So I want to cross Turkey in end of Jan/Feb, and I've heard that the mountains will be impassable untill March at least. I don't feel like waiting for that long, so I'm looking for a way to cross Turkey into Iran from Mersin.
1 Option is to go up, then cycle around the Kurdic area, the other would be to cross the Kurdic area, perhaps by truck.
My question is, how dangerous is this area really, and what are my options for getting to Iran in February?
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I live in Istanbul and my (Turkish) nephew is opposite me. Together we agree the following -
1. The mountains in Eastern Turkey will indeed be impassable. People assume Turkey is a hot country. That's only in summer. However, the main roads are not in the mountains. If you are willing to be flexible you'll definitely be able to cycle through to Iran. The roads definitely will be blocked by snow at times, but they'll frequently be open.
2. South-eastern Turkey and Kurdistan are probably worse for cycling than north-eastern Turkey. They are warmer, but still can be very cold and they get snow. But the roads are much worse and you are more likely to hit potholes or unplowed roads in the south.
Your best option is to do the south coast until about Adana. Then cut north - you might as well see Goreme, which is lovely. Then go east again, following the main road Sivas-Erzincan-Erzurum-Agri. Be aware that it generally gets colder up to Erzurum (altitude) and then stays the same until Iran. If you stay on the main road you won't usually have to face roads covered in snow.
In terms of safety the two are similar. There is less genuine political violence in the north-east, but the people in the south-east tend to be friendlier and more hospitable. But in both cases the danger of potholes and drivers dealing with bad roads is far, far greater than terrorism. Turkish drivers are better than their reputation suggests but they aren't terrific, and no-one can be a great driver when the roads are badly designed and maintained.
it`s not a good idea to go in this area in January. Was there in this time close to Sivas and the roads were blocked by masses of snow. Expect at least 20 - 25 cm in the night. The cleaning service from the turkish administration is pretty poor.
So go to the coastline of the Black Sea. And heading to Georgia. Think so that`s the best solution.
Heard even in the area of Van from problems.