For anyone who loves nature, getting outdoors and exploring, then walking and trekking in Turkey is a great opportunity.Unfortunately, I am lazy but to help future travelers, I interviewed an expert on the subject.
Who is he and what makes him an expert?
His name is Matt Krause and he has walked across Turkey, from the west to the east, without stopping. He has encountered many terrains and spent many nights camping under the stars. He is from California and has lived in Istanbul as an expat. He is also is a published author, having penned the book called A Tight Wide-open Space: Finding love in a Muslim land.
On September 1, 2012, Matt took 8-months to walk across Turkey
He started on the Aegean coast in Kusadasi and walked from west to east, finishing in Van, near the border with Iran.
In total he walked 1305 miles (2100 kilometers).
Along the way, he met with locals and made notes, so that he could share their stories. He wants everyone to know about the people of Turkey, their culture, their traditions and their lives.
He joined families for dinner, slept on peoples’ living room floors, attended weddings, entertained classrooms of children, and took advantage of any other social opportunities that arise.
The Hiking and Trekking Route
The walk started at Kusadasi, on Turkey’s Aegean coast. It head east to Konya, dropped southeast to Adana near the Mediterranean Sea, then east again to Sanliurfa. From Sanliurfa the route continued east-northeast to Diyarbakir and Van, and then ends at the border east of Van.
He walked through valleys, up mountains, across plateaus and along coastlines. He walked through cities of well over a million people, followed by sparsely-populated areas where he did not see anyone for days.
Me: In the current times, we have fast cars and planes that take us hundreds of miles in an hour. Why did you hike and trek across Turkey?
Matt – The answer is simple – To put my life where my mouth is.
In 2003 I met a woman on an airplane to Hong Kong. We dated and then moved to her hometown of Istanbul, where we got married. We lived in Turkey for 6 years, but in 2009 things unraveled and I came back home to the US.
When I came back to the US, people kept asking me about the differences I had seen in Turkey. Political differences, religious differences, cultural differences, gender differences, just about every kind of difference you could think of.
However, I really wanted to tell them about how people are just the same. Living in Turkey had reminded me of this but human nature forces us to focus on the differences. It makes us more afraid of each other than we need to be.
I do not want to talk about this theory and not back it up with proof. If the similarities are so profound, I should be able to walk, alone and unprotected, across the country. I will write four books detailing my journey across Turkey.
More about Hiking and Trekking in Turkey
To find out more about Matt, his tips for exploring Turkey and to learn about his books, visit his website here.