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My grandfather
   TATVAN is situated at the base of legendary Nemrut volcano on the banks
of Van lake (Turkey's largest and one of the highest lakes on earth at an altitude of 1,650 meters with waters as saline as those of the Dead Sea). The lake contains several islands, Aktamar, with its 10th century Armenian church, being the largest and most beautiful. Across the lake, stands the snow-covered mass of Mount Suphan (alt. 4,058 m.) and behind it the legendary Mount Ararat ("Agri Dagi", in Turkish, alt. 5,137 m., Noah's Arc's celebrated last port of call). Ahlat, on the north shore, contains the sepulchers of rich Moslems dating from the 12th to the 14th centuries as well as domed tombs amidst the trees.Nearby Ercis contains Ourartien ruins.    

(My paradis)
Mount Ararat
   On our arrival in Tatvan, I was seven and did not yet speak a word of Turkish. On the way, I nearly died when the horse upon which I was bound slipped and nearly fell into a hundred-foot ravine. Our final destination was to be Izmir, Turkey's third largest city, after Istanbul and Ankara. It was a distant goal. And although the other family arrived safely, my father, penniless and speaking no Turkish, soon realized that continuing the voyage was impossible

Aktamar Island