Boldly contoured in crayon colors of ash gray, rust-red
and tawny yellow, the great mass of Eastern Anatolia
stretches away from the central plateau to the snow-capped
peaks of Eastern borders.
It is region with turbulent pass as the battlefront of
Eastern and Western cultures, between Romans and Parthian
and Byzantine and Sassanids, culminating in final conquest
of Anatolia by Eastern people, Seljuk Turks.
In the area where the central steppe gives way to the more
mountainous terrain of East are the interesting former
Seljuk centers of Sivas, Divrigi, Eski Malatya (outside
modern Malatya) and Harput (outside Elazig).
At the height of 1950 m is Erzurum, called by Seljuk
"Arz er Rum" or "Frontier of West",
and which possesses several Seljuk and Mongol buildings.
To the North is the much fought over frontier city of Kars,
dominated by formidable fortress, and near which are the
ruins of 10th century Ani.
Overshadowed by Agri Dagi (5165 m), Ararat Mountain where
Noah's Ark came to rest, is the intriguing mosque and
palace of Ishak Pasha at Dogubayazit. On the banks of the
vast Lake Van is the city of same name, with its Urartu
Citadel dating back to 1st millennium BC, On Akdamar
Island in the lake is the fascinating 10th century Church
of Holy Cross.
In the region that was once Upper Mesopotamia in the basin
of Tigris and Euphrates are the cities of Diyarbakir,
Mardin and Urfa, all centers of Hurri-Mitanni in 2nd
Diyarbakir is characterized by its massive black basalt
walls, while Mardin's striking mediaeval architecture is
peculiar to this city alone. Ufra is famed for its pool of
scared carp, beside the Mosque of Abraham.
In the mountain vastness of South-East is one of Turkey's
most spectacular monument, Commagene Sanctuary of Nemrut
Dagi with its colossal toppled heads of gods.