Turkey's recently opened Mesopotamia Express



It travels 1,051 miles between Ankara and Diyarbakır, passing via some of the most significant historical monuments in the nation as well as bleak, hilly scenery.

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Train travel is currently popular. Travelers are being transported around the world by a multitude of new train lines, which range from the Tren Maya in Mexico to the European Sleeper between Brussels and Prague. In addition, a lot of train companies are growing their selection of luxurious rail experiences. One example is the new La Dolce Vida train from Orient Express, which travels Italy in opulent mid-century design.
The CEO of the international travel website Rome2Rio, Yesh Munnangi, claims that demand for train travel is rising. "Rome2Rio's train search data reveals a staggering 170% increase since 2019 pre-Covid volumes," Munnangi told the BBC.

The most recent illustration of this pattern is the April 2024 opening of Turkey's new Mesopotamia Express. Building on the success of the nation's 2019 Eastern Express train debut, this new route will transport travelers on an amazing adventure across Turkey's historically and culturally rich central Anatolia region. The route, which spans 1,051 km and connects the capital city of Ankara with the city of Diyarbakır, which has a rich human history dating back thousands of years, travels through some of the most significant historical monuments in the nation as well as bleak, mountainous terrain.

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Officials say that the Mesopotamia Express is a part of a broader national campaign to encourage travelers to venture beyond well-known locations like Antalya and Istanbul, which were recently named as the two most visited cities in the world.
The Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) is represented by Geoffrey Weill, president of Weill Associates, who states that Turkey has been making several efforts to expand tourism throughout its 81 provinces. "One such effort is to improve the country's extensive, low-impact railway network with investments and high-speed trains."

The dining car of the Mesopotamia Express, which can hold up to 180 passengers, serves traditional Anatolian food that is obtained locally, including kelecoş, a fried pork dish served on flatbread. The entire journey takes 24 hours, with three to four hours of stops at each location to let visitors to take in the local landmarks and way of life.

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Discover the hidden cultural treasures of Turkey while traveling through breathtaking landscapes on an experience unlike any other train excursion.

"[The Mesopotamia Express] provides tourists with a comprehensive and immersive experience highlighting the region's rich cultural heritage, historical significance and natural beauty," Weill states. "It's not an ordinary train ride but a journey through time, traversing stunning Turkish landscapes and uncovering the country's hidden cultural gems."

The train's first destination after leaving Ankara is Kayseri, which is regarded as the entry point to the Cappadocia region. The city is well-known for its winding bazaars, its historic Turkish buildings, and for the magnificent Mount Erciyes, an extinct volcano that is a favorite spot for skiers and hikers.
After that, the train departs for Malatya, one of the biggest cities in Anatolia. For about 7,000 years, this region has served as a crossroads for East and West trade and cultural exchange. Summer rail passengers can disembark here to attend the yearly apricot festival, which takes place from July 20 to 22 and honors the area's most famous export.

Elazig, the next stop on the train, is situated beneath the historic city of Harput. From the 1866-built Izzet Pasha mosque to the Unesco World Heritage site of Harput Castle, it's the ideal location to discover the depth of Turkey's past.

 

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