This week's random co-ordinates chosen by the computer are:

38 53' N 37 3' E

FIRST REACTION

I think I've landed in Iraq.

COUNTRY & REGION

You are standing in Darende, a small town with a population of 10,000 in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey.

NATURE OF THE TERRAIN

Darende is little more than a dusty truck stop on the road west to Ankara and east to Malatya. The town consists of a bus stop, a handful of shops, cafeterias and garages, and hundreds of houses that look half finished.

ALTITUDE

1250 metres

POSSIBLE HAZARDS

Other than the strict laws against insulting, defaming or making light of the Turkish flag, and so on, it's pretty safe. You're not far enough east to be troubled by Kurdish separatist guerrillas, and serious earthquakes only happen once every eight to 10 years.

USEFUL LANGUAGES

Kurdish is the main language around these parts, despite the national tongue being Turkish - a language that has some rare complex verbs that constitute whole sentences in themselves. For example, "Afyonkarahisarlilastiramadiklarimizdanmisiniz" ("Aren't you one of those people whom we tried - unsuccessfully - to make resemble the citizen of Afyonkarahisar?")

TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER

Prime minister Mesut Yilmaz.

LIKELY WEATHER CONDITIONS

Although the sun is shining, biting winds sweep across the plateau and chill your bones.

REASONS FOR HANGING AROUND

In Eastern Anatolia you could lose yourself in the Ottoman bazaars of Sanliurfa, go whitewater rafting from Yusufeli, and watch the sun set from the colossal statues atop Nemrut Dagi.

GETTING THE HELL OUT OF THERE

You could walk and hitch 130km eastwards to the town of Malatya, from where Turkish Airlines have regular flights to Ankara and back to the UK.

Comments