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Divisions of Turkey[edit]

So on the suggestion of Vidimian, I'm moving the discussion here from Talk:Aegean Turkey think that we should talk about the macro-regions of Turkey. Currently, the division follows roughly the Turkish regional geoscheme, however with alterations where editors find it appropriate (for example including the lest touristy parts of the Inland Aegean region in Central Anatolia). My suggestion is that for consistency and easy of use, we ought to keep the Macro-regions basically the same as the Turkish geoscheme, while attempting to make the sub-regions coherently reflect areas that a tourist is likely to visit together.

There's many ways to divide Turkey into macro-regions, for example as Vidimian noted: "Lonely Planet guide to Turkey, 2007 edition, puts everything from Bursa to Denizli in a region named 'Western Anatolia' (distinct from the Marmara, Aegean, Mediterranean, or Central Anatolia regions), while Rough Guide to Turkey, 2010 edition, puts Kütahya into 'North Central Anatolia', and Afyon into 'South Central Anatolia'."

As such, until the software is able to support multiple hierarchies, I maintain that the best thing to do is to try to keep the macro-regions consistent with the traditional geoscheme. Since it's unlikely that a tourist is going to try to see all of Aegean Turkey, or all of "Western Anatolia" as defined by Lonely Planet, but is rather likely to attempt to travel along the "Turkish Riviera" or "see what I can on a day trip from Izmir/Antalya/Bodrum." We can easily try to that with the smaller regions, but with the larger regions, there's no clearly obvious way to do it, as the difference in guidebooks demonstrates (guidebooks published in Turkey usually seem to use the the traditional geoscheme). I don't see why using the seven traditional regions as "buckets" is worse than any other division, and it has the clear advantage of corresponding with the way Turkish travel agents, government agencies, and the supplementary articles on Wikipedia all divide things. —Quintucket (talk) 22:48, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Could you provide some maps so we can see a side-by-side comparison of our division and the geoscheme you refer to. I'm not sure what changes exactly are being proposed. I don't think we have any obligation to use official divisions, rather than our own designed for our own purposes, but if the Turkish geoscheme works better for our purposes, then we should use it. --Peter Talk 23:35, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
TR regions draft2.JPG
Türkiye'nin coğrafi bölgeleri.gif
I've included the map from the discussion above, though it appears that the Datça Peninsula is included as Med Turkey whereas it's Aegean in this map. I've also included a map of the census-defined regions (Wikipedia has some, but it does them by province, which makes a serious difference in the Marmara/Aegean and Aegean/Med boundaries.
The main differences are that Maraş was felt to be insufficiently "Mediterranean" and grouped with southeastern Turkey, while Kütahya, Uşak and Afyon were felt to be insufficiently "Aegean" and lumped with Central Anatolia.
I'd argue with the logic of both these points. Hatay has far more in common with Maraş—in terms of both culture/history, and in terms of the kinds of travelers it will attract—than it does with Antalya. It also has a bit in common with Antep, which in turn has little in common with th rest of "Southeastern Turkey" other than its climate, and the (eather important for our purposes) fact that travelers to Antep are also likely to travel around the rest of Southeastern Turkey (though not Maraş.which isn't Southeastern Turkey and doesn't have much to see), since getting in certain sites there is a popular itinerary.
Likewise Kütahya, Uşak and Afyon have little in common with distant Izmir, but also have little in common with nearby Eskişehir. —Quintucket (talk) 00:15, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
I think the main defining feature here is water: Aegean is the name of a sea, and in Kütahya, you will hardly remember it; Hatay, no matter how much its culture might be similar to the Southeast (in fact, I'd say Hatay is unique in Turkey), still has long Med beaches, whereas Maraş has not. (There could be an arguement for taking Lakes District out of Med Turkey here, instead of putting Maraş in.)
As for what in common binds Kütahya and Sivas point: both are on the tree-scarce steppes; and likewise both Antalya and Hatay is on the Mediterranean coast. In these kind of situations, I think it's better to create subregion articles, where the places that are nearer to each other go into the same sub-regions (so, while in the same region, Kütahya and Sivas don't go into the same sub-region), instead of taking some cities out and putting them into a region where they make little sense.
And Eskişehir has much more in common with Kütahya, Afyon, and Uşak, than these latter have in common with the Aegean: a walk through the old districts of Eskişehir and Kütahya will, at least to amateur eyes, provide a sight of a very similar architecture; the countryside of these four provinces is littered with Phrygian ruins, temples, and other artefacts; they have very extensive transportation links between them (bus and train), which would enable the traveller to have Eskişehir as a base and, with the exception of distant Uşak, visit others as a day trip (this might be done with Kütahya as a base, too, I guess). And a last note on Kütahya and Afyon: the locals of these cities are very conservative, which puts them in common with most of the rest of Central Anatolia, while the natives of the Aegean usually take pride in their more progressive views.
As Peter noted above, we don't have to follow the (semi-)official regional divisions, and I think what we have currently on at least the Central Anatolia/Aegean border is what might possibly best serve the traveller. Vidimian (talk) 08:40, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Apologies for the long delay (and the long response), I've been traveling (though I'm back in Antep now). First, I'd just like to note that if we're talking about architecture, ruins, and culture, Maraş has the colorful buildings and Hittite ruins of Central Anatolia and Cilicia, and the broad palm-lined streets I associate with Med Turkey, as opposed to the gray/brown buildings, Syrian ruins, and narrow side-streets I associate with the Southeast. I have no comment on the Lakes District, since I haven't been there, though I do note that it's very under-developed, which means it's probably not a popular site to visit from Antalya.
Now back to inland Western Anatolia. There's also extensive bus and train links between Izmir and the inland provinces of the Aegean region (I believe the train goes to the capitals of all three provinces, as well as Denizli). Like I said, I don't believe that there's any draw to these regions for most tourists from either Izmir or Central Anatolia (tourists to Central Anatolia mainly visit Konya, Ankara, Nevşehir (often using Kayseri as a base), and sometimes Sivas and Hattusa. You may be right that the AKU provinces (as I'll refer to them from now on) are sometimes visited from Eskişehir, and that Eski has more in common with the AKU provinces (or at least Afyon and Kütahya, my impression was that Uşak was rather liberal) than they do with Izmir; since I haven't been yet, I'll take your word on that. However Eskişehir is a bit of an outlier from the rest of Central Anatolia, geographically, economically, and culturally lying as it does between Istanbul, Bursa, and Ankara (another Central Anatolian outlier).
However I feel like your argument stems from the (likely correct) assumption that the main reason people would go to the Mediterranean or Aegean regions is to go to the beach, with a few day-trips to nearby ruins. While that may indeed be true, the assumption then is that readers not only don't want to visit places they can't day-trip to from the beach, but also that including such areas will confuse them. That then would seem to be an argument for excluding Adana from the region, which despite its proximity to Mersin, travelers (at least the ones I met, seem to use only as a jumping-off point for the Southeast or Hatay. It also seems like a good reason to exclude Hatay, whose coastline is mainly used by Turks from the Southeast, while travelers are mainly there to see Antioch, the Armenian village (whose name I forget), and before the war, often to continue into Syria. That is while the main draws of Mersin, Antalya, Muğla and Aydın is the beaches, the main draw of Hatay is the history, and the main draw of Adana is as a base for adventures eastwards. Adana and Hatay may have beaches, but travelers don't visit them for the beaches, at least not any I've met. (However this of course splits Adana from Tarsus and Mersin, with which it is intimately connected.)
As for culture, my point about the culture of Maraş and Hatay was that culture shouldn't necessarily determine the regions. Ankara after all is far more liberal than most of Central Anatolia, and I'd argue that there's no large or mid-sized city in Turkey as conservative as Konya (even people in Antep take pride in being not as conservative as Konya). If Afyon and Kütahya are conservative, it's quite possibly because of their smallness and isolation, rather than their location. After all, Alaşehir is pretty conservative too despite being quite close to Izmir, simply because it's a rural farming town. Edremit also felt pretty conservative to me, despite being on the Aegean coast, with a shocking number of women in headscarfs, conservative requirements for bathing gear and segregated swimming areas in the thermal spas (I ultimately didn't go into the spas, since I found wearing a bathing cap and segregated swimming to be distasteful). However it's still a resort area (even if one that caters mainly to Turks), and a place that gets tourists on account of its location.
While I still disagree with trying to make our own regions (like I said, I feel like for travelers the macro-regions are far less important than the sub-regions), if we do want to do that. I have a couple of suggestions. First, I'm serious about Adana and Hatay fitting in better for traveler's purposes (though certainly not cultural ones in the case of Adana) with Southeastern Turkey. Second, I'd suggest that Istanbul merits a macro-region of it's own (or possibly with Izmit and Yalova). It's larger than all of Turkey's other "large" cities combined (Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, and Adana), and travelers to Istanbul often stay in Istanbul. While they might make trips to Thrace, Yalova, or Bursa, those regions are rather different in terms of their attractions (people I know who go to Thrace, for example mainly go for hiking and the Selimiye complex in Edirne). Third, I feel like the Lonely Planet notion of grouping Bursa with Eski and the AKU provinces might have some merit (and that we might group Eski, AKU, and the Lakes district as its own macro-region, rather than lumping with Central Anatolia). Bursa is a shockingly conservative city for its size, and though it's more visited than Eski or the AKU provinces, I don't know too many people who day-trip there from Istanbul, despite the ease of reaching it. Alternatively, Bursa, and northern Balıkesir/Çanakkale could be grouped together with Thrace under Western Marmara, as places people go mainly for outdoor activities like hiking and skiing, Ottoman architecture, and ruins. Oh, and finally Siirt and Sirnak, which aren't part of typical itineraries in Southeastern Anatolia, and partly in Eastern Anatolia anyways, might be better grouped with that region. Regards, —Quintucket (talk) 14:49, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Hey, thanks for the input. And no need to be sorry for being late nor should you need to rush — we're all more or less travellers here, so discussions usually take longer to conclude here than, say, Wikipedia.
The discussion seems like going towards an extensive re-shuffling of Turkish regions. So as far as I understand (and please correct me if I'm wrong), you are proposing the following changes to the current regions:
  • Seperate Adana, and Hatay from Med and put them in the Southeast. (If so, what would the name for the proposed region be? "Cilicia and the Southeast" is the best I could think of.) Sometime back in 2010, I decided to give the regional hierarchy of Med Turkey an overhaul, and created a region article for the mountainous western part of Mersin Province, and put the rest into Cilician Plains (more about this on Talk:Mediterranean Turkey). If we keep this divide, then the part with beaches and Roman ruins (i.e., Erdemli, Silifke, and Anamur) go together with Antalya, while Mersin, together with Tarsus, don't get divided from Adana, and go together into this enlarged Southeast region. Or, we could just seperate Med coast into two: Lycia and Antalya region (both overran by tourists) go into a region (presumably, something like "Western Mediterranean"?) and decidedly less travelled beaches of Mersin Province, along with Adana, Hatay, (and perhaps Maraş), into another region ("Eastern Mediterranean"?). And yet another idea: Mersin, Tarsus, Adana, Maraş, Hatay, and perhaps Antep into a region of their own (name?), and keep the rest (including Silifke, Erdemli, etc) in Med Turkey. (But then, would it be alright to have Antep in a seperate region from Adıyaman, and Urfa?)
  • Eskişehir, AKU, and Lakes District into a region of their own. This seems like a good idea. And seperating Afyon from Lakes District possibly wasn't a good idea in the first place, as the actual conglomeration of lakes start just south of Afyon (and this region should include the western bits of Konya Province around Lakes Beyşehir and Akşehir). Seperating Bursa from Marmara might not be an idea that well, as that would leave Balıkesir, etc, as a leftover with no connection to the rest of the region.
  • "Western Marmara" for Bursa. This might also not be a good idea, as Bursa lies nowhere near west of that particular region.
  • Istanbul as its own region. Not sure about this. What would you name the region that is the Marmara Region minus Istanbul? And Istanbul already has a container region for the city and the immediate surroundings, and I can't see why it would be a problem. (While many capital/largest/dominant cities have their own regions in Wikivoyage, they usually have a mediate region between themselves and the country article, such as UK -> England -> London, or Russia -> Central Russia -> Moscow).
  • Şırnak and Siirt out of SE and into the East. I'm not sure about this either. The western bits of Şırnak is part of the ancient Assyrian homeland (along with Mardin), possibly with those distinctive belfries all around the villages awaiting travellers to visit (and might do so for a long time to come), and Siirt has a large native Arab population, which binds it together with Hasankeyf in this aspect. Commercial paper guidebooks have other ideas to divide SE and the East, though: They usually put everything south of a line, say, from north of Malatya to north of Van into a region, and put the rest of Eastern Anatolia in another one (this might be accomplished through a set of a couple or three subregion articles for Eastern Anatolia just as well though—and I have an idea on this, too).
  • And while we're at this, another idea on redefining the regions: The aforementioned guidebooks above both consider south of Çanakkale (including the city itself) as a part of their Northern Aegean guides. Should we follow the same convention here as well? I guess not many people think of "Marmara" when they hear Troy or Bozcaada, and Aegean might just fit it.
I guess I could make some rudimentary maps on paint if anyone would be interested to see how these ideas would look like. Cheers, Vidimian (talk) 19:55, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
My knowledge of Turkey is not comprehensive, but I'll comment on what I can. I definitely like Eskişehir, AKU, and Lakes District, especially since it flattens the hierarchy a bit. I don't think Istanbul needs its own region—a big part of the regions, cities, ODs lists is just navigation, and Istanbul is already heavily linked to (including in the lede)—so readers won't have to dig through region articles to get to it. It's also shaded heavily on the map, which some day might anyways be clickable. --Peter Talk 20:30, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Roughly my first proposal
Roughly my second proposal
What I think Vidimian's suggesting
I've made three maps (quickly in the GIMP) to demonstrate my two suggestions, roughly, as well as what I think V's proposing. (Obviously if we're making our own regions, Amasya and Tokat belong with places like Çorum and Yozgat rather than Samsun and Sinope.) In the event of making Istanbul it's own region I'd also include Yalova and Izmit (which basically form one large metro area with Istanbul) with Istanbul, Sakarya with the Black Sea, and Bilecik with Western Anatolia. In the proposal where we include Bursa with the Western Anatolia region, I'd put either all of Çanakkale or the Asian part and the islands, in with the Aegean. I'll admit I don't like either of these proposals when I put them on paper, mostly because even though Yalova and Izmit are very much part of the Istanbul metro area, it still feels weird, since tourists probably make day trips to those regions less often than they do to Bursa (of course the same could be said of all of Istanbul's suburbs), but I couldn't think what else to do with them.
As for including all of Asian Çanakkale with the Aegean, I know that the Ayvacik is indeed already considered Aegean. I wouldn't put Çanakkale, Troy, and the Islands in the Aegean region though unless we're making Thrace its own region. The straights of course connect the Aegean and Marmara, and while they're near the Aegean, they're not actually on it.
While it does somewhat bother me to split the Adana-Tarsus-Mersin corridor, the fact remains that Mersin province is to some degree a popular beach resort (though possibly less so among foreigners than Turks), while Adana is not. And while tourists often take day trips to Tarsus from Mersin, they don't usually go to Adana. While I don't like to split metro areas, I already supported splitting Aydin out of Izmir's sphere (admittedly, at the sub-regional level), favoring the logic of tourists who go to resorts in Kuşadası and Didim over the local commuters and day-trippers from Izmir. I'd propose calling the Macro-region "South and Southeastern Turkey" or just "Southeastern Turkey." (While Adana's indisputably not actually in the southeast, it makes things simpler, since expats I meet tend to associate it more with Antep than Antalya.) —Quintucket (talk) 21:30, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
While sticking Sakarya Province to Black Sea Region might be a good idea, Istanbul-Kocaeli/İzmit-Yalova region indeed looks weird, and "unbalanced" (especially in the first map, when there are two small regions up on that corner of the country, and some of the rest of the regions are enormous). I completely agree re: Amasya and Tokat, though.
South and the Southeast detached from each other
...and coastal Çanakkale added to Aegean
I've made a few alterations to the third map:
  • Seperate regions for Southern Turkey (from Mersin in the west to Euphrates in the east—basically Cilician Plains + Maraş area + the plains around Antep) and Southeastern Turkey/Anatolia. The more I think about this, more it makes sense. When we have a region extending from Adana all the way to Şırnak, what can we write in an article that is general enough for such a diverse and large area? "Understand", "Get in", "Talk", "Eat", "Stay safe", ... parts would all have explanations in the lines of "if you are west of Euphrates, this, and on the east of the river, that". But with seperate regions, we can really have some good and concise travel writing. Also Adana-Tarsus-Mersin stay together, as do the beaches of Anamur and Silifke with Antalya. The only problem I see with this grouping is where should Adıyaman really go? Together with Urfa to Southeast, or together with Antep to South?
  • Attach the southern panhandle of Karaman to Med Turkey. This area is dominated by the Taurus Mountains, so is linked to the Med instead of the steppes of Central Anatolia.
  • Extend the region which includes the lakes towards east into Konya Province, as that's the location of some important lakes (none of which except Lake Beyşehir isn't shown on the map).
  • Attach Bayburt to Eastern Anatolia, rather than Black Sea—I frankly don't know why we decided to list this mountain city in the Black Sea Region in the first place.
On the second map, in addition to the above alterations, it shows how it would look like if the Aegean coasts of Çanakkale Province were added to Aegean Turkey. I'm not insistent on this, though, just a thought. Vidimian (talk) 23:42, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Vidimian, that looks like a reasonable map. I've been thinking about how drastically different Adana is from the Southeast in terms of the "Understand" and "Respect" sections, and you're right that "Stay Safe" probably applies too. One thing about Gaziantep is that while the western part of the province is incorporated into metro-Adana, while eastern Antep, including the city, is sort of it's own thing, being a Turkish city in a predominately Kurdish/Arabic part of Turkey, and being rather more liberal than the rest of the Southeast. While it is a jumping-off point to the southeast, as is Antep, it's not one of the main draws. So the city of Antep I think could go either way.
As for Adiyaman, while it's culturally and economically closer to Antep (actually in some ways, also to Central Anatolia) than to Kurdistan, the fact that Mount Nemrut is the main draw of the region marks it as one of the main places people like to visit in the Southeast (Along with the Mardin-Hassankeyf corridor, Urfa, and Diyarbakir).
As for Çanakkale, I think that including the whole Aegean coast looks a bit weird. Actually, even just the Edremit coast is a bit weird, but one thing I'll note about the Marmara region is that it has a good number of ferries throughout, whereas except in Izmir, I don't think there's public ferries for internal destinations in the whole rest of Turkey (there's ferries going to the Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, Greece, and North Cyprus, but not internally, and the international ferries are generally longer and cost far more).
One more thing: is there a reason you include Bayburt in Eastern Anatolia, but not Gümüşhane? I haven't been to either, so I don't know, but it's not a place I'd think to visit from the Black Sea, and according to Wikipedia it has a continental climate, like Eastern Turkey. —Quintucket (talk) 19:30, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Points taken on Adıyaman and Çanakkale. Let's keep Antep together with Adana, just for the fact that otherwise we run the risk of having that region a little bit too small, if not for anything else. I don't know if I'm needlessly leaning heavily towards historic/cultural landscape, but the only reason for me to keep Gümüşhane in Black Sea Region is the ruins of Santa, which used to be home to a Pontic Greek population up to the 20th century, which links it with the coastal cities such as Trabzon. Bayburt, on the other hand, seems like it has always been in the zone of influence of Erzurum (see, for example, "administrative divisions" section of the Wikipedia article for the Ottoman vilayet of Erzurum; whereas Gümüşhane was a sanjak of the vilayet of Trebizond). However, having been to neither myself either, I wouldn't mind too much if both are grouped into Eastern Anatolia.
So, provided there are not any more disagreements, this seems like a consensus, so after waiting for some time to see if anyone else would have a different idea, we can implement the changes, I'd say. Vidimian (talk) 21:38, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough on Gümüşhane. I think historical/cultural landscape certainly should play a part (though I don't know if people from Gümüşhane are considered Karadeniz/Laz people by the Turks), especially if it's a destination that isn't one of the main touristy sites.
Unless Peter wants to do it (since he made the original), in a week or so I'll try to make a proper map based on Turkey regions map.svg with the new regions and upload it to "File:Turkey regions updated.svg," or something like that, and we can start with the re-categorization.
One more question though: which districts of Konya should we include in the lakes district? I'm particularly concerned about Akşehir, which has a lake, but as home of the Hoca (whose stories also include Konya), it seems like it's likely to attract the literary types who visit Rumi's tomb. —Quintucket (talk) 22:09, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
As I don't have the necessary mapmaking skills myself, I would be grateful to anyone who accepts to go through this. (And I think you could just upload the new map with the same name of the old one, as a newer version of the image.)
I've personally witnessed someone from Gümüşhane called as "Laz" by someone else from the other tip of the country. But it's very much possible that they are considered less of a "Laz" than people from elsewhere (such as Trabzon) that are more associated with that notion.
I would include Akşehir straightforwardly in the lakes region, but now that you ask it, I became less sure. However, almost-triangle-shaped Lake Akşehir is divided/bordered by three districts: the western third is part of Sultandağı district (of Afyon, which would go inevitably into the lakes/AKU region), while the southern third of Akşehir district (of Konya), and the eastern third of Tuzlukçu district (also of Konya). Keeping it undivided between the regions, and in the lakes region would be my preference, and in any rate, we can link Akşehir from Konya#Go next (even if we don't have an article for it yet), so it won't get lost to the readers/travellers. The districts of Konya which have/share a lake within its borders are Beyşehir (this should definitely go into the lakes region), Akşehir, and Tuzlukçu. We'd better put Doğanhisar, Hüyük, and Derebucak in, so we don't have weird, zigzagging regional boundaries. (Here is a handy map of the districts of Konya: File:Konya districts.png.) Vidimian (talk) 23:19, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
I suppose that putting Akşehir in the Lakes District would make it a big fish in a small pond. I rather regret that I didn't know about the Hoca festival last July, when I traveling around a lot, and it's possible it gets more attention that way (and other Hoca fans don't miss out). Any rate, I've added it to "Go Next" in Konya. I haven't created the article yet, since while I know that there's an annual Hoca festival July 5th-10th, that it's supposed to be a pretty city, and I assume you can get there by bus from Konya, those three things don't seem to be enough to make an article yet. —Quintucket (talk) 23:53, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, you can start an article, write down what you know about the place, and let others complete the rest. It may take a while, but who knows, maybe we'll have a local who would be hesitant to create an article but might fill empty sections had the article existed. And isn't it better to have any information, regardless of how little it might be (and knowing how to go somewhere, why to go there, i.e., some about the Hoca himself, and what to do there wouldn't be something I'd call a little information), than to have no information? Currently, searches on Akşehir or Aksehir don't return anything, and it's likely that all we have on Wikivoyage about that town to offer is the one-liner at Konya#Go next that you have just added. However, it's your call whether or not create an outline for it. Vidimian (talk) 00:18, 20 January 2013 (UTC)


So I'm working on a new vector map (actually, I've pretty much finished, though I want to tweak a few things), and noticed that on the current map, Divriği is in Eastern Anatolia, while on the guide it's in Central Anatolia. Personally I think it would go better in Central Anatolia, since it was a major Seljuk center, as well as easily accessible from Sivas. On the other hand, it is the first main attraction east of Sivas along the railway to Kars, which I assume is why it's in there. So I guess the question is: who's more likely to visit the site: daytrippers from Sivas, or travelers en route to Kars (where I assume the attraction of Ani and Ararat outweighs that of other sites along the route for most travelers, like Elâzığ and Erzurum)? Personally, I'm probably going to visit it when I get around to my tour of Eastern Turkey, but if I'd known about it when I was in Sivas, I almost certainly would have attempted to visit while in Sivas.—Quintucket (talk) 22:15, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

The Central/Eastern Anatolia border was altered like that because Divriği is surrounded by steep mountains, which makes it better fit with Eastern Anatolia geographically in my opinion. However, it seems most travellers use Sivas as a base for their day-trips to Divriği, and according to this site (unfortunately a little outdated, and it is virtually impossible to get the necessary information from the arcane corners of TCDD's website), Doğu Express from the east arrives in the dead of the night. Except Sivas, direct buses only connect to Ankara, and Istanbul (i.e., no connections to the east), and there is not even a direct highway connection with the east! (Those thinner lines represent secondary, provincial roads—which are often narrower and less well-kept than national highways—and the only "highway" connection with Eastern Anatolia—the road leading to Arapgir district of Malatya—even shows a section of unpaved road!) So I'd be okay with moving it to Central Anatolia. (And for what it's worth, LP and RG also group the town together with Sivas rather than the East.) Vidimian (talk) 23:36, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
It is incredibly frustrating how the TCDD does not put the full timetables for the express trains. They do a pretty good job of keeping the detailed schedules of the regional trains up to date; why can't they do the same for the express trains, which have fewer stops to begin with? Any rate, I'll put Divriği back in Central Anatolia on the updated map then. —Quintucket (talk) 09:13, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Updated Map / Region names[edit]

Turkey regions updated.png

This is the png version of the new map, the svg original can be found at File:Turkey_regions_updated.svg. I'm going to get to work on the Spanish and Turkish versions (I know we don't have a Turkish Wikivoyage, but I hope we will someday, and it is the language of the country), but I thought I'd upload the updated version with English and French (I used Wikipedia article names for placenames, but had to use Google Translate for the new regions) now.

One comment about the names. I've never been a fan of the place names "Southeastern Anatolia" and "Eastern Anatolia" since they cover an area that is by and large, not historical Anatolia and has almost nothing in common with what I think of as "Anatolian" food, culture, and architecture (those areas are far more Middle-Eastern than Anatolia is. (Despite its conservatism, Konya feels more like a European city than a Middle-Eastern one, as do Kayseri and Sivas. Ankara too, but it doesn't count.) I'm wondering how people would feel about extending the Aegean Turkey/Black Sea Turkey/Mediterranean Turkey/Southern Turkey naming scheme to those two regions, and calling them "Eastern Turkey" and "Southeastern Turkey?" —Quintucket (talk) 22:56, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

I think this looks good and that sounds fine. While we're at it, I'd love to get rid of the name "Black Sea Turkey," which sounds very awkward to my ear. I would prefer Karadeniz, although others have objected that it's a Turkish word (but who cares—it's the name?). Black Sea Coast (Turkey) would work, but it's pretty wordy and has an annoying disambiguator. --Peter Talk 23:39, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Though I see nothing wrong with "Black Sea Turkey," I also see nothing wrong with "Karadeniz." We already use "Karadeniz" in the sub-region names (Eastern Karadeniz, Central Karadeniz, and Western Karadeniz). For English alternatives, we could call the region "Pontic Turkey," thereby referring to the mountains instead of the ocean, or call the region "Northern Turkey."
I know Anatolia historically was only used for naming the interior parts of the peninsula west of the line, say, from Trabzon to İskenderun, and it was only after the early years of the Republic that the definition of "Anatolia" was extended to include anywhere in the part of Turkey that lies on Asian landmass. However, isn't it natural that when you have regions named "Western Anatolia", and "Central Anatolia", the region east of Central Anatolia is called "Eastern Anatolia"? I would agree that the Southeast isn't really "Anatolia", as in many regards it's too different from the rest.
I also see nothing wrong with Black Sea Turkey, and also nothing wrong with Karadeniz, either (after all, it's exactly how the region is called in Turkey), but is Karadeniz really a common enough name in English? Other options for renaming this region may be "Turkish Black Sea Coast" (a la Bulgarian Black Sea Coast) or "Turkish Black Sea Region", but these are also too wordy. I wouldn't object to "Pontic Turkey" (and originally Pontic really referred to Pontos Euxeinos, "the hospitable sea", not the mountains), but anything related to the Greek name of the area often has negative political connotations in Turkey, and I think we'd better not risk having an endless line of Turkish users from the region angrily exclaiming that they are not Pontics. On "Norhern Turkey", I guess there is an (unwritten?) guideline at WV for not naming the region with bland directional names whenever possible, and I think it's the case here. The region in question is always associated with the sea it borders, so why not use it in some form or another? Vidimian (talk) 11:45, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Oh, and good work on the map. If you need translations for region names in Turkish, please let me know. Vidimian (talk) 11:48, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
"Turkish Black Sea Coast" is probably what I'd use in conversation. But if I was talking to anyone else traveling there, I'd say Karadeniz. Then again, I didn't get to speak a lot of English during my weeks along the Karadeniz! --Peter Talk 09:08, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Sivas, Antakya, or Çanakkale instead of Edirne, and/or Troy for Gallipoli[edit]

I haven't been to Edirne yet, but I've met many people, Turkish and foreign, who usually claim that except for the Selimiye complex, it's actually not a very interesting city. So I'd like to propose another city replaces it. My first impulse is Sivas, but that might make the list very Central Anatolia-heavy. (Also, I love Sivas, but I'm not sure there's much more to it than Edirne. I'm a sucker for just hanging around pretty places.) Additionally, I doubt that many Antipodean travelers make Gallipoli their first priority while it seems like many Aussies and Kiwis still visit Troy.

So I'd like to suggest either replacing Edirne with Çanakkale (and removing Gallipoli to make room for another site), or replacing Edirne with Antakya (a city of far more historical significance that will also add a bit more regional diversity) and Gallipoli with Troy. —Quintucket (talk) 19:39, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

I didn't think Edirne was an uninteresting city, but it's one of my ancestral hometowns that I visit often, and it's in part because of this connection that I find it interesting. So I may not be the best representative of an average traveller in this issue, and may be biased, and therefore will not comment on this. In any rate, there is a link to the Edirne article at the "see" section (together with the name of its top attraction), and Antakya might be a good representative city for our new southern region. (Edirne was on the list as some sort of a representative from Thrace in the first place, I guess, but that's a small region anyway.) And nothing is irreversible, if anyone disagrees with this change later.
I don't have hard facts at hand, but Troy might indeed be more popular with travellers, Antipodean or otherwise, than Gallipoli. So I won't mind that change. (But I wish we could retain a link to Gallipoli on this page, so users looking for Gallipoli—who might have little knowledge on the geography of Turkey—wouldn't have to go through the region articles. Maybe I should start writing a comprehensive "history" section, where a link to Gallipoli might be placed.) However, I see no need to list Çanakkale, as you are in Çanakkale either to visit Troy and/or Gallipoli (or, perhaps, Bozcaada), so we don't have to list the city as long as we have a link to one of these places, I'd say.
The map has to show all listed cities and other destinations, but this does not mean it cannot have any more. Provided there is no place constraints, it may still be worthwhile to keep Edirne, Gallipoli, etc on the map. Vidimian (talk) 00:43, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
The pageview-count tool[1] doesn't seem to work yet for Wikivoyage, so I can't look at view statistics. What I can say is the Gallipoli has importance to Aussies, Kiwis, and probably to a lesser extent the French, Brits, Turks, and military history buffs, but Troy has universal significance. Even if Troy were less-visited than Gallipoli, people who go to Gallipoli probably know that they want to go to Gallipoli, whereas I feel the destinations should be a suggestion for people who aren't sure exactly what Turkey has on offer.
As for the map that I'm updating, I've kept all sights and cities already present, and added a couple things:
  • The new regions, obviously.
  • All UNESCO sites in Turkey not in a major city and not already on the map (Çatalhöyük, Divriği, Hattusa) except for Safranbolu (mainly because I can't figure out how to skew text and therefore move "Black Sea Region," which is covering it). I haven't put a name for Xanthos-Letoon though, because the full name seems awkwardly long and while I'm tempted to just put Xanthos, that's technically incorrect.
  • A handful more cities, namely Antakya (major historical site), Sivas (major transportation hub) Silifke (major town in Cilician Mountains), Şanlıurfa (already listed as one of our cities), and Eskişehir (major transportation hub, largest town in our new "Western Anatolia" region).
  • I'm trying to add French (already partially present), Spanish, and Turkish names to the theoretically multilingual map, which is tedious. Though I suppose maybe I should try uploading it to the Commons first, I think it might already be too big, simply from adding the new regions.
  • I've also thought about adding Alanya, as a major tourist destination remarkably distant from Antalya, but then I realized it seems to be mostly Germans who go there, so maybe not for English WV.
Incidentally, the reason I'm not going to upload the map over the old one, is that Commons policy says that if you make a substantially revised version of something and you're not the original author, you should upload it to a new location. —Quintucket (talk) 09:05, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
All changes and additions look good. I guess you're right on Troy vs Gallipoli issue. I guess Alanya is also popular with Scandinavian and Russian tourists (I remember seeing prices quoted in various krone units while I was there back in 2008, and on the Russian language magazine aimed at Russians living in Turkey I browsed through just yesterday, Алания was repeated almost continually—perhaps much more than any other Cyrillicized Turkish geographical name), and, as with the Germans, they could make use of English WV along with the version in their own native language, so you might add Alanya (or might not just as well). I wasn't aware of the Commons policy when I first made the comment on uploading the new file with the same name of the current map (as far as I know, it was always done like that before the migration). Vidimian (talk) 12:13, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Terrorist attacks[edit]

During the last 1 year there was an increase in terrorist activity in Turkey as there have been a number of indiscriminate attacks, some affected places visited by foreigners. I think now is the time to update stay safe section accordingly. --Saqib (talk) 05:16, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

Most definitely. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:33, 18 February 2016 (UTC)


Swept in from the pub

Should there be a warning box? Given -

Sfan00 IMG (talk) 22:52, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Yes --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:04, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm usually in the minority on reflecting these sorts of news events in Wikivoyage articles, but unless there is something to say that would be useful to travelers I don't think there is enough information to add a warning box yet. Wikivoyage isn't a news site, so unless someone wants to spend the next several hours updating the warning box as information becomes available it's probably better to wait until there is clear information that we can provide on how the current situation will impact travelers. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:15, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
All flights into Istanbul are cancelled and are being turned back, which would have a strong traveler impact. US State department has also issued warnings.
I'd agree that WV is not the place for news updates, but if someone does want to place verifiable warnings (not just rumors) then it should be OK. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:20, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Short-term flight cancellations, temporary road closures, and other events of very limited duration are typically considered out of scope for Wikivoyage - for example, if storms shut down airports in a region it would usually not be mentioned. While state department warnings are mentioned if they pertain to a danger in a region, a warning typically wouldn't be included for an event that is of a very limited duration. The current situation in Turkey may have long term ramifications for travelers, but at this point I don't think it's clear whether or not that will be the case.
I understand the desire to reflect major news events in Wikivoyage guides - for example, since it was a news event someone added a road closure warning to the Nice article, something that probably wouldn't have even merited a mention had the source of the closure not been in the news - and would just ask that if these types of warnings are going to be added that they are legitimate travel planning information, and not just a way to show that Wikivoyage editors are concerned about news events. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:55, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Is there any merit to introducing / bringing back a "news" section / subsection maybe in cooperation with other Wikimedia projects? Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:12, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Is there any merit? In principle, probably. Do we have the manpower necessary to keep it up to date consistently? Not at this time. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:30, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Have to agree with AndreCarrotflower, nice idea but would not work in practice. Take a look at Wikinews, a good 10 hours into the event and no mention on that new site. --Traveler100 (talk) 06:27, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Can anyone help update the timezone in the infobox?[edit]

Turkey use UTC+03:00 since 2016 September 8 and DST is not used anymore. I wanted to edit but I don't know how. (After clicked "edit" I found myself directed to a Wikidata page in which I feel confused) Can anyone help, please? Thank you. Dokurrat (talk) 17:54, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

And the currency line in the infobox says "1 TRY = 0.0000 Turkey", which seemed quite confusing. Dokurrat (talk) 18:00, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
The time zone should be fixed now. I didn't look at the currency. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:07, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you! Dokurrat (talk) 08:17, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

Currency notation[edit]

Turkey is a notable absentee on WV:$. How should we represent its currency? as 100 TL, 100 lira or the relatively new currency symbol, Turkish lira symbol 8x10px.png100. I don't think the symbol is readable by most computers yet and TL seems to be quite popular although I personally think 100 lira looks best. Gizza (roam) 00:32, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

I will be there on a few weeks and will report on what symbols I see. TL seems to be very common on websites. Ground Zero (talk) 08:57, 28 September 2017 (UTC)
100 TL is the most common, I'd say. The new symbol is a close second, and is common especially in big box stores, but much of the locals find it unnecessary and forced. Besides, it's not particularly easy to type. Vidimian (talk) 09:51, 28 September 2017 (UTC)
In Istanbul now, I'm seeing both TL and the new symbol used. I haven't seen "lira" once. I would guess that the new symbol is gradually replacing TL as signs are updated, but if it doesn't display properly yet, we should stick with TL, which is what our articles use now. Switching the policy to "lira" would put all of out Turkish articles offside from the policy, and doesn't help readers who will be seeing TL and the new symbol. Ground Zero (talk) 14:28, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
I plunged forward and made this change to WV:$. Ground Zero (talk) 19:34, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

Visa restrictions for US nationals[edit]

According to this news report Turkey has suspended all visa services for US citizens indefinitely, following a similar move by the US for Turkish citizens. This effectively means that Americans can't visit Turkey, nor Turks the US. It is unclear just how long this will last – does this warrant a visa restriction warning box now (as in Iran), or should we first wait a few days to see how things play out before adding this information? –StellarD (talk) 09:27, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

The block has already been put into effect, so it affects travellers right now. I say put in the visa box ASAP (to both Turkey and the United States); we can always remove it just as easily if and when this turns out to be stupid posturing from two of most pig-headed men on the planet. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:47, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

How to update the population in the infobox?[edit]

Wikidata shows over 80 million for 2017 but how to fix the infobox showing out of date population info?

Turkish Censorship[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I am writing from Istanbul. Turkey is blocking Wikipedia. Wikivoyage is not blocked. Except that if you just go to and type in a destination, e.g., Istanbul, you will be blocked because you are sent to the Wikipedia default language redirect If you go to, choose english and then search for a destination it works fine. But that might not be obvious to most users. Maybe Wikivoyage should just have English as the default language as e.g., Wikivoyage has. Or WV should have its own redirect page. Or the search-redirect should be on wikimedia. Elgaard (talk) 21:24, 2 April 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for letting us know! I just reported your findings at Cheers! Syced (talk) 06:59, 3 April 2018 (UTC)
Can confirm. Same thing happened to me. Another thing; should we maybe mention more stuff on WV that we would otherwise say "people can look it up on WP" in our guides for Turkey? Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:59, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
Yes, as long as it's fairly clearly in the interest of travelers to know those things. Of course, Wikivoyage might then also be blocked, but that shouldn't enter into our thinking. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:26, 5 May 2018 (UTC)

Illegal to refer to the American Genocide as such?[edit]

@The dog2: Is this true? If so, could you please provide a source? I was unable to corroborate it after a few minutes of searching. —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:21, 8 September 2018 (UTC)

At least according to Wikipedia it is. You can find it in the Genocide article, under the section "Genocide in History". The dog2 (talk) 09:42, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I've added more details about the law in question. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:01, 8 September 2018 (UTC)