Hitchhiking from Soran – Iraq to Mersin – Turkey
HH to Urfa
Because I wanted to reach more than 650 kilometers on one day, I started early in the morning and was on the street at 07:00 o`clock. As I was writing in the Loveletter to Kurdistan, it is very easy to hitchhike in Kurdistan and so could go on very fast to the direction of the border and met again nice people, instead of one. Here one of the good guys.
As it was so easy to hitchhike, I forgot to ask the people if they want money, because no one wanted anything from me. They just wanted to speak a little bit English and the most of them offered me something to drink or eat on the lift.
I drove through the wonderful nature of green fields and hills to Akre. The guy who stopped for me had an old car and, as far as I could understand, he wanted to drive to Zakho, directly next to the border. We couldn’t speak and I was just happy to get a lift directly for the next 150 kilometers. On the end I was so happy, because he was so friendly and brought me directly to the border. But now the nightmare began…
Turkey border crossing nightmare
It is not allowed to cross the border by walking, so you have to take a taxi. You have on the border the big Turkish taxi mafia and the border police help them, they don`t allow you to cross without driving with the taxis.
After we arrived on the border, my driver was speaking with the taxi people and they told him, that he should take money from me for the lift. Within one minutes he was not anymore my hitchhiking lift, now he was a private taxi and he wanted 100 USD from me, for the drive. Also the taxi drivers wanted from me again 20 USD to bring me over the border.
If there are around you more than 30 people shouting to you, it is really horrible. I was so shocked from this situation, because they also got verbal aggressive. I was totally scared. Luckily I had my money saved on different places in my backpacks. I had just about 45 Dollars in my pocket but I had to give them everything I had. So, I lost 35 Dollars to my private taxi and again 10 Dollars to cross the border. It was a nice welcome back to Turkey.
Arrival to Urfa
On the rest of the day I had luck again with my lifts and got mostly by trucks to Urfa. I reached Urfa at 21:00 o`clock. I got invited from a nice girl, called Nazli to her flat. She is working for a NGO to help and work for Syrian refugees.
She and her friends instructed and supported me, how I can get the contacts to make interviews with the refugee camps and with some families there. I got really good writing stuff and information, but I will write about Nazli, her boyfriend and also the camps and the families in a separate report. All I can say in the moment is, that I got shocking information’s and I will not write about it before I left Turkey.
I met a Syrian refugee who also want to go to Germany to start a new live there.
If you are interested in the great ans amazing history of Edessa – Urfa you can find some information’s here.
I also visited Halfeti, and old village floated because of an energy project and.
On the oat I met Kurdish rebellion guy and he told me also that the government floated this place also, because it was a Kurdish village over last years and they don`t care about Kurdish people and want to destroy their history.
My friends in Urfa invited me also to a big Kurdish wedding. It was really traditional, the people danced in a typical Kurdish dance for several hours in the street.
The street got blocked for the wedding and they sang songs about the PKK, Öcalan and other rebellion issues. It was great experience and I am so thankful that I could join this event and that I had people round me they translated for me the songs. Thanks to Farit.
After one week, my time there was over and I went on to Mersin. I had a couch surfing contact and invitation there from Veysel, also a Kurdish guy who worked as speech therapist and was living several years in Germany, so he spoke perfect German.
On my way to Mersin I crossed Antep and Adana – the city where the Kabap comes from originally.
I could reach Mersin on one day and was so happy being back to the ocean again. Veysels flat was very modern and luxury. The flat was in the eighth floor of a big building. The rooms were very big and every of this rooms had an own balcony – amazing. The biggest was with few to the sea and I could relax their totally.
Great Couch Surfing Hosts
Mostly I am really lucky with my hosts and they are so friendly, give me not only a free accommodation, sometimes with an own room, the most a feeding me with a lot of food and go angry with me when I eat outside. I also get local information’s and people walk around with me, show me everything and are so helpful. Couch surfing is so great, you meet the greatest people through it.
Also I found out that the biggest mosque in Mersin is the MAKRO mosque. Just a joke, MAKRO is supermarket, but the sign is placed so great.
When you arrive on a place, it has more than 22 degrees, the sun is shining and you have the different smells of the Sea in your nose and there is a deep feeling of freedom in your self – than you know that you belong to the ocean!
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