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Another, but Different, Istanbul and Ephesus Question

Another, but Different, Istanbul and Ephesus Question

Aug 12th, 2012, 03:08 PM
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Another, but Different, Istanbul and Ephesus Question

We will be in Turkey in September for 23 days with an itinerary of 2 days in Istanbul, then on to Van, Kars, Erzurum, Trabzon, Ankara, Cappadocia, Antakya, Gaziantep and Adana. Then we head back to Istanbul for the next 4 nights to see all the sights we missed those first 2 days. The itinerary is set. The only remaining question is whether we should take one of those last 4 days and do a day trip to Ephesus, or stay in Istanbul and save Ephesus for (I hope) another trip to Turkey. We will be seeing many ancient sites along the way and do not know whether this is more of the same, so to speak, or entirely different. I know it would be a long day, but doable. On the other hand there are probably so many things to see, people watching, and cafes to visit in Istanbul that Ephesus may be something to wait for. Any thoughts on this (especially from otherchelebi who always seems to have such good advice) would be greatly appreciated.
susncrg is offline  
Aug 12th, 2012, 04:33 PM
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susncrg is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 12:23 AM
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You are posing a difficult question.

Like many others, your profile has nothing about you. Although previous posts give some indication, it is not enough.

First, a comment that you did not ask for : You are on a risky tour. Just yesterday, the terrorist group kidnapped a Turkish parliamentarian (although they let others in the group off,) by stopping their vehicle on a major intercity highway.

Now, for the question : Your itinerary does not include any site like Ephesus from a historic, archeological, geographic or anthropological perspective. Ephesus has been better excavated and restored than almost any similar site from the same period in Anatolia. The Aegean is very different in terms of climate, cuisine, lifestyle, culture and nature from the other areas you will be visiting.

On the other hand, one day in the area is short for getting a good feel of all the antiquity and the local culture which should include, Dilek nature park, Doganbey village, Karina lagoon, Bafa lake and Herakleia, Priene, Miletus and Didyma, as well as the further away sites of Sardis, Aphrodisias, Heliopolis, Pamukkale, Birgi, and others.

So, it really is up to you. If you have a good chance of making it back, you can do a very profitable day trip to Ephesus and the other sites in Selcuk, leaving the rest to a later visit when you will be able to visualize and plan better on the basis of the first one.

This will also give you more reasons for spending additional time in istanbul on your next visit, because istanbul can be worth weeks if not months if you enjoy interesting walks, culture, nature, arts and entertainment in addition to the history.

Please read my trip notes on Gaziantep and my reviews of Orkide patissery and Imam Cagdas on trip Advisor.

I am embarrassed to say that we have not been to Van and Erzurum.

Information about our Trabzon, Borcka, Macahel, Kars, Dogubeyazit trip are at the four blogs (i,2,3 and 4) as :

these were our first blogs so the narrative and pictures start from the end.

Some of our photographs are in our albums on webshots under my wife's name. She still has to add kars, dogu beyazit, Western black sea, Gaziantep, Urfa, etc. :

Enjoy the kunefe at Harbiye near Antakya and take good precautions if you visit the monastery of Saint Simeon Stilit, Jr.

I hope you get to visit Hattusas and Yazilikaya, not spend any tme in Adana, start taking claritine or similar antihistamine a few days before your trip and continue, just in case, have a hat, very comfortable walking shoes and not sandals and flip flops for your sight-seeing, Eti brand cheese crackers and biscuits from any market and bottled water with you at all times, try fresh walnuts (peel the inner skin also)

Bon voyage and thanks for your trust.
otherchelebi is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 06:45 AM
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OC--where in particular was the parlimentarian kidnapped? The farthest east I am going is Trabzon/Sumela Monastery, so thinking I'm ok but would appreciate your confirmation.

MinnBeef is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 07:12 AM
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The parliamentarian is a representative from Tunceli and he had posted his movements on facebook. he was kidnapped within Tunceli province or somewhere between tunceli and erzurum, but i am not sure.

the consensus is that he will soon be released with a message. His driver and a reporter who was traveling with him were not kidnapped, and his car was not damaged.

Trabzon and Sumela pose no problems. the only thing you should beware anywhere on the Black sea coast is flooding and landslides due to too much rain. So make sure you have rainproof clothing and shoes.
otherchelebi is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 11:55 AM
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As I and others predicted, the MP was released late afternoon today.

Apparently there has been 145 kidnappings this year, including only one British tourist who was also released two days after being taken from a bus en route to Van. I believe more than half of those kidnapped are still being held. The kidnappers do not demand ransom or release of prisoners or such, as far as we know.
otherchelebi is offline  
Aug 15th, 2012, 08:08 PM
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OC- thanks for your reply. I will read your other posts on these areas. Sorry I did not give much info on what we like, but other than very touristy and overcrowded places, we seem to like everything we do. I was in Turkey a very long time ago, 1973 to be exact, and believe it or not, it was by accident, so my planning was nonexistent, and I am very excited to be going back "on purpose". After checking out your other posts I may have more questions. Thanks.
susncrg is offline  

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