During our tour of Turkey, the question of “what if there were zombies?” proved a recurring theme. Turkey’s rich and sometimes violent history has left us a number of places where one might hole up to escape the zombie horde.
Topkapi palace, former home of Turkey’s illustrious Ottoman Sultans, is an excellent place to fortify if the zombie menace should engulf Istanbul. The palace is surrounded by massive stone walls and the mighty waters of the Bosporus and contains a military installation. If the undead rise, the palace is easily cut off from the outside world, easily defensible, and contains enough land to allow for agricultural development. Additional food supplies could easily be looted from the surrounding hotels, hostels, and restaurants. The extensive buildings of the Ottoman Sultans have the potential to house hundreds or thousands of people in relative comfort – just be sure to monitor incoming refugees for bites.
Since zombies are unlikely to build wooden horses, the citadel of Troy is another defensible location during the apocalypse. The foundations of the massive walls that once defended the area still stand, and with hard work they could be restored to their former height. The interior of the citadel contains the foundations of houses which could similarly be rebuilt, and a massive tent already covers the center of the citadel – readymade shelter!
Troy doesn’t contain much space for agriculture, and the sea’s recession has deprived the area of the fish it once used for food. Defense of the surrounding fields might be possible, or stores of food could be kept in the massive sub-surface storage units used by the original city dwellers when under siege. Ultimately, Troy would require significant time and effort to defend, but if options are limited, it is a place one might seek out at the end of the world.
The underground city in Cappadocia offers another escape from the undead masses. Eight levels deep, and built to house the populations of several surrounding villages during attack, the massive cave complex has room aplenty. Massive millstones can be used to securely lock down hallways and levels, allowing easy internal defense in case of human or zombie attack.
The city has the potential to be very deadly for the unprepared – without electrical lights, the myriad holes dotting the cavern floors have the potential to maim or kill, and without sufficient stores or hydroponic system, starvation would present a very real threat. However, with adequate preparation and careful control of the incoming populace, the subterranean complex could easily be made into an oasis of civility amongst the undead plague.
Despite the relative density of tourists around each of the areas we visited, Turkey is home to a plethora of almost zombie-proof locations. I’d rather be here than in any suburban home or jam-packed city in America if the dead should start to rise – we simply lack the fortifications forged by a long, rich history of cultural interaction and war.
By Kate Kelley (2012)