Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Turkey with Simon Reeve, BBC 2
Gallipoli to the Syrian Border, BBC iPlayer (for 28 days)
"Simon Reeve sets off on the first leg of his two-part journey around Turkey, a dramatic and beautiful country that now finds itself at the centre of world events. In this programme, he visits Istanbul and the beaches and crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea, before ending up at the war-torn border with Syria. In the region thought to have been the origin of the first vineyards, Simon meets a producer now trying to sell wine in a Muslim country with an increasingly conservative government. In Istanbul, he meets some of the people shaping modern Turkey, from loyal supporters of the nation's controversial and authoritarian president to the master builder constructing one of the world's largest mosques and the notorious billionaire cashing in on a Turkish property boom. Along Turkey's famous Turquoise Coast, Simon has a taste of luxury at the country's most expensive hotel, but discovers an industry on its knees as war in Syria and deadly terror attacks keep millions of holidaymakers away. Only one sector is bucking the trend - halal-friendly tourism. Finally, Simon reaches Turkey's southern border where state-of-the-art camps have been built for hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria. Many are trying to carve out a new life in Turkey, and some are even learning Turkish, but the nearby thud of artillery and rockets is a constant reminder of the war just a few miles away" (BBC programme details).