Waymarking the EÇW
The Evliya Çelebi Way is currently being waymarked, with the benefit of an EU project grant, between the start of the trail at Altinova and Kütahya. We are improving the route as we go, which means that the directions given in the guidebook and the GPS tracks and waypoints files will, until we can revise them, be slightly different from the newly waymarked trail in some stretches. This should not present problems to the intrepid, but all potential hikers/bikers should be advised.
Navigating the EÇW
The EÇW may be navigated with the aid of the detailed instructions in the guidebook, the accompanying map, and the GPS files downloaded from the website.
The guidebook is divided into day-long sections that with few exceptions begin and end at inhabited places. Each of these places has two WPs, one for the end of a section/day, and the second indicating the start of a new section/day.
Elevation profiles missing from the guidebook are shown below.
Timings giving in the guidebook tend to be on the generous side.
Signposts have been erected on the sections of the route falling within Yalova and Bursa provinces, and should be up in Kocaeli province by spring 2015. The route will then be signposted as far as Bahçekaya village in the Domaniç mountains, south of İnegöl (see Guidebook p.76; WP2422). Owing to reasons beyond our control there are some missing signposts and some errors in signage, but none significant enough to seriously mislead. Villagers have thought to help us as we go—riding the trail in October 2014, for instance, we noticed that the sign showing the path from the asphalt road out of Babasultan village up the slopes of Uludağ to Kızlar Sarayı (see Guidebook section 7.21) has been turned around to send us along the asphalt! There is no waymarking on the route, and no app as yet.
Updates and Corrections to EÇW guidebook and GPS files January 2015
We suggest you check these revisions to the route on GoogleEarth and print the relevant sections before setting out so you know what to expect. You will of course find more changes yourself as you go, such as dirt roads become asphalt—please alert us, so we can update/correct. Unless specified otherwise, the revisions below refer to the walking route.
Section 7.10 Hersek to Bağdat Restaurant
p.49: One of the longest suspension bridges in the world is being built across the İzmit Gulf, between Dilovası on the N shore and Hersek village on the S shore. The new connecting highway bears SW at Hersek and does not affect the route, apart from blighting the landscape.
p.51: The Bağdat restaurant has relocated to WP1026/WP1100. The distance between the asphalt (WP1025) and the Bağdat restaurant is therefore 300m, and (p.52) between the Bağdat restaurant and leaving the asphalt for the stream (WP1102) is 1.5km.
Section 7.12 Kızderbent to Mahmudiye
p.54: Kızderbent can be avoided if you continue on tracks on the slope on the E side of the valley, namely from WP1121 to WP1206.
A reservoir has been constructed in a valley NE of Mahmudiye: the road up to the village from the stream (WP1227) is now wide and surfaced.
Section 7.13 Mahmudiye to İznik
p.58 The former Haghia Sophia basilica (Ayasofya) in İznik is once again a mosque rather than a museum. Opening hours are therefore longer, and there is no entrance fee. A prayer area has been set up, but visitors may wander around as before.
Sections 7.14, 7.15 İznik to Eski Çelebi to Sungurpaşa
p.61: Kızılhisar and the former village of Eski Çelebi may be omitted in favour a more direct route (also by horseriders/bikers). On reaching the first houses of Mecidiye (WP1415), continue straight on/S, R at the mosque, and continue down the valley ahead on leaving the village; follow a stream, on a clear, partly-intact, kaldırım. This turns into a tractor track, descends to meet the stream, and continues until it intersects a track across the Yenişehir Plain at WP1504. The distance is c.10km, all descending or flat.
Walkers who do not want to continue across the plain to Yenişehir may go s/o/S at WP1505, and L/E at WP1504A—total 2km—to take a minibus from Çelebi (WP1501).
Section 7.15 Eski Çelebi to Sungurpaşa
p.62: Horseriders/bikers should note that a bypass has been built E of Yenişehir. Cross it at WP1508, 2.5km from the crossroads (WP1506); the kanal is 750m ahead.
Section 7.20 Sungurpaşa to Babasultan
p.65: Before Şehitler, the dirt road is now asphalt (WP2022).
p.66: The factory at WP2031 is no longer a glue factory; the water tower has gone.
The trees by the yalak where you meet the asphalt (WP2038) are not planes, but cherries, with a pear orchard behind. There are planes further up the asphalt road.
Section 7.21 Babasultan to Cerrah
p.67: Bottom of page: meet the ‘winding dirt road’ at WP2126.
p.68: The football field (WP2134) is no longer there; there is a small çeşme.
It would be preferable to avoid the asphalt between WP2138 and WP2140: GoogleEarth shows a track leaving the asphalt L/N opposite the first structure (barn?) after WP2138 that returns to the asphalt 100m beyond WP2139.
Section 7.22 Cerrah to Deydinler
p.71: At WP2203, follow track directly to WP2210, omitting WP2204.
For a simpler route between WP2211 and WP2219, turn L at WP2211 and turn R on rising track at WP2211A after 100m; follow the track first S, then bearing E and SE along orchard and field boundaries to WP2211A (c.1.5km).
At a T-junction with the asphalt entering Hocaköy (WP2209), horseriders/bikers should turn R, not L.
p.72: Below photograph, the text should read: ‘…R/uphill then R/ENE…’.
Trees at WP2240 are walnuts, not chestnuts.
Section 7.23 Deydinler to Hacıkara
p.74: Before Hacıkara, WP 2346 given in the guidebook should be WP2344.
Section 7.24 Hacıkara to Kuruluk Yaylası
p.76: The cabin at Kuruluk Yaylası is no longer there.
Section 7.30 Kocayayla Geçiti to Çukurca
p.79: The road down to Safa is now clearly signed ‘Sultan Abdülhamit Yürüyüş Parkürü, 3km’ (WP3000).
pp.79-80: At the 3rd bridge (WP3017) it is best to take the LH fork to WP3022, avoiding overgrown stretch.
p.80: WP3021 given in the guidebook should be WP3022.
Section 7.31 Çukurca to Elmalı
p.82: Access to the shrine at Selim Baba (WP3113) has been much ‘improved’, with a new wide road from Çukurca.
WP3114: 3 yalaks here.
WP3118: telecom mast here
WP3121 given in the guidebook should be WP3020.
p.84: On exiting Fındıcak at WP3164A avoid the motor road by taking a track R/SW that crosses a wide, dirt road and continues S, possibly as kaldırım, between a line of trees, to Elmalı.
Section 7.32 Elmalı to Şenlik
p.85: WP3231 given in the guidebook should be WP3232.
Section 7.33 Şenlik to Kütahya
p.88: Rather than following the asphalt road when exiting Parmakören, horseriders/bikers will prefer to cross the open ground to the E of the road, behind the houses, and pick up the asphalt again after c.500m.
Section 7.40—Horse-riders/Bikers Kütahya to Afyonkarahisar
p.90-91: The new Zafer airport has been built in the Altıntaş Plain between Kuyucak (WP4039) and Alibey (WP4041), just W of the Kütahya-Afyonkarahisar highway. This, together with its new access roads, necessitates re-routing of the EÇW in this area. It may be best to take a wide loop W around the airport—the plain is flat and crisscrossed by a network of tractor tracks, which should make the diversion straightforward. New road building may also affect part of the section between Gelinkaya (WP4012) and Kocak (WP4019).
p.93: The Nature Horse Farm (WP5002) on the outskirts of Afyonkarahisar has gone out of business, meaning there is no reason for riders to head for the city. Construction has intensified to the W of where the Kütahya-Afyonkarahisar highway reaches the city, and we have accordingly revised the route in this area from WP4072, so that it takes a more W course and picks up the route again at Boyalı (WP5012). The revised WPs are included in the Horses route WP file downloadable on the website.
Here is the revised route:
From ‘Follow the track to where the stream is fordable…’, ‘continue up the escarpment on the far/S side of the stream, to reach a tractor track (WP4074A). Follow this for 1km to reach an asphalt road (WP4075A). Turn R for 1.5km towards Köprülü; at trees immediately before Köprülü (WP4076A) turn L/SW on a track through arable land. After the arable ends (WP4077A), continue uphill/SE on the track, descending to the W-E highway after 2.5km (WP4079A). Go through the tunnel under the Afyonkarahisar-Uşak highway, and over a stream, bearing SW then SE with the Kocatepe Şehit Park (Kocatepe War Graves Park) to your R and houses to your L, to the main asphalt (WP5001A). Cross the asphalt, go E for 100m, then turn SE onto a track (WP5002A). After 1.5km cross the railway (WP5003A), and follow the asphalt on the far/E side SSW, then SE, to reach Boyalı after 1.5km (WP5004A). The meydan and mosque are 100m SE (WP5012).
Section 7.60 Mesudiye to Yediçeşme
p.101: There are in fact eight çeşme/yalaks here!
Section 7.61 Yediçeşme to Eskigüney
p.103 (extensive revisions):
Hillside route: turn L on the asphalt to cross the road bridge ; after 500m uphill, fork R onto tractor track  leading to a grassy area under oaks. Beyond the oaks, find a tractor track rising NW towards some houses. At a junction immediately before the houses or shortly after, take a track R/N through scrub to join a hedged track between fields . Follow the track, at first N then NW, descending slightly, with views across the valley to your R. At a junction, keep L/NW  and again at a second junction . Continue on the track, passing fields on both sides . The track again turns N , through woodland and along a field, and descends to a T-junction [WP6133]. Go L/W; the track swings S to a junction . Turn R/SW, aiming for one of the several mahalles of the strung-out village of Paçacıoğlu. At the houses , bend R/N, and almost immediatly R/NE  and descend on hedged track to reach the village asphalt at a bend. Turn R onto the asphalt; after 2 more bends , fork L/NW onto kaldırım. Cross the asphalt  and, at the next bend turn R/down on kaldırım to meet the streambed route .
Proceed NW/down to cross the bridge  and continue on the asphalt to a yalak with a bus stop and shady resting place [6141A]. 50m further on , turn L/W/down off the asphalt onto a tractor track, cross a minor stream and turn L at a T-junction on the far side . After 50m, at a yalak, the tractor track bends R  and becomes a kaldırım between hedges and sometimes walls. Continue for 750m to a L bend around a gully. Immediately after the bend , climb a grassy bank on the R and find an old path ascending the forested hillside. Follow the eroded, banked path N/uphill, under pines, swinging first W then N to emerge in fields . The path, now hedged kaldırım, continues N across the fields to meet the asphalt  just outside the village of Eskigüney. Turn L. Continue to the meydan and mosque of the village .
Section 7.63, 7.64—Horse-riders/Bikers Erdoğmuş to Eskigediz to Gürlek
p.106: Riders who do not want to enter the town of Eskigediz may continue on the quiet asphalt from WP6316 to pick up the route at WP6403, a distance of 750m.
Section 7.64 Eskigediz to Gürlek
p.108: The Pınarbaşı türbe is at WP6443, not WP6444.
p.109: Horseriders/Bikers section should read: ‘…continue on the asphalt from the Pınarbaşı crossroads (WP6441) to the start of Gürlek (WP6445).
Updated historical information in the EÇW guidebook
Section 7.11 Bağdat Restaurant to Kızderbent
p.52: Thanks to recent research by Betül İpşirli Argıt, we now know that the three-arched Valideköprü bridge was built in its present form by Rabia Gülnuş Emetullah Sultan (1640-1715), mother of Sultan Ahmed III (1673-1736), not by Turhan Sultan, mother of Sultan Mehmed IV. Adjacent to the bridge, Rabia Gülnüş built a çeşme and an outdoor prayer area. She also renewed the kaldırım between Hersek and İznik Lake., and built a çeşme in Hersek (Betül İpşirli Argıt, Rabia Gülnuş Emetullah Sultan (Istanbul, 2014) pp.187-88).
p.53: The reference to Evliya’s ‘contemporary and fellow Ottoman pilgrim Mehmed Edib’ is incorrect. In fact, Mehmed Edib undertook his pilgrimage to the Holy Places a century later, in 1779, and his account was published in 1790 as Behcetü’l-Menâzil.
The correct date of Mehmed Edib’s pilgrimage is often confused because many historians—including myself—consult the more-easily accessible French translation of Mehmed Edib’s work, whose translator dated it to 1682.