“Free” is among the last words used to describe Turkey these days. But freedom is what the country offers to tens of thousands of Iranian tourists who flock to their neighbor every year. Chadors are cast off, whiskeys ordered and an orgy of unfettered fun is uncorked for Iranian revelers who are formally denied such pleasures at home.
Many travel overland to the mainly Kurdish city of Van, an ancient settlement on the Iranian border, as they did this year for the March 21 arrival of spring and the Nowruz holiday that is celebrated by Persians, Kurds and Turkic peoples throughout the region. “They are coming in waves” crowed Hurriyet in an article about the latest Persian invasion of Van.