Not Your Mother’s Dusty Frontier Town

Okay, I’ve harped on this before, but mayhap you didn’t believe me.

So I’m gonna quote it–with links–and then I’m gonna post pics.  And you, dear reader, can decide.  This is about Dogubayazit, my favorite frontier town.  It’s in Turkey, across the border from Iran.  And my quarrel is with Lonely Planet.  YOU be the judge.

Dogubayazit is described by Lonely Planet as a “dusty frontier town crawling with soldiers (which) has few charms of its own.”  See the link.  Proof.  Yes?

And now, Exhibit A through F–namely, my photos of said “dusty frontier town…with few charms of its own.”  Tell me, is that how you’d describe this gem?  🙂  Photos below:

Old and Modern Share the Road, Dogubayazit, Turkey

Old and Modern Share the Road, Dogubayazit, Turkey

Kid on the Street, Dogubayazit, Turkey

Kid on the Street, Dogubayazit, Turkey

Market Scene, Dogubayazit, Turkey

Market Scene, Dogubayazit, Turkey

Dogubayazit Street, Turkey

Dogubayazit Street, Turkey

Dogubayazit Men

Fresh Bread and Dogubayazit Men

Friends on the Street

Friends on the Street

So–what do you think?  Dusty frontier town lacking charm?  Or hawt and colorful frontier town that yearns for exploration?  🙂


About sputnitsa

Born in the US, I grew up in Africa and the West Indies, and returned stateside in my teens. After a decade in international development, democracy work, and inclusivity training for domestic NGOs, I joined Peace Corps, and after a year, experienced my first Russian invasion. I followed that up by volunteering with refugees and youth, and after some vacation time climbing minarets and mountains, I returned to New York City, where today I work on social justice with college students, produce short films, and write.
This entry was posted in Anatolia, Dogubayazit, frontiers, Lonely Planet, photos, travel, Turkey, whatnot, who's right and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Not Your Mother’s Dusty Frontier Town

  1. JLC says:

    Where are the women? I love the colors. (Just not when my neighbor paints her house with them. lol)

    • sputnitsa says:

      Hahaha! Yeah, I do too. I was so surprised. Many Anatolian towns were very simple but gorgeously colorful. They all felt fresh and full of life, like oases in the wilderness.

      The women… There were some. It was interesting, the further east we went, the more women were covered. In Dogubayazit, I only saw two women with their hair uncovered. (I was surprised to see any.) There were modern coverings and also full chadors. The photo of me on this site is actually from my trip to Eastern Anatolia; I kept my hair covered maybe 75% of the time, just to avoid my own paranoia.

      In Dogubayazit, by and large, the majority of folk on the street were men. I felt slightly less comfortable taking photos of women, as you could tell. 🙂

  2. sputnitsa says:

    You know, it’s funny… I guess I’d gotten used to that idea–of less visible women. It took your note for me to look up through the photos and realize anew how absent women are from them. I definitely remember feeling very…out there when I was out there.

    And I have to say, coming back to the US, one of the things I was looking forward to was the men. Not because I wanted one, per se. Rather because I wanted to feel free to not be constantly aware of men watching me, the way it was in the Caucasus and Turkey. It’s very stressful. And that’s the truth. I hated that part of life out there. It may not sound pretty to say that, but it’s the truth. The g*ddam* truth. *shrug* 🙂

  3. JLC says:

    There are a few neighborhoods around here that have Victorian era homes and the owners paint them all sorts of colors. It is fun to see the different color combinations!

    I remember, as a teen, going to Mexico and being stared at because I was blond. It felt so uncomfortable. I understand how you felt.

    • sputnitsa says:

      Wow. I love Victorian homes… There’s a lovely neighborhood in Brooklyn which has homes of all sorts randomly placed next to one another down the streets. You’ll go from Victorian to Tudor to a sort of Scandinavian look, step by step. I just love it. 🙂

      Sounds pretty where you live 🙂

  4. Beth says:

    Dogubayazit looks like a really intriguing place to visit. I say forget the guidebooks…go where you want.

  5. sputnitsa says:

    Amen to that one 🙂

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