Most of the few travellers who reach the wild, impoverished mountain town of HAKKARİ, 200km south of Van along the gorge of the Zab River, do so after a three- to four-hour bus trip through some spectacular mountain scenery. The town itself is dramatically situated high above the surging river, backed to the east by the Cilo range, which incorporates Turkey’s second-highest peak, Reşko (4135m). Locals wear their Kurdish identity more openly than anywhere else in Turkey, apart from Diyarbakır. The handful of visitors who get this far tend to spend one night here and return to Van, though a few adventurous souls take the checkpoint-littered road along the mountainous Iraqi border to Şırnak.

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