BEAM ME DOWN: This week's random co-ordinates chosen by the computer are: 39 53' N 35 35' E
Sunday 18 October 1998
Is that a goat in a mohair cardigan eating my backpack?
COUNTRY AND REGION
This is the northern-central part of Anatolia, a vast mountainous plateau in the heart of Turkey, bound by the Black Sea to the north and the Aegean and Mediterranean to the west.
NATURE OF TERRAIN
Though the Cekerek River is barely half a mile away, there is little else to break up the endless brown soil and steppe from here to Ankara some 200km (125 miles) to the west. Your best company is likely to be goats. The angora wool of their coats is much sought-after. (The word mohair comes from the Arabic for "choice" or "select".)
600 metres (1,900ft)
Tarhana and Cekerek may be only a volcanic stone's throw away, but even the provincial capital, Yozgat some 50 miles west, is only really interesting in its capacity as site of the nearest otogar (bus garage).
Risk of abduction by Kurdish rebels.
Turkish is spoken throughout, though Kurdish is more likely to win you the sympathy of the locals.
TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER
Currently Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, though the job doesn't come with a very secure pension plan.
The extreme heat of the summer is certainly past, though temperatures in inland Turkey may still get as high as 20C (70F) during the day, and the climate is relatively dry (4cm of rain a year). The nights, however, will certainly make you curse the altitude, already dropping three or four degrees above freezing.
REASONS FOR HANGING AROUND
The stunningly well-preserved Hittite ruins at Bogazkale, dating from around 2000BC, are 100km west, while a 150km trek south leads you to the heart of Cappadocia country with its antediluvian volcanic "fairy chimneys", and lush fruit groves and vineyards.
GETTING THE HELL OUT OF THERE
Nearest escape bus-ride to the airport can be picked up from Yozgat. Buses are regular and the trip is a relatively painless three hours to Ankara's Esenboga airport (fare $6 - about pounds 5 ). Direct flights out of Turkey are not frequent, but there are regular connections with the Ataturk airport at Istanbul.
Compiled by Dan Whitcombe
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