Airfare is not included in the trip cost. You may contact your personal travel agent. You will need a valid passport and a visitor's visa (currently $20) for Turkey. This visa may be obtained most easily upon arrival by air in Istanbul. No inoculations are required, but up-to-date tetanus and Hepatitis A shots are recommended. More information will be given to approved participants after signing up.
This trip is designed for anyone in average condition. No special athletic ability is required, but you must be able to carry all your own luggage for short distances and to walk for long distances. Stamina is required for museum and historic site touring. Hiking is low to moderate in difficulty, and is optional. Elevations are below 5,000 ft and hikes are three to five miles long. Weather will be from highs in the 80s to lows in the 50s, depending on the location. The early autumn season should be quite pleasant.
There is no dress code in Turkey; you can wear what you want. Women do not need to be concerned about what not to wear; short skirts and sleeveless shirts are welcome. Shorts are acceptable for hiking and for touring ruins, but not for visiting mosques. Participants will be sent a comprehensive suggested packing list, including suggestions about dressing for mosques. A pair of very sturdy shoes is absolutely essential.
Turkey suffers from all the usual problems of a rapidly developing industrial economy. Rapid industrialization has naturally led to a shortage of energy. Despite the contrary direction adopted by the U.S., Europe, and Japan, recently Turkey—located in a highly active seismic region—has recently been considering nuclear power. In addition, the energy thirst and development needs of the disadvantaged southeast region has led to the construction of mega-dams, uprooting the local populace and submerging priceless archaeological treasures.
Air pollution is a real blight, especially in winter because of the burning of lignite (plentiful in Turkey) for heating. A special problem for Turkey, again related to energy, is the use of the Straits (Bosporus and Dardanelles) as a tanker route to transport Caspian oil from Russian ports to Europe. Several major accidents over the past few years in the swift currents of the narrow channel of these waterways amply demonstrate the folly of such use. An alternative pipeline to transport the oil to the Mediterranean has its own environmental disadvantages.
Anatolia had a lot more forest cover at one time, but uncontrolled use over the centuries has denuded the countryside. During recent Republican times, reforestation has been a government policy, a policy that was especially close to Atatürk's heart. Unfortunately, these efforts have not been sufficient to restore the original health of the forests. Add to all of these the monumental problem of the preservation of innumerable, irreplaceable historic sites. In short, the country has no shortage of environmental issues that a fledgling conservation movement is attempting to address. We will meet representatives of these groups, exchange ideas, offer the insight of our own experience in tackling similar problems, and offer whatever advice and assistance we can.
Your local library should be full of history books on Turkey and
Anatolia (Asia Minor). The
following books are essential reading for anyone who wants to understand
the formation of the Turkish Republic and the reverence in which Turks
hold the father of modern Turkey: "Ataturk, A Biography of
Mustafa Kemal, Father of Modern Turkey" by Lord Kinross and
"Emergence of Modern Turkey" by Bernard Lewis.
A more extensive list of other books for a deeper understanding
of Turkish and Ottoman history and culture will be sent to trip
participants. The Turkish
Embassy offers useful information on page http://www.turkishembassy.org/traveltourism/index.htm .
km 1.5 hours leisurely walking pace
3 km 1 hour walk on level ground
2 km down the designated path on the travertines with the calicium
km round trip up and down hill walk
Itinerary/Tour Map/Hotel Chart /FAQ/ Sierra club travel Plan/Turkish Phrases/After The tour Options