What was the best way to travel across Anatolia in 1914?

Specifically, I'm writing a story in which a character needs to travel from Constantinople to Van (a city which would later see protracted fighting and massacres of civilians). This is a distance of 1264 km as the crow flies; travel distance overland would presumably be somewhat greater.

The Baghdad Railway famously runs from Constantinople to Baghdad. From the very fact that it is famous, and considered legendarily expensive and of great geopolitical importance, I'm assuming it is unusual in that time and place, which would mean Anatolia does not have an extensive rail network, and if you want to go someplace that is not close to the Baghdad Railway (which, looking at a map, Van is not), you would be stuck with slower means of transport.

So what would those slower means of transport consist of?

And would they have been disrupted by the start of the war, and if so, how quickly?

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    These two sources are in general agreement on the spare Turkish rail network - though I cannot find the original provenance of either. I have also seen contemporary accounts (in regard a contemplated British coup de Main in Syria over winter 1914-15) that a 10 or 20 mile stretch in the Adana Mts., north of Aleppo, did not have track laid until late 1915 / early 1916 - though truck offloading was in place.. Mar 9, 2021 at 21:30


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