all times Eastern Turkey has been a border zone witnessing wars between civilizations and empires.
Very close to the Syrian border, ethnic Turks are a minority and Arab influence is very strong though through the North, the Kurdish proportion of the population increases.
Traveling in the area
Traveling around presents few problems, with good bus links between the major cities or by rental car. The roads have been repaired and are generally in good shape. Hotel facilities have been improved except for in little towns. In summer, the heat bakes everything and to visit the region at its best, travel is recommended in spring or autumn.
The most attractive places in Eastern Turkey are Gaziantep, an industrial center and the outpost of Europeanized Turkey and an excellent departure point for a tour to Zeugma; Sanliurfa (Edessa), (know by the Turks as Urfa), mentioned in the Bible as the birthplace of Abraham, the ideal departure for an excursion to Harran known for its beehive houses and the newly discovered temple of Gobklitepe (recognized as the oldest temple ever); Diyarbakir , the region's most interesting destination; Adiyaman very close to the spectacular temple and tomb of the Nemrut Dagi (Mount); finally Mardin on the shores of the Tigris, the city of monasteries.