From Hakkari a road heads southwest to Çukurca, along the valley of the rapid-strewn Zab River, for about 50km. At a major checkpoint the bus turns right and west instead of continuing to Çukurca, along a road that runs parallel to the border with Iraqi Kurdistan, to Şırnak.

As the road runs close to the Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq and was built in order to patrol the frontier with it, you can expect a heavy military presence and up to ten checkpoints, where your bags may be searched. 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 journey is beautiful, especially where the road crosses a 2350m pass in the Konaklı range, near to the turn for the mountain town of Beytüşşebap.

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  • Sirnak