Mardin City, Turkey

Eastern Turkey

Much less explored than the rest of Turkey, this vast region offers the intrepid traveller a perfect playground without the crowds.

There is so much to do and see that the only real challenge is in trying to decide what to leave out. While distances in Eastern Turkey can be large, the roads over the last decade have improved immeasurably and the region is very well serviced by a good choice of regional airports.


It’s all here. Things to see and do, places to explore and moments to discover.

Delicious Baklava, Turkey

Sample Baklava

Indulge in delicious Baklava in Gaziantep.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Mount Nemrut Turkey

Mount Nemrut

Climb Mount Nemrut at sunrise and marvel at the colossal stone heads of Antiochus.

Mardin, small town near Diyarbakir in Turkey


Soak up the history of Mardin, blending a fascinating mixture of different religions and influences.

Church of St Gregory of Tigran Honents, Ani, Turkey

Ani Ruins

Lose yourself among the ruins of Ani, once the stately Armenian capital.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Dome of Zinciriye Medrese in the town Mardin, Turkey
Mardin, Turkey

Where to start

In contrast, travel to southeast Turkey has a very different feel from the rest of the country, with much being predominantly Kurdish. As you travel south from Mount Ararat and Lake Van, the rolling Anatolian plateau gives way to the hot lowlands of ancient Mesopotamia. A crossroads for millennia, the whole region is a fascinating melting pot that’s no better demonstrated than in the town of Mardin, where Kurdish, Muslim, Christian, Yezidi and Syrian cultures co-exist and where a strong Arabic influence can be seen in both the local dress and cuisine.

Nemrut Dagi, Turkey
Nemrut Dagi, Turkey

Nemrut Dagi

The extraordinary funerary complex at Nemrut Dagi is arguably Eastern Turkey’s best-known site; however, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Gobekli Tepe, the 12,000-year-old site which is re-writing the history books, Gaziantep’s magnificent Zeugma mosaics, Urartian castles, Armenian churches and the Syriac Orthodox Christian communities of the Tur Abdin together offer more than enough to keep even the most ardent culture vulture happy.

A fascinating region just waking up to its potential – get there before the crowds.

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A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz.

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Kate Hitchen

My travels were first inspired by my love of the UK, which I take as much pleasure in exploring as countries far and wide. For me, travel is all about the adventure, the people I meet and the food I sample along the way.

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