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Bordered by Iran, Iraq, Armenia and Georgia, this area is off the main tourist track and gives a different perspective on the country. In places the scenery is reminiscent of alpine landscapes, with mountain vistas and forests, while in the city of Kars a Russian influence is visible in the architecture, a remnant of one of the many invasions that have occurred over the centuries. The region also contains Turkey’s largest lake, Lake Van. Set in a serene location surrounded by mountain peaks, the lake’s Akdamer Island features a 10th-century church with biblical carvings on its exterior.

Another highlight of eastern Turkey, with views over neighbouring Armenia, is the ruined medieval city of Ani. At its height it had a population of more than 100,000 people. Situated in the shadow of Mount Ararat, the final resting place of Noah’s Ark, lies the town of Dogubeyazit and Ishak Pasha Palace, an impressive palace that once belonged to an Ottoman governor.

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