In July, I wrote about a type of minibus in Turkey called a Dolmuş /Dole-Moosh/. (See: Stuffed Cars, Pt 1)These special buses run specific routes like a regular bus, but can pick people up and drop people off anywhere like a taxi. The ride can sometimes be very cramped, and the Turkish penchant for aggressive driving makes the ride an adventure.
In any case, a friend sent me a short film made by Turks (evident by the English captions) about the Dolmuş. I thought I’d post it since there aren’t many films on the site as of yet. My camera is having some technical problems that will hopefully be fixed in the next few weeks. You can expect to see many TurkFilm videos soon after.
The city is Antalya, one of Turkey’s most popular summer destinations. You can find photos from my visit to Antalya in the photo gallery.
In Turkey, you can find many ways to get around without a car, even when traveling between cities miles and miles apart from each other. One of my new Turkish friends, Murat, said to me, “In America, everyone drives a car. You need it to get around. When I first arrived, I ended up having to constantly call friends to get around.” He ended up buying a car in order to get around while studying in the US.
Luckily, I have no such problem in Turkey! Turkey has a prolific number of ways to get around. In Ankara, you’ll find a modern mass transit system with clean and fast subway cars. If there isn’t a “metro” stop, inner city buses come almost every 5 or 10 minutes going all over the city. Not much need for schedules because they run so often. Taxis are also plentiful and cabbies incredibly helpful. Thanks to a strong dollar, cabs are also not as expensive as the US. However, today’s story is about one of Turkey’s more “adventurous” ways of getting around.
It’s called the Dolmus (pronounced Dole-Moosh). The name comes from the Turkish word Dolma that refers to a variety of stuffed vegetable dishes served in Turkey. The Dolmus definitely lives up to its “stuffed” namesake. Although the Dolmus is a little larger than a normal van, they can become very cramped, especially during rush hours. On the way back to my apartment in Oran, I counted 26 people in my Dolmus at one point! Dolmus vans are like buses because they have a specific route, but unlike buses, you can hail them down from anywhere they pass and be dropped off anywhere on the route. I do mean anywhere. On the way back, my Dolmus stopped just off a rotary!
Still, the Dolmus might not be for everyone. As I mentioned, it can get a little crowded. Also, some Americans might be steered away by the flagrant cell phone usage by the driver, or the Dolmus drivers penchant for aggressive driving. However, if you like an adventure, this is certainly a cheap and quick way to get semi long distances in Turkey.