Anyone who says that nightlife in Van 'doesn't exist' just hasn't tried hard enough to find it, not that it's hard to find. Here's a summary:
Tamara Ocakbasi: Here you can select your meats or chicken plus mezes and cook them yourself with friends at your own person grill, there are many so the room gets quite hot but it's great fun. Full alcoholic menu available, raki is a popular choice. Live music on Fridays and Saturdays generally performed by students of Turkish classical music.
Tamara lobi bar: A small but comfortable bar where you can relax with your friends and have a drink. Light music and more western interpretations of Turkish hits are on offer in terms of entertainment.
Halay Turku bar (Maras Caddesi): The better of the folk bars in Van. Goes on until the small hours with plenty of live music in Turkish and Kurdish, lots of dancing and a pretty safe atmosphere for both sexes. Best to go in groups.
Barabar: (Sanat Sokak) Not quite as fun as Halay but bustling nonetheless, again a diet of Turkish and Kurdish folk music.
Uratu disco: Club type place with very average music.
Dress Code: Very casual except for Tamara lobi bar which tends to be a bit smarter (though not much)
Doesn't excist, I even tried to find a beer (from a kiosk) before bed, and I gave up. Mind you I didn't search the whole town.
The Lonely Planet guidebook said there were a couple of bars but even their male readers complained about the enviroment being oppresive.
You can pass your late nights to write dozens of post cards for being airmailed through different post offices from Istanbul as they apply different rates from each other..
Dress Code: Casual while writing .