Gaziantep/Antyaka/Syrian Border and Domestic Flights


May 11th, 2002, 11:56 PM
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Gaziantep/Antyaka/Syrian Border and Domestic Flights


My friend and I are planning a 16-day trip to Turkey in July/August. We hope to visit sites throughout the country, but(due to time constraints) we will save the eastern-most part of Anatolia and the northern Black Sea region for another trip.

My friend's family is from Syria, and he is especially interested in seeing that part of the Turkish east Mediterranean region that is close to the Syrian Border (such as Adana, Antyaka and Gaziantep).

We would also like to see Cappadocia, Pamukkale, and various spots along the western Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, and of course, at least 3 or 4 days in Istanbul.

Our plan is to fly from New York to Istanbul and then fly from Istanbul to Adana or Gaziantep towards the beginning of our trip and then work our way back to Istanbul by air, bus, sea, rental car, etc. We would be flying back to NY from Istanbul.

My questions are:

Should we spend time sightseeing in Istanbul at the start of our trip? Or should we immediately leave for Adana/Gaziantep upon arriving at the airport in Istanbul and save our exploration of Istanbul for the tail end of our trip? When would we appreciate Istanbul more? As the inaugurating feature or as icing on the cake?

Also, are there any airlines other than Turkish Airlines that fly domestic routes within Turkey? I notice most of Turkish Airlines' domestic flights have layovers in Istanbul or Ankara. This seems it would be inconvenient if I wanted to fly, for instance, from Gaziantep to Antalya.

Also, does anyone know of a website that shows the travel time between most Turkish cities if one travels by bus?

Many thanks in advance for help and advice on these matters.

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May 14th, 2002, 02:24 AM
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The answer to your 1st question mainly depends on the flight schedule for the city you want to go. I think that if you can find a flight immediately after your arrival from NY, then it is better to fly directly and visit Istanbul at the end of your trip. Another suggestion is to fly directly to Cappadocia and go to the South-East by bus directly from Cappadocia.
For info about schedule and fares, have a look at :

Among interesting places to see in the south are Antakya, Sanliurfa, Nemrut Dagi, Harran, Mardin, Diyarbakir, Hasankeyf (near Batman). There are frequent bus connections between these places.

For a first idea of transport duration and distances, have a look at :

You also mentioned that you would like to see the Aegean and Med coasts. I guess it will be difficult to see these areas because of time constraints. I would recommend not to rush to much. Keep in mind that you might need to save a few days to visit Istanbul on your way back and that 2 weeks are quite short to see both East, South and Western parts of Turkey.

If you still have some time left, you will have to make a choice between Aegean and Med coasts but you will not have time to see both. Flying from Antep or any other city to Antalya requires to book before because of the high traffic to Antalya. It is however quicker than the bus. If you chose the bus, take an overnight bus to Antalya.

Hope this give you some info.


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