Safety in Eastern Turkey right now - crossing to Iran

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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mariadecas
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Safety in Eastern Turkey right now - crossing to Iran

Post by mariadecas »

Hello,

Has anyone recenty crossed or has any information regarding if it is safe the crossing border of Gürbulak (Turkey) to Bazargan (Iran)?

I read it used to be a common and easy cross, but I am worry after the situation with the kurds.

In case it were avoidable to si ir by road (buses),Taking the train in Ankara to Tabriz (Irán) would make it safer?

Thanks a lot

María
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steven
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Re: Safety of the cross border Turkey-Iran of Gürbulak-Bazar

Post by steven »

Update: see this Twitter exchange. Best to avoid Agri or indeed perhaps take the train.

The border is open, though: http://news.yahoo.com/iran-shuts-border ... 50839.html

The long way round via Georgia and Armenia is definitely safe.
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mariadecas
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Re: Safety of the cross border Turkey-Iran of Gürbulak-Bazar

Post by mariadecas »

Thanks Steven,

It seems that the train Ankara-Teheran has been suspended since August, due to the situation and attacks (2 bombs on the railway) :-(

I am starting my trip in Turkey on the 25th August and will update this when I have more information.

At the moment, it seems the safest option (in the new you attached says that Iran warned their citizens to avoid crossing the border by land, after some attacks) is crossing Iran trough Georgia and Armenia. A Turkish friend also adviced me not to go to the SouthEast of Turkey now :-(

If anyone is in that area (East Anatolia) I would appreciate some update.

Thank you !
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AndrewRogerson
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Re: Safety in Eastern Turkey right now - crossing to Iran

Post by AndrewRogerson »

I'm here now, just crossed the border today.

All was fine, but I was warned about the issues when I was in Iran. Police presence was non existent at the border itself, and for about 40 km towards Dogubayazit. Here there is a police presence, but nothing too big. All feels totally safe, but obviously take the usual Central Asian precautions. I am travelling by bicycle, if that makes any difference at all.
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steven
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Re: Safety in Eastern Turkey right now - crossing to Iran

Post by steven »

Thanks for the update Andrew! The attacks are directed towards the Turkish military, and Turkish government only arrests Kurds and Assyrians, so important to not look like a soldier or have a big mustache to avoid trouble :-)
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AndrewRogerson
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Re: Safety in Eastern Turkey right now - crossing to Iran

Post by AndrewRogerson »

A little update, I cycled a little further today and there was a much larger military presence. Agri itself seem fine, but I was cycling past endless amounts of helicopters and armoured vehicles. I also had a machine gun pointed at me buy a guy in no uniform.

Interesting day!
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Re: Safety in Eastern Turkey right now - crossing to Iran

Post by evanrprice »

We cycled right through the region (from Diyarbakir-Siirt-Tatvan-Van-Dogubayazit-Kars) and although a number of the bombings and shootings happened in the cities while we were in them there really was no feeling of a threat at all, as the conflict is exclusively between the kurdish PKK and the Turkish military. There was a lot of military presence around and they were understandably very nervous so I wouldn't approach them unnecessarily and just keep on your way when you past the military compounds. The only precaution we took (on the advice of locals) was to not wild camp in those regions during this time for fear of being spotted and thought of as suspicious. We continued up to Georgio but other cyclists we met went in through to Iran (from Van) without any issues
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mariadecas
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Re: Safety in Eastern Turkey right now - crossing to Iran

Post by mariadecas »

Thank you very much for the update, Andrew and Evanrprice.

Good luck with your trip!!!

Do you think is posible (and safe) to do it by public transport (buses), alone? Are they running normally?

I read that the PPK assalted 2 Iranian buses near the border last week (not any victim at all, though) and that Iran was going to close the border. But it seems a false alarm.

Oh, I hope no gun machine pointed at me! :-) you are brave!

Best regards

María
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AndrewRogerson
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Re: Safety in Eastern Turkey right now - crossing to Iran

Post by AndrewRogerson »

I'd say you'll be fine. Obviously I haven't had to check about buses, but I constantly see them drive past me.
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mariadecas
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Re: Safety in Eastern Turkey right now - crossing to Iran

Post by mariadecas »

Thanks Andrew,
Good trip!!
So, you are not having issues/problems with the situation in (South)East Turkey so far?
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