The Dogu Express is an old-fashioned train that crosses Turkey from Ankara to Kars. The train reaches almost 70 km/h, takes 24 hours for the 1300 kilometer journey - and has achieved cult status. Young people in particular are clamoring for tickets.
A ticket for the Dogu Express costs roughly six Euros, but people often have to wait for months to get one, so many pay up to 100 Euros on the black market. Nearly 300,000 passengers use the train every year, and it has become hugely popular, especially among young people. The train takes a whole day to cover the 1,310 km journey from the Turkish capital to the Armenian border. In times of low-cost airlines, a speed of 70 km/h seems anachronistic, and the train a means of transport that seems to have fallen out of time. But that's exactly what travelers on board the Dogu Express appreciate - the feeling of deceleration. Melve and Atalay are a young couple who take the Express for precisely this reason: to be able to spend more time together. Conductor Hüseyin Celik has been working on the Express for many years and still loves his job and the breathtaking landscapes the trip affords.