If you want to see the white-water-rafting stronghold of Yusufeli in the far northeastern corner of Turkey, do so soon, because it is constantly threatened with demolition to make way for a dam on the Coruh River. (After years of back and forth, the foundation stone was laid in February 2013. If all goes according to plan, Turkey's highest dam will be finished by 2018.

Small and unexciting in itself, Yusufeli is 80 mi/129 km north of Erzurum and a base for exploring a sequence of all-but-forgotten churches dating back to the days when this part of Turkey was actually part of Georgia: The best are at Oskvank, Haho and Ishan.

Accommodations in the area are very basic, although the village of Barhal (18 mi/28 km from Yusufeli) offers pleasing rustic simplicity.

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