23-Oct-2006 -- Since November 2005 I am working in a development project in the city of Malatya, Turkey. What can you do in eastern Anatolia besides working and enjoying the local culture? This was the question which soon came up. A short look on the website of confluence.org gave the answer: There are several unvisited Confluences in eastern Turkey still waiting for conquest.
My first Confluence in Turkey I visited mid of September 2006 with one of my colleagues: 39N 38E. This time, end of October, my daughter Johanna Klinger was here during vacations and we had planned a three-days' tour through East-Anatolia with the list of unvisited Confluences in my pocket, on the top of it 39N 40E.
We started early on Sunday, 22nd in Malatya, heading north to the beautiful mountain village of Kemaliye (through Arapkir). We reached Kemaliye in the afternoon and paid a visit to the impressive canyon. Generally, Kemaliye can only be recommended to visitors for its natural beauty and the villagers' enthusiasm to renovate traditional houses and marketing their village as a tourist attraction.
On early Monday morning (23rd) we travelled further east through the mountains (Başpınar – Gedikler – Pertek – Kovancılar – Karakoçan) on partly difficult road conditions. From the Centre of Karakoçan, there is a road leading northwest which we followed to bring us closer to confluence 39N 40E. After about 4 km, there is a junction to the right leading to the village of Hamzalı which we followed. We soon reached Hamzalı and attracted the interest of the village children. According to our GPS, the Confluence was close (890 m), but the road ended here. So we walked on to the hill behind the village but were quite disappointed that right after the village there was a steep slope followed by a small river which both could not easily be crossed. However, from the hilltop we had a view on the area of the Confluence which seemed to be on agricultural land easily accessible from a neighbouring village. Hence we decided to go back to the road and try to access the Confluence through the other village road.
This time we were successful. Finally, it turned out that the Confluence is close to the village of Hamzalı at the northern bank of the small river passing by the village. The access to this area, however, is easier through the road to the neighbouring village of Kızılca and then walking about one km along the river bed. After our visit of the Confluence at about 15:30 in the afternoon, we had to hurry to get to our next destination Diyarbakır (through Bingöl) during daylight.