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Re: Iraqi Kurdistan - Turkey border crossing reports

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:47 pm
by Malcolm
Thanks for the information. When you entered Kurdish Iraq, you got a 30 day permit on arrival at the border?
Maybe you didn't notice, being on a bus at night, but I was just wondering about road conditions, as I'll be cycling.

Re: Iraqi Kurdistan - Turkey border crossing reports

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:46 am
by CallumT
Yep, 30 days visa free on arrival at the border. Only for Iraqi Kurdistan of course though, not valid for any other region in Iraq. It's just a stamp in the passport as well, no physical permit or anything.

All the main roads in Kurdistan are very good surprisingly. The only annoying thing is the insane amount of speed bumps they use. I don't remember anything specific about the road to the border, but that probably means it was good quality like everywhere else.

Re: Iraqi Kurdistan - Turkey border crossing reports

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:42 am
by Malcolm
Great. Thanks again for the information.

Re: Iraqi Kurdistan - Turkey border crossing reports

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:29 pm
by Giom
Hi Malcolm,
Have you been cycling from Turkey over Iraqi Kurdistan to Iran? Would be very interested about your story, as I would also like to cycle there!

Re: Iraqi Kurdistan - Turkey border crossing reports

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:42 am
by Kasia&Victor
Hey guys,

Any updates on the Iraq - Turkey border crossing? We're planning to cross it from Turkey and back in around 2 weeks. Any info will be highly appreciated!

Re: Iraqi Kurdistan - Turkey border crossing reports

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:00 am
by blakep76
I crossed Turkey to Iraq by bus from Mardin in February this year.
The Turkish side was hideous and took 4-5 hours to get across. Very surly guards, everyone forced to wait in torrential rain with their bags at their feet in puddles and mud for 30 mins while border officials yelled at everyone, prodding them with batons, and the predominantly Kurdish passengers argued back. One man was slapped across the face by a guard. The whole bus was put through a vehicular x-ray. While we waited I was surrounded by a group of Kurdish passengers and truck drivers bitching about what they have to go through every time they cross "Now you have seen with your own eyes how Erdogan treats us!".... One of the truck drivers showing on a name list that he had been stuck in no man's land awaiting a vehicle inspection for 3 days and was scheduled to be there for another two days.
I'm not sure if this is usual, or the Turkish guards were extra crochetty and busting balls as it was a couple of days after Iraqi Kurds (and PKK, according to Ankara) had attacked a Turkish base near Dohuk in Northern Iraq.
The Iraqi side was a non-issue.... Standard land border crossing, x-ray bags, get a stamp, perhaps 30 mins to get through.
Needless to say most reports indicate crossing Turkey-Iraq is the *easy* way, which made me thankful I was flying out of Erbil rather than doing the crossing back by road.

Re: Iraqi Kurdistan - Turkey border crossing reports

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:23 pm
by heightwithoutflight
Hi there,
Any ideas about the current developent after Turkeys attack on Syrian kurds, especially around Cizre?
We are intending to hitch from Iran to Turkey through Iraqi Kurdestan in the next 3 weeks...
Love it or leave it?

Re: Iraqi Kurdistan - Turkey border crossing reports

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:50 am
by DoubleDutch
Turkey to Iraqi Kurdistan 15 Feb. 2020
Dutch couple in Dutch plates Defender

We arrived on a Saturday at 10:30 local time. There were 15 cars in front of us. Took a half hour to reach the first Turkish "gate". We had to fill out a form you can get in the office next to it. We didn't know, so we arrived at the gate without this passenger list. (Before we reached the gate some semi aggressive locals came up to us and shouted we needed to fill out this paper. We ignored it because we thought it was a scam and didn't want to give civilians our passport numbers etc. Now we know: just walk to the office yourself and get the form.)

The officer at the first gate just made a passenger list for us and was just very interested about where we were from. We showed our passports and they had a quick look in the back to check if it really was just us and that the passenger list was correct.

Some more waiting before the second Turkish gate. We got stamped out of the country. More waiting before the third Turkish gate. Had to show vehicle registration card and hand over the passenger list. Everything was okay. Total of 1 hour and ten minutes for the Turkish side.

We drove over to the other side of the river. Had to wait some time before we could get into the Iraqi Kurdistan part. We had to park the car in front of the passport office. In the office you first have to go to window 1 where they only scan your passport. Then go to window 2. We've got the foreigner treatment and were forced to go first. Friendly man spoke some English. Asked where we were going. Stamped our passports, took headshots and fingerprint. Also scanned vehicle registration card. (You don't need the Carnet the Passage. They also didn't ask for it.) All in all was quick and we got the free 30 day visa.

Then the car check began. Started with filling out a paper and they looked in the car for two seconds. (Pointed to our storage boxes. We just said: kamp. And that was fine.)

Everyone was really friendly. Smiling and welcoming us to Kurdistan.

We drove on to the next building where a lot of shoving around paperwork began (everything was for the car). We never knew what to show, but they always pointed out the document they needed. When someone was done, they just pointed us to the next office where we had to go to. At one window we suddenly had to pay 10.000 dinar. We weren't prepared for that. Before we could ask if we could pay with Lira or Dollar a truck driver already paid for us. He didn't want the money back (around 7/8 euro).

In the end you get a form which you have to keep with you for the rest of your time in Iraq, so you can show it again when you exit the country.

At the last gate, someone kept asking for something. We didn't understand and he couldn't translate. So in the end he just waived us through. Iraqi side took us one hour and a half. We were never asked about a vehicle insurance and don't have it. So, no clue if you can actually buy it at the border.

Total border crossing: 2 hours and 40 minutes. It was a nice experience, everyone was really friendly. When asked about where we were going, telling we we're going to Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal etc they were all understanding that Kurdistan was part of a bigger trip.

Re: Iraqi Kurdistan - Turkey border crossing reports

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 10:11 pm
by Globetrotting Diana
I'm a Hungarian solo female traveler. I crossed the Turkish-Iraqi border in October 2019. Here is my detailed report: https://www.theglobetrottingdetective.c ... kurdistan/

Re: Iraqi Kurdistan - Turkey border crossing reports

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:40 pm
by DoubleDutch
Kurdistan --> Turkey
Crossed on Tuesday 16 June and Wednesday 17 June. Couple with Dutch passports and Dutch car.

Because of the travel ban in Kurdistan, we needed a special paper to drive to the border crossing and leave the country. After you enter the border area, don't forget to stop at the first salon, to get your passport stamped out.

Then drive to the first small windows. A friendly man told us where to pay 10.000 dinar for stamping the car out (you actually have to walk to the same window where you pay 10.000 dinar when you enter Kurdistan). The car had been longer than the planned 1 month in Kurdistan because of the lockdown. But there was no fine or something. Back to the window with the right paper and after a talk with the police right before the bridge, we could cross. So, everything went smooth, because only truck traffic at that time.

When crossing the bridge, the Turkish people looked in the car and asked for our passenger list. We just wrote our names and passport numbers on a piece of paper. They signed that and that was it. Only looked in the back of the car, the fridge and the box on the roof swiftly.

We had to go to the special medical tent. We thought only for a temperature check. But it turned out we had to be in quarantine for 6 hours. This was a rule for all foreigners. Only Turkish citizens could enter the country without the 6 hour quarantine.

There were these emergency tents with stretchers in it. They gave us food and water. They did a coronatest (we never got the results, they didn't call us). When we finished the 6 hour quarantine, it was to late to buy the car insurance. So we had to spend the night in the emergency tent.

The Turkish part of the border is under construction, so it was messy. We found the office for the car insurance (Umat sigorta) near the medical tent. Bought it there in the morning for 250 Lira for 3 months.

Then go to the Polis on the totally other side for a passport stamp. Had to tell the man that people from the Netherlands don't need a visa anymore.

Back to another window to get passport, passenger list and insurance checked and we could go to the end. It all took a few hours. Everyone was friendly, but because of the building works it was sometimes unclear where to go.

Just before Silopi there is a big checkpoint. They will check your passport and visa stamp.