Impoverished DOĞUBEYAZIT, 130km northeast of Van and just half an hour from Iran, is, thanks to its border position and largely Kurdish population, heavily militarized, with a huge army camp just outside town on the road to a spectacular ridge-top fortified place, İshak Paşa Sarayı. In response to the blatant Turkish army presence, the truculent locals boldly elected a (female) Kurdish mayor from the now banned DTP party in 2009, and have named the main street after dissident pro-Kurdish intellectual İsmail Beşikçi.