Turkey Erzurum & Doğubeyazıt 2001.08.12 - 08.16

Iranian Consulate

According to travelers who post updates on the Lonely Planet web page, the Iranian Consulate in Erzurum is the easiest place in the Turkey to get an Iranian visa. Japanese have no trouble getting a tourist or transit visa, but Americans have been denied Iranian visas, especially under the Dubbya Bush administration. Nevertheless, we contacted the Iranian Consulate to inquire whether Wes had any chance. Being told forthright, "Americans cannot apply as individuals, only as part of a group", we decided against the hassle.

A few days later, we were in Doğubeyazıt talking to 6 Japanese just arriving to Turkey overland from Iran. "We all hate Iran," they agreed. Their stories of dissatisfaction can be summarized into daily cheating and harassment. Agreed hotel room prices would increase at check-out. The guys were shoved and elbowed while walking down the street. The gals had their asses felt in public places. Children threw large stones at them. These 6 Japanese were traveling separately, but they all had similar stories. In comparison, Doğubeyazıt is like heaven. Apparently, most travelers coming from Iran need a few days in Doğubeyazıt to recover mentally and physically. Maybe being denied entry to Iran is a good thing.

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