Explore Lake Van and the southeast
From Çukurca, southwest of Hakkari, a road runs west, mainly just south of the mountainous massif, to Şırnak. As this road runs parallel to the Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq (and was built in order to patrol it) expect a heavy military presence and up to ten checkpoints, where your bags may be searched. One bus from Hakkari (departing from near the Atatürk statue) runs every other day at (but make sure you enquire the night before), and takes about six hours. You may be refused permission to make this journey if there have been any recent incidents involving the PKK, who cross the border here from their bases in the Kandil mountains, in what now amounts to an autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan.
The border road runs parallel to the rapid-strewn Zab River for about 50km; at a major checkpoint the bus turns right instead of continuing to Çukurca, down on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan. From here, it rises over the Konaklı mountains to a beautiful pass at 2350m, and descends to a junction with the Beytüşşebap road in a gorge. The climate is noticeably warmer here than around Hakkari, with walnuts, poplars and even rice paddies in the valleys. The Egyptian vulture abounds, as do rolls of discarded razor-wire in the bushes.
An hour past Uludere is ŞİRNAK, perched on a hillside with views over Cudi Dağı.Read More