The region of Van used to be the heartland of the Christian kingdom of Armenia. Today, it is the eastern most region of Turkey with a majority Kurdish population. The Armenian Christians in this region were nearly all massacred in the years leading up to and during WWI. The Church of the Holy Cross on the island Aghtamar in Lake Van stands as an eerie monument to this civilization that once flourished and is no more.

It was a supreme test of patience to get these three girls to finally stand for a picture.

This little White Fang couldn’t decide if I was his master or enemy. In the end, he decided on neither and dozed off. Lucky for me!

I spent the better portion of an afternoon in the fields along Lake Van shooting pictures of Tushpa, the ancient citadel of Uraratu. I came across a nesting bird, not sure what kind, but she wasn’t happy that I was there and let me know it by circling overhead. There was a yellow breasted something-or-other out there too.

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