Crossing the border with Syria

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Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Gaziantep
October 4th 2010
Published: June 21st 2017
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From Gaziantep to Syria are many organized trips. As we wanted to go 'last minute' we had to find our own way to arrive to Syria. Most logical way is to go to the border city Kilis. The cheapest way to travel between Gaziantep and Kilis is to use the 'dolmus' a frequently used minibus service in Turkey. From the terminal we traveled by dolmus to Kilis and from there we were planning to look further.

Once arrived at Kilis, we didn't noticed that we passed the terminal. This 'city' was so small that probably the bus terminal looked like a bus stop. When we arrived to the end station, the driver asked us where we have to go. We asked him for advice how to reach Aleppo. The most logical way is to drive to the border, off course with an extra fee for the small part from Kilis to the border, and on the border there are taxi drivers who can bring us to Aleppo.

When we arrived at the border, immediately a Turkish speaking Syrian taxi driver approached us. Service for crossing the border and driving us to Aleppo he asked 80 Turkish Lira's which was about € 40,- With a bit negotiating we agreed for 60 Turkish Lira's for bringing us to Aleppo. If we have to consider that Aleppo is 60 km from the Turkish border it is not a bad deal at all.

The border formalities and crossing is another story. When we arrived there were only a few cars in one line, but due to a network issue, the border registration system were down, so we couldn't move until the service was back. It took 1.5 hour when we finally could continue. In the mean time the few cars in one line became a mass chaos of 7 lines which tries to push trough the the gate which is just wide enough for one vehicle.

When our very experienced driver managed to push his car trough the gate, another adventure was waiting for us, the border formalities. While the driver was arranging the documents for the car, we politely joined the messy queue for the passport check. There was no line and everyone was joining from all possible directions. When our driver came back, we were still politely waiting in the 'queue'. He grabbed our passports, rudely pushed everyone away, created a corridor between all the people for himself and gave our passports to the border officer

When we finally managed to 'check out' from Turkey, the same story was waiting for us on the Syrian side. It is notable that border officers in these area are all the same. They have no idea how to handle if you hand them unusual documents and when you try to talk with them, it ends up into an endless discussion.

More then two hours where past when we finally left the border post. Now nothing was on our horizon except the road which is leading us to Aleppo.

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5th April 2012

thanx my dear!I didn't know you are such a good writer. It was a pleasure to read.

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