Yes, the roads in Turkey can flow smoothly through beautiful sites, but they can also scare the living daylights out of you.
Woman drivers on the road are very rare and I think it might have something to do with why a sort of ‘Lord of The Flies’ approach to driving is dominant. It is amazing to see not just one or two idiots drive beneath a haze of testosterone and ego, but the vast majority desperately attempting to be Hunters on the lookout for their very own Piggy. It’s so bad that when someone signals I now get concerned about what their planning- since if a public bus can’t be bothered signaling before stopping in a full highway lane, then what craziness would make a private car signal when merging onto a six lane highway? Oh, and when it starts getting dark, don’t bother looking for headlights- their use isn’t very popular.
Ah, the roads. Turkish roads can be some of the best riding I’ve every had, and in a second change into some sort of off-road proving ground without notice. Roads used by heavy trucks have ruts on the hills that would be better called furrows. The gravel covered tar roads have fantastic grip until the gravel breaks away from the tar (like on every corner) and acts like marbles. The roads leading into and out of towns/cities are also a treat since, beyond regular speed and security checks, there are commonly unmarked speed bumps that appear even on roads with a 90kph limit. And the best is the practice of alternating which side of a divided road gets repaved, so roads (the D400 along the Syrian border is the worst) change from 4 lane dived to 2 lane undivided with little notice or signage and on alternating sides- every few kilometers. The one bright spot is, oddly enough, in the gravel roads. The ground is mostly rocky and seems to shed water quite quickly, so even after a heavy rain the gravel/dirt roads remain fairly fun for riding (assuming you like unruly gravel/dirt roads to begin with) and while the puddles can be deep, they aren’t often mud bogs.
Putting it all together in one post makes it seem like riding in Turkey is a sure way to get killed or end up with expensive repair bills. The truth is that once you get used to it, it’s not so bad- just uncompromising to anyone who daydreams or doesn’t give the road their full attention fulltime.
Oh yeah, what would cause a private driver to signal? As it turns out he was crossing all lanes of traffic, into oncoming traffic and all their lanes before driving the wrong way down the shoulder- a fairly common move and hardly worth notify other drivers about. Really.