Anatolıa, Mesopotamıa and Eastern Turkey
South Afrıcan Archaeologıcal Socıety
31 august to 18 september 2016
Dear Reinoud, Iffet and Bulent,I would like to thank you both for such a wonderful tour!It exceeding my expectations and this was not only due to the places we visited, but particularly the following factors that stood out for me:
- The detail that went into organising the tour;
- The quality of the accommodation that you organised for us;
- The size and quality of the bus that was provided - it was comfortable, had enough space and the driver was very good;
- Our Guide Bulent - he was so knowledgeable and shared his perspective and information in an interesting manner. He was never boring and his comments were always pertinent. In addition he knew local people and was able to communicate and adapt, as required;
- Your contacts to be able to arrange for some of the lead archeologists to be on site when we visited their excavations;
- The local dinners which allowed us to taste the local cooking.
- Ensuring that we had adequate security when it was needed.
It could not have been an easy task to bring this all together in the trying conditions that existed in Turkey during our visit.Thank you so very much.
I know that you were upset at the missed flight near the end of our trip - that for me, that is just one of those unfortunate incidences and we all adapted well to it. Thank you for working so hard to recover the situation.Reinoud, you certainly squeezed a lot into our tour and now, in going though my pictures and trying to organise a presentation, I realise just how much we did!Iffet, I look forward to joining one of your other tours - my next one will be along the Black Sea and focusing on the Hittites.My main impressions of the tour were ones of the vast extent of history that has passed over and through and yet reside in Turkey. The critically important archeological sites and how they are being protected.The Fertile Crescent and Trade routes that cross the land [Silk Road].The high level of development within the country - excellent roads and museums.The concern about future development - may it all work out for your country.
I am now trying to make a presentation from all my slides, but also including a sense of history and development over the past 12 000!!I will sing your praises each time I show the presentation.
JohnJohn RaimondoCape TownSouth Africa
PS please pass on my thanks to Bulent
Dear Iffet Ozgonul
Just to say a personal word of thanks for the work you did in organizing the recent tour of Turkey by the South African Archaeological Society. It was the first time I had visited Turkey, and I have to say the tour exceeded my expectations - in the variety of sites we visited, the landscapes we saw, the richness of the culture we experienced. And a special word of thanks to our guide, Bulent Sahan, who went out of his way to make sure that we were well looked after at all stages of the trip. I especially appreciated his talks to us on the bus about Turkish history and culture and public affairs: well-informed, insightful, thought-provoking. I felt we had a real professional at work here.I much hope to visit Turkey again before too long to see something of the parts we did not visit - including especially Istanbul. Something to look forward to.
Best wishesJohn Wright
Back home in South Africa and remembering daily our wonderful trip to your beautiful country!!I would like to thank you for making our trip so memorable and very full.Despite the problems at the very end, which by the way everyone involved handled with such calmness and efficiency.Thank you for making Bulent feel he was able to carry on and save the day.Please convey to the driver that I will forever remember his great courage in taking us half way through the country to get our flights. He was the hero of it all!!Once again thank you for your care and the whole country’s care (police and army), that were always in the background very discreetly.It was a trip I had always dreamed of as a young student of history and I got the chance to live it......
Many thanksWarm regardsGinny Koumantarakis
I have travelled with Reinoud at least five times, but this was by far the most interesting, comprehensive and well-researched of all of them. I must congratulate you on the support you supplied, not only in the form of military or police protection, but when things went a bit awry at the end, you must have worked frantically to get us all aboard another plane, refreshed after a few hours in an airport hotel. All the hotels were excellent, except maybe one, which was ever so slightly run down, but not that our undaunted band of aged Archaeologists would care. They were all keen as mustard in spite of infirmities, chronic illnesses and the annoyances of old age. But the main purpose of this letter is to sing the praises of two very special people, our guide and driver. Both were exceptional in every respect, particularly when it was suddenly clear at 4pm that we had exactly 10 minutes to get to the airport in Kars to catch a flight to Ataturk Airport. I watched poor Bülent collapse into a melted heap. His body language was devastating to all of us and we felt for his pain. I know that if I was a guide, I would have had the time required to leave for the airport firmly fixed in my brain and would not have felt the need to check the tickets. There was too much else to do, just dealing with each and every question, describing sights, telling of the history and ensuring everyone on the bus was OK. It was completely understandable that he should assume that everything was as it had been in his tour papers. The fact that he had not been informed by phone of the change of the time of flight was the critical cause of the chaos that followed. But both driver and Bulent rose to the occasion and we were all delivered safely to our destination. They both deserve the highest praise. I will unreservedly recommend Peten Travels to anyone who wants to spend time in Turkey. I for one will certainly do so again. I would like to thank you too for the comprehensive notes you gave us at the start of the tour – completely unexpected, and all of the tour members spent plenty of time on the bus consulting the notes. I am sure when they all get home, your folder will be put to good use in compiling their own personal notes, diaries and captions to photographs.
With kind regards,Leigh Voigt
Dear Iffet and Bulent,
I have finally got back to my time zone here in Boston and so miss being in Turkey. Iffet thank you so very much for creating this jewel of a trip for us in Turkey which Bulent so wonderfully managed for you. Thank you both for taking such good care of us all through out the time we spent in Turkey and making sure we saw all the beauty that Turkey has to offer and ensuring that our safety was taken care of. It was done with such finesse we were largely unaware of just how much and what was being done to secure our safety and enjoyment. Words cannot describe how much I appreciate all that was offered to me in your country. It was done with generosity of spirit that has left a mark and will never be forgotten. You have a beautiful and wonderful country, with lovely people and I have been very lucky to experience it as I have.Bulent you were a wonderful person and guide that handled all so awesomely, especially all the various characters you had to deal with. So sorry you had to go through such angst in that final day. Yes we missed the plane but all was handled with such professionalism and amazingly you and our great driver got us safely across country. Iffet you got us flights (amazingly for so many of us) and between you all had us going on our ways to homes far away. Here I have to specially commend the awesome driver who not only drove fabulously the entire trip, managed to safely and quickly get us back cross country to where we started to catch those flights to Istanbul. Please let him know that he was greatly appreciated and what he did was above and beyond. What an adventure.This has been a memorable trip for me and I will certainly recommend Turkey, your company Iffet and Bulent if they can get you as a guide.
Many many thanks for all,
Mr Chrıstopher WHEELER and Mrs Anna WHEELER , London/UK
28th Aprıl -2 May 2016
My wife and I recently visited Istanbul. It was our first trip to Istanbul and we found the city fascinating. However, Koray helped to bring it alive for us due to the depth of his knowledge and the way he explained the development of the city from the centre of the Byzantine Empire to the hub of the Ottoman world, to a Republic. On meeting us he very quickly established our level of knowledge and our interest and adapted his explanations accordingly. It is difficult to pick out a highlight as we saw so many fascinating places and experienced so many interesting things. However, in terms of a real surprise the Chora Church probably topped the bill. Given Koray was not bought up a Christian, as my wife and I were, his knowledge of the life of the Virgin Mary and Christ as depicted on the ceiling of the church was remarkable. He was also the perfect guide in terms of moving us around the city seamlessly and allowing us to enjoy being part of Istanbul. So often we have travelled around cities in a car, so it was a treat to walk around it and use the tram system. We also enjoyed being introduced to traditional Anatolian cuisine and the unbiquitous “Turkish bagel”. Finally, Koray was very quick to adapt the schedule to deal with our specific requests or other circumstances. The unexpected trip to the Patriach’s residence was a good example of this.
Thank you for all your help and please pass on these comments to Koray.
Christopher Wheeler FCA
US Bank Research
SOUTH AFRICAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Dr. Judıth van Heerden
Monday, Aprıl 4th , Cape Town
Can't believe that you made time for me during a short working stay in Cape Town. How come I was so lucky? The enthusiasm with which you described the details of 'our' trip to Turkey, was indeed infectious.Not only did you spend precious time with me, you also came bearing gifts. It took me by complete surprise.These lovely and shimmering items have been put in safe keeping to be brought out later this month when we gather to celebrate.My guests will be treated to real Turkish Delight with nuts! What more can one wish for?
It was a pleasure meeting you. Your kindness and generosity is much appreciated.
I wish you well.
We are having a wonderful time and have loved our guides and the itinerary. We are just finishing our cruise, which was definitely the highlight of our trip. Although it started out pretty rough (biggest storm and flooding they had in 100 years), it finished with a beautiful night sail tonight and an exceptional dinner. The crew are the most wonderful and accommodating people! We could not have wished for anything better. We would definitely recommend them to our friends.
ISTANBUL&CAPPADOCIA & EPHESUS & BODRUM AND
SAILING FROM AEGEAN TO MEDITERRANEAN SEA THROUGH THE 12 ISLANDS
Glen BAIR & Mrs. Lında BAIR & Norman HOWARD & Lucıa HOWARD & Steve STEIN & Mrs. Rebecca STEIN, USA
14th September- 28th September 2015
Once again thank you for planning a very memorable trip for a group. I hope to one day return to Turkey with my children.
Have a wonderful time in Boston at your conference.
Alexander LEVY and Sydney LEVY , New York
9th -15th July 2015
We're back in the US. I just wanted to thank you again for arranging everything in Turkey and for taking us to the airport. We had an incredible time! And all of our guides and drivers were fantastic. Hopefully we'll be back in Turkey sometime in the future. We'll be sure to let you know.
All the best,
HIGHLIGHTS OF TURKEY
Margo Suzan PROVOST & Edward Thaddeus MARSHALL, Salt Lake Cıty
3rd -18th February 2015
We are having a wonderful time . Yunak Evleri is amazing and we are still in awe. On our first day we were a bit concerned about Turhan but he has been really good these past two days. He is very knowledgeable and has been flexible. We appreciate that.
Thank you so much for arranging this adventure for us.
Margo and Ed
İSTANBUL & GALLIPOLI TOUR
Davıd & Lında Storrıe and Storrıe Famıly, UK
3rd -9th July, 2015
My Dear Iffet,
First of all, a really big 'Thank You' for making our trip to Turkey and our Tour so memorable ! Again, thank you for all your kindness and hard work on our behalf . You gave up so much of your time and Linda and I are so grateful and I know that Richard and his Family will reflect on the tour and relish it .
David and Linda XXXXX
Gayle Starr, Phoenıx
16th -19th September
Thank you so much for a wonderful few days in Istanbul! As always, your planning for me was fantastic! I really enjoyed the short time I was able to spend with you and I hope your trip was good!
Filiz was a very good guide and I enjoyed exploring a part of the city I hadn't been to before. It's so fantastic to see new shops and restaurants opening up as well!
I look forward to coming back again and exploring more of Turkey outside Istanbul.
Take care and please keep in touch! I enjoy hearing about all of the international things you are involved with!
Imperıal War Museums Trustees Battlefıeld Tour
Dame Judıth Mayhew Jonas DBE & Chrıstopher Jonas, London
17th -21th September, 2015
Thank you from Christopher and me for the wonderful holiday. It was magical. Christopher has over 400 photographs and when he has worked on them we will send you some via drop box. I am giving your name to lots of people as well. We will be in touch.
Lauren RODES & Bruce SHAPIRO, USA
12th -14th October 2015
Thank you for your thoughtfulness and making our trip so enjoyable we are leaving today but I hope our paths will cross again.
You beat me to it.
I wanted to write and thank you for organizing a perfectly executed and interesting introduction to Turkey. We all had a great time and learned a lot. The food, the sights the history and the people all contributed to making it a great holiday. We left Istanbul with a desire to come back sometime soon.
While we liked all the guides and choices of sights, everyone agreed having your expert commentary on the yacht ride was the best.
Kumar , Saj and I are in Vienna( beautiful but rainy) and will get home later in the week after a stop in London. Niki is already back in SF.
We very much appreciate your kindness in picking up ang walking Niki to her terminal and helping her check-in. Hope you had a good time on your surprise vacation.
We will keep in touch.
All the best
Istanbul & Cappadocıa & Saılıng the Sapphıre Seas of Turkey
Mr. Jonathan Ackerman, South Afrıca
27th June – 06th July, 2014
Thank you so much for the incredible support you gave our family while we were in Turkey. The trip was absolutely brilliant and we are all totally in love with Turkey and the Turkish. You have such a beautiful country and I now quite understand why it has become such a popular tourist destination for South Africans.
Thank you too for collecting and taking care of Michaela – it is so appreciated.
Hıghlıghts of Turkey
Mr. Larry Hoffner and Mrs. Wılla Hoffner, USA
15th - 29th Aprıl, 2014
I wanted to send you a note thanking you once again for the marvelous trip you planned for us. Everything was perfect--the hotels, itinerary, our wonderful guide and great driver. Sometimes when a trip is perfect, it comes into greater clarity when you get home and that is what is happening to me now. I've told so many people about the experiences and sights, and each time I do, I have a chance to relive them. I was able to read the historical and archeological information on the plane which was incredibly informative-like a graduate course in Turkey.
I can't begin to praise Elif enough. Not only did she do a superb job as a guide, she also became a friend and ally--for life I hope. And all this before I have had a chance to really look at my pictures.
Once again, thank you for everything. I'd like to do it all over again.
Alona Anspach / Chıcago
27th March 2014
Thank you so very much for a most wonderful evening. Talia and I appreciate your hospitality and generosity. We will go back home and tell everyone what a terrific trip we had and hopefully send them to Turkey and you for the same experience. We will keep in touch and hope to see you back here soon or on your first of many visits to Chicago. Wishing you all the best.
Mılıtary Group / UK
02nd - 08th March, 2014
All your arrangements were, as ever, flawless and Jusuf was quite excellent as a guide and administrator. The party wanted to make a couple of changes to plans and Jusuf accommodated them as though there was no bother at all - although I expect it meant a fair amount of work and fast talking for him. Erhan, our driver, was also great - a very skilled driver and also extremely helpful and accommodating. The feedback from the party has been very positive I hear.
All in all it was a most successful trip, for which many thanks - and it was good to see you again as well. I hope that next year, being the centenary, will be well attended.
Hıghlıghts of Istanbul
Mr. Jamıe Cooper & Mrs.Cate Cooper
24th & 25th March, 2014
What a wonderful 2 days we had with Dalim! All could not have been better!
Of course we adore your beautiful city, but feel we have had the best opportunity to really learn as much as possible in an enlightening way.
It was a joy, and we had the best experience possible.
Thankyou for all your planning and advice.
Cate and Jamie
Hıghlıghts of Istanbul
John and Elızabeth (Tınka) Haldane, South Afrıca
5th - 9th January, 2014
We are both relaxing on this Sunday evening and listening to some beautiful opera and John is re-reading your book of notes which we have found so helpful and interesting.
Thank you for your very swift email and info about the battle of Lepanto! Much appreciated.
We all have very happy memories of your fascinating city- it is definitely a 'come-back- to' city. Thank you for letting Koray take us around- he really made such an effort to accomodate our needs and he handled the kiddies so well. Also a special thanks to our very helpful and excellent driver- how does he manage to manouvre the bus through those narrow streets!!??
Thank you particularly to you for looking after us from beginning to end.
We wish you well and I do hope that we shall be able to see more of Turkey in the future.
Hıghlıghts of Istanbul and Cappadocıa
Matthew & Eıleen Paull, USA
9th - 16th October 2013
We had a marvelous time in Turkey, largely thanks to you. We will never forget this trip. Thank you for all the arrangements.
Matthew & Eileen Paull
The Great Crımean War 1853-1856 (The Forgotten War: The Sıege of Kars, 1855)
Martın Burgess, UK
24th July - 31st July, 2013
Istanbul & Kars & Anı
Thank you very much for arranging a great tour. With two friendly guides, both Aleef in Istanbul, and Achmed in Kars, we learned a lot in a relaxed and informal way. Excellent restaurants were recommended to us and the contribution by Peter Knox was just as helpful, with Peter helping with any concern.
Once again, an excellent tour,
The Great Crımean War 1853-1856 (The Forgotten War: The Sıege of Kars, 1855)
24th July - 31st July, 2013
Istanbul & Kars & Anı
The same remarks must also apply to the military staff at the sites we visited around Istanbul.
Unfortunately, the Russian occupation of over forty years after the War of 1877 resulted in massive reconstruction of the Tabias and consequent alterations to the original defensive lines.
Useful additional items to the research papers would undoubtedly be Relief Maps of the whole defended area using either contour lines or the style known as hachuring to depict the rise and fall of the terrain; another would be a translated version of the booklet “Kars Tabyalari”.
Undoubtedly, a day spent exploring the ruins of Ani will be well spent. It is far too good to miss, being in the area.
I would like to put in a recommendation to your local guide, Achmed, who did a splendid job despite his relative lack of experience.
In Istanbul, your guide, Eli, was a most pleasant and erudite young lady for whom nothing was too much trouble.
I will not labour the point but your own personal attention to us from meeting us at the start to seeing us off at the end was like visiting a very old and close family friend.
In short, dear Iffet, you put the icing on the cake and added the cream as well!
Yours very sincerely,
W. S. Curtis, A.C.I.I.
Vice President (Hon.) Crimean War Research Society,
Asst. Curator, Museum of the NRA (GB)
Whitworth Rifle Research Project
MLAGB, HBSA, ARA
Hıstory, Culture, Archaeology and Natural Beauty of Anatolıa
Mr Andrew Thomas Lloyd James & Dr Patrıcıa Rıchardson , Australıa
14th-29th May, 2013
We want to thank you very much for arranging our travel in Tukey: a private trip for two as the culmination of a long-held dream.
Your central organisation works with remarkable speed from the first contact to the final departure. Our emails were answered usually on the same day, nothing was too hard, no questions went unanswered. It was faultless from start to finish, even when Andy’s health forced us to reconfigure two flights and two hotel bookings at a moment’s notice.
Koray, our guide, was really terrific and great company. We travelled together for two weeks and he added immensely to our understanding and enjoyment of all the places we visited. On a lovely and quite difficult four-hour walk through a river valley, he not only picked out the best route, he managed to construct two temporary footbridges to get us across swollen rivers.
In addition to Koray, the local drivers were exceptional. Peaceful driving with no rushing about, no “eyes-shut” moments and always a welcoming smile and their local knowledge was much appreciated by us.
The hotels which we picked from your recommendations were great and we were both impressed that you responded immediately to any feedback we gave.
Thank you for making it such a memorable visit: neither of us will ever forget it. It was as much a pleasure to be met by you when we arrived at Istanbul as it was a sadness to say goodbye in the same place two weeks later.
With best wishes,
Andy Lloyd-James & Trish Richardson
The Great Crımean War 1853-1856
The Forgotten War; The Sıege of Kars, 1855
Regınald CURTIS & Susan BALDWIN, UK
24th July - 31st July, 2013
Istanbul & Kars & Anı
We both thoroughly enjoyed the trip. For us it was firstly about indulging my father in his ambitions and secondly an opportunity for us to see Istanbul from a Crimean perspective. It was great to see north eastern Turkey and get away from the tourist crowds of Istanbul, I thought Kars was fascinating from both a Crimean angle as well as the modern.
I can't fault Peter's knowledge or contribution, his insights were very useful and together with the local guides gave us plenty of information on every perspective we wanted to know. I thought it was a great trip. Thanks again, we enjoyed it.
All the best,
Reg & Susie
John MCMAHON & Elızabeth MCMAHON, TASMANIA, AUST
16th - 23rd June, 2013
We look back on our trip to your wonderful country with absolute delight!!!!! Libby and I are so grateful for all you did to make us welcome and that everything worked so smoothly with all your arrangements. Thus Izzet produced the magic formula for me to gain more understanding of Gallipoli and it worked brilliantly. You took so much trouble to meet our (often most unusual) queries such as for wreathes and determination to catch the 15.30 ferry.
My hope is to now return to a state of fitness so that in a year or so we may be able to get together with you and plan a longer period in Turkey.
With kindest regards and our sincere thanks to you and your wonderful people for all you did on our behalf.
Mr. Harvey and Mrs. Andrea SCHLOSS, USA
30th Aprıl - 13th May 2013
We actually had dinner with Harvey and Andrea last Friday night. He was impressed by the attention and care he received while en route.
He truly enjoyed Turkey, the cities, history, scenery, as well as his guides and your company. He only had compliments and commendations.
I think they will return. Thank you.
All the best as always,
Tenoch Esparza & Jonathan Galassı, USA
01st - 13th June 2013
Dear Iffet, We are waiting to get on the ferry. It has been a memorable trip for us and I'm sure we'll return. Thank you for all your help and advice. It was crucial to our enjoyment of your fascinating and beautiful country.
Gratefully, Jonathan and Tenoch
Raymond and Wendy Ackerman, South Afrıca
22nd - 30th May, 2013
My dear Iffet,
We have really enjoyed our trip here & have managed to relax after a difficult time at home. You have made the trip for us, your warmth, knowledge and unfailing good humor enhanced our time here. Thank you so much for the effort you made to make us feel at home & also thank you for the delicious dinner you treated us to.
I am sure we will be back & look forward to spending time with you again.
With very warm regards,
Raymond & Wendy
Malında & Gust ORLIN, Washıngton DC
22nd - 30th May, 2013
I want to thank you for the wonderful assistance Peten Travels provided my husband and me for our independent touring in Turkey in May 2013. The personal tour of Nemrud Dag was outstanding. Our guide was knowledgeable of and passionate about the history and archeology of the region and our vehicle and driver were safe and secure. All travel arrangements – internal flights, airport pick-ups and deliveries, and hotel reservations were flawless. We got the best rooms in hotels and personal attention at the hotels. Your casual suggestions for eating and side trips on our own were valuable and above and beyond our formal arrangements. It was also comforting that you kept in touch with us by email throughout our trip – even the parts you did not organize for us. It made us feel we had someone we could call on if there was a problem, which there was not.
Your personal commitment to our enjoyment of Turkey was evident from our first contact through to the conclusion of our trip. Again, thanks for exceeding our expectations with your knowledge and attention to our interests.
Semenıuk Famıly, Canada
01st - 18th May 2013
Good morning Iffet
I just had lunch with Cheryl Semeniuk yesterday and she LOVED Turkey!!!!
They loved what they saw, where they stayed and most importantly she raved about the knowledge of the guides. She was very very impressed, you did an excellent job!
Thank you for taking such good care of them and keeping in touch while they were travelling, you’re great !
Have a fabulous rest of your week. I look forward to working with you again.
Peter and Natalıe Blenk, UK
25th Aprıl - 10th May
We were absolutely delighted. All the arrangements worked perfectly.
Goıng wıth the flow of Ancıent Rıvers
John & Adrıenne Forth / Cooroy, Australıa
Our September 2012 “Going with the flow of Ancient Rivers” tour was a wonderful experience. As with our tour with you in 2011, you seem to be able to take care of every detail. Transport, accommodation, food and guides were all great. We had so many wonderful experiences that will live in our memories, and photographs.
This particular tour runs almost parallel with the Turkey/Syria border, and in several places gets very close. With the ongoing conflict in Syria, and in the border region, concerns were raised by friends that it might not be a good time to travel to Turkey and in particular to this region. In our two weeks in this region we saw no indications whatsoever of any activity that might lead to concern. We can assure anyone that might be concerned, that there is no need to worry.
This was our second tour with Peten, and we plan to return again in the hopefully not too distant future. your tours have provided for us a great mixture of the historical past with insights into present day Turkey, all done in comfort. We were only sorry that we could only meet briefly with you on this occasion. Hopefully on our next visit we will get to see more of you.
Again, thanks for all that you have done for us.
John & Adrienne Forth
The Wonders of the Black Sea Regıon
Faye Carolyn Mıller / Australıa
01st - 17th June, 2012
Greetings from chilly Melbourne where winter is in full swing.It was quite a shock to walk out of the airport to grey skies and a cold wind.The plane had been an hour late leaving Istanbul so my time in Dubai was short though it was still 24 hours before I arrived at my destination.
Thank you so much for creating an interesting and stimulating itinerary through beautiful places and along that wondrous shoreline.I had an excellent time and am savouring memories now that I on the opposite side of the world.
My last day was a jewel-being shown such treasures as Corah and Alexander‘s sarcophagus, the carpets and the tiles not to forget the elegant Cisterns,made for an unforgettable finale to a brilliant time.Thank you for showing me around your wonderful city-I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to see it with someone who knows and loves it as you do.
Long may you continue to give travellers the opportunity to see the Turkey that is not visible in the first glance.
My appreciation and warm wishes,
HISTORY, CULTURE, ARCHAEOLOGY AND NATURLA BEAUTY OF ANATOLIA
The Calagary 12 / Canada
May 23rd - Jube 24th 2012
Thanks so much for all your time & effort in researching &organizing this amazing adventure. We all have a much brodder understanding of both historical &modern day Turkey.We especially thank you for giving us the blessing of Nahide-an extraordinary woman !!!
HIGHLIGHTS OF TURKEY
Istanbul & Cappadocıa & Aegean Regıon
18th - 21st Aprıl & 6th - 15th May, 2012
We are sorry we won‘t see you again to say goodbye, but quite understand your other commitments.
It has been a wonderful holiday, helped greatly by your warmth and efficiency( two qualities which are not always found together - it is a great asset in your current profession!). In particular, we wanted to thank you for your generosity in arranging for Koray to meet us at the airport and spend Friday afternoon with us at no extra charge. The Topkapi Palace is a wonderland, isn‘t it? And Koray really is a first class guide.
So, all in all, we have loved our time in Turkey - the history, the deep and varied culture, the wonderful landscapes and, most of all, the Turkish people. It has been a great experience.
Bill & Sandra BURDETT /Australia
19th - 24th May, 2012
As ever, all your arrangements for our tour last week were immaculate. Yusuf and Mehmet looked after us very well indeed and the Kolin Hotel was quite excellent now that it is complete. Even the weather worked!!
Many thanks and best wishes,
Graham Dunlop / UK
Carol and Marvın Kıtman
15th - 24th May, 2012
This is a gorgeous place. The room is lovely, the breakfast is excellent and the people who work here are very helpful and very pleasant. I am hoping we can return next year and spend a bit more time and perhaps take a boat trip as well. But this time we were both happy lying on the beach. It is very beautiful.
Carol and Marvin Kitman / USA
ISTANBUL & CLASSICAL TURKEY
Judıth and Robert Waldman
8th - 20th March, 2012
We are so grateful to the Uhry‘s for encouraging us to take this trip. It was wonderfully planned, expertly guided by Arzu, and confidently driven by Birhan.
The variety and selection of our accommodations was also very pleasing, allowing us to experience some of the range of top hotels in the Agean part of your wonderful country. Of course, we want to return and continue the Turkish experience in other areas.
Iffet, you have a superb organization. The research materials you provided us with were most helpful, and your personal presence -- escorting us to / from airports / hotels -- made us feel especially looked after. Thank you so much.
Judith (and Robert) Waldman
ISTANBUL & CLASSICAL TURKEY
Connıe Casey, Chıcago
8th - 19th March, 2012
Thank you for a wonderful visit to Turkey! You planned a perfect trip for our group. Arzu did a great job as tour leader and Burhan Bay did a great job driving. I am so glad I have been to Turkey, to visit some of the beautiul mosques and sites in Istanbul and the highlights of the Greek and Roman archaeological sites along the Aegean. Fantastic! I hope I can return for another visit
I was so appreciative of your meeting us at the airport at arrival and of the lovely walking tour that first day. It helped give me a sense of the city. And thank you for meeting us on Sunday night and then taking us to the airport yesterday morning and getting us through check-in and security process. We were pampered!
ISTANBUL & CLASSICAL TURKEY
Joanna and Alfred Uhry
09th - 19th March, 2012
Joanna and I are extremely grateful to you and Peten Travel for providing our group of seven with a perfect visit to Istanbul and the Aegean Coast. Every detail was superb. Arzu, our guide, not only provided us with interesting and pertinent information, she was a delightful companion at the many meals we shared. And the meals themselves were wonderful all along the route. The boutique hotels you chose for us were comfortable, friendly, and, most important, unique, whether in picturesque mountain villages or in coastal towns. The sites we visited were thrilling. And the driver of our Mercedes van, Burhan Bay, was an expert driver and most courteous at all times. He even went so far as to provide a surprise birthday cake with candles to celebrate the birthday of one of our party! Thank you for planning and executing a dream trip to Turkey, which all of us will look back on with joy. Can‘t wait to come back to Turkey and travel with you again.
SAILING THE SAPPHIRE SEAS OF THE LYCIAN COAST
Sır Wıllıam and Lady Elızabeth Bromley Davenport‘s Famıly Trıp
August 20th - 27th, 2011
Thank you for meeting us yesterday. You planned a holiday of a lifetime for all of us. We loved every single day. We want to write to you with details, but our life is v busy for the next few weeks. We will email you as soon as we can. Thank you particularly for all your patience with all those queries we had for you some often repeated!
Very best wishes to you and your colleagues,
Love Lizzie & Bill
September 20th - 23th, 2011
Many thanks once again for all your arangements setting up our tour 20-23 September. Everything worked perfectly, and Zeynep, our guide, and Rakmi, our driver, were immensely helpful.
I shall be back with another tour in May and look forward to doing business again.
CAPPADOCIA & ISTANBUL
Sharyn Spıllman, Mr and Mrs Robert & Joan Smıth
September 26th - October 01st, 2011
I can‘t begin to thank you for a most fulfilling tour of Turkey. We all learned so much history and now have a better understanding of how important your beautiful country has been to the world throughout history and today.
You know we will tell everyone we know about you and your agency... You‘re the best!!
We are still having summer. It was 100 degrees this week-end.
We thoroughly enjoyed yor city and your company. You added to a wonderful experience. This was one of the most memorable of our many trips.
Bob and Joan
October 10th - 11th, 2011
Our trip to Istanbul was wonderful, and I want to thank you so much for giving us Koray as our tour guide for a day and a half. He was really wonderful, and we all enjoyed the time with him so much and learned a lot. I hope we will be able to return to Istanbul one day - a truly fascinating city.
September 18th - 22nd, 2011
Thank you for that great tour you gave us in Istanbul. We loved it. We are no longer suffering from jet lag. We are back into our everyday grind. We will keep in touch. Marilynne
THE HITTITES AND PHRYGIANS TOUR
John and Adrıenne Forth
July 18th - August 1st 2011
We have just returned to Australia and would like to thank you very much for our July 2011 Hittite and Phrygian tour.
We have both come back with splendid memories and plan to return for another tour in 2012. We cannot speak too highly of the arrangements. The Hotels and meals were all excellent. The mini-bus was the most comfortable we have ever had while travelling.
Our guide and driver did so much to help us and were so thoughtful about all details. Site visit arrangements were way beyond anything we expected. We would have no hesitation in recommending Peten Tours to any would be traveller to Turkey.
Please feel free to use these comments if you so wish.
Thank you very much for all that you did for us, and most of all thank you for your company which we so enjoyed.
John & Adrienne Forth
HIGHLIGHTS OF ISTANBUL AND SAILING THE SAPPHIRE SEAS OF THE LYCIAN COAST
Durels Famıly Tour
May 27th - June 5th 2011
I have been meaning to write you to let you know how very much we enjoyed all of our time in Turkey.
Everyone felt the itinerary that you put together was perfect for our group. We are glad that we saw the highlights of Istanbul before our Lycian cruise. It was nice to relax after running around the city for three days.
The casual lunches (kebaps, pita, meatballs) as well as the detours for Turkish Delight and baklava were nice breaks during our full days in Istabul. We very much enjoyed each dinner as you selected the perfect places for us to spend our evenings.
The GetAway exceeded our expectations. We all had an amazing five days on the yacht! In fact we all felt that we were on the nicest gulet in the Mediterranean.
Kekova and the under water ruins were interesting. The GetAway sailed slowly past the island so we were able to have a good view of the ancient ruins. Simena, and the Crusader fortress, was also great fun. Plus it was nice to exercise a bit since we had basically been eating, sleeping and drinking while on the yacht.
We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner on the GetAway each day. We applauded the chef as each meal was wonderful. We were all very happy with the food on the gulet.
And, the wine and beer were fabulous. We very much enjoyed the Turkish wine and Efes beer that was selected for our trip.
Our last night in Istanbul at the Four Seasons Sultanahmet was fun. It was nice to walk around and explore on our own. We visited the Arasta Bazaar and Steve finally made his Iznik purchase (a beautiful large bowl) at the store near our hotel. The sights, sounds and smells of Sultanahmet were wonderful. In fact, after dinner we went to the Blue Mosque and we were there for the final call to prayer of the day. That was a special moment for all of us.
Now that we have been back in New York for one week, our trip to Turkey seems so very long ago. We miss you, your beautiful country and the kind, gracious people of Turkey.
As we share the experience of our holiday in Turkey with others, we suspect that you will have additional people reaching out to you for assistance with travel plans to your country.
Iffet, you went above and beyond to ensure that our family had an amazing time while in your country. We cannot thank you enough! We all left Turkey with fond memories of our time in Istanbul and on the Lycian coast. We hope it won‘t be too long before we are able to return.
Thank you again for all your time and care on our behalf. We had the trip of a lifetime!
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT
(Led by Professor Andrea Berlın)
Deborah Rogers and Keıth Vardy, Australıa
Aprıl 16th - May 5th 2011
Now that we have arrived home, unpacked, washed the clothes and drawn breath, we want to write to you all at Peten Travel regarding In the Footsteps of Alexander, from which we have just returned.
We have been talking to family and friends about our experiences in Turkey and all have said how wonderful it sounds and it was. Yet Keith and I know that we cannot convey to others clearly just what a wondrous experience travelling the Peten way has been. Even showing them the many photos will not adequately convey such a travel experience.
As we began reading months before the tour, it became apparent that the levels of history in Turkey are astounding and that it would not be possible in one tour, no matter how long, to understand all of the rich history of your country. So to think and learn about it through the focus of the young and astoundingly talented Alexander gave us a way to see an aspect of the history and archaeology of the country. We were so fortunate that Professor Berlin, our Andrea, was with us to take us on this journey.
Following the movement of Alexander as he challenged Darius, standing at the sites of his significant experiences, hearing from Arrian and Crucius as they commented centuries later, made us participants in his epic undertaking. On that rainy and cold day as we stood looking across the Hellespont from the Asian side, we contemplated the beginning of his campaign; Andrea found the remnant of Lada, now just an outcrop in the fields with a bemused shepherd proud that we were “photographing his sheep” rather than remembering when Alexander had his navy; the wonder of walking around Troy as we were told about the levels and the depth of the history by an archaeologist who spent 10 years working there; standing on the site of the battle of Granicus and hearing the sounds of battle from so long ago, when Darius, unlike Alexander, was not there to lead his men; walking through the beautiful site of Priene and standing at the house Alexander lived in while resting there; walking down through magical Ephesus where he respected the rights of the people and honoured Artemis; climbing up the winding path at Sagalossos with its gloriously restored nymphaeum fountains running once again under the bluest of skies and standing looking back down to the route he took with his army to come up upon the Pisidian people and take the city; the walk into the MM tumulus at Gordion to be within touching of the oldest timber structure in the world and then minutes later to walk around the perimeter of the Gordion site and wonder at Alexander’s solution to the knot problem, then that afternoon to be able to see the vessels, furniture and the skeleton from that tomb in the Ankara Museum; the absolute magic of going off the itinerary to Labandra where Mausolus built a sanctuary at the top of the mountain on a site which was filled with the scent of flowering strawberry clover and the soft wind through the pines; tracking Alexander to the Cicilan pass and on to Issos where, in outside in a small coffee shop we sat in the shade in a village on a river and listened to the story of the battle where Darius finally faced Alexander on an ancient river whose name is no longer recalled by those who live there.
And there was so much more.
The astounding hotels, restored mansions filled with glorious Byzantine style fabrics and furniture and the spa hotels where real Turkish people go to recuperate and be treated and we were the only non Turks there, the beauty of Sirence and the Rose Mansion hotel, the amazing restored Greek mansions that make up the Mustafapasa hotel in Capadoccia, the astonishingly wonderful food, all fresh, all tasty, all regional, ordered under Uysal’s guidance and not one bad meal in three weeks, the glorious carpets and the handcrafts done with such skill and love and pride.
Then there was Serenity 86 and her crew, Captain Mahmet, Tezchan our chef, Ozedemir the gorgeous steward who will one day captain his own yacht and Turgay, quietly keeping our rooms and the boat’s surfaces spotless. What can we say? It was like being in a movie, so elegant and beautifully built and a crew of lovely men who spoilt us outrageously. And the food! Begging for mercy that Tezchan might serve only two or three courses and cakes in the morning and afternoon were not really necessary! Another world experience and our washing was done! Then we put up the sails and moved across azure water soundlessly. Magical.
So Iffet and all your staff who make magic happen, thank you for the holiday of a lifetime, for daring to think that people like to travel and use their minds. For believing in Turkey and its history and that the world can appreciate it. For having the remarkably generous and knowledgeable Andrea Berlin to show us and explain and help us to think about what we were seeing, to show what truly gifted and passionate teaching is and to make it so much fun every day.
We thank you for our guide Uysal, with such a dry sense of humour and so much love for her country’s history, who kept finding little extra places to delight us and allowed us not to look at everything in museums.
We thank you for the excellence of Bilal Bey, our wonderful driver who was so understanding of the places off the track we needed to see, of our laughter, of my need for a "tuvalet moderne" and who drove with such skill and safety. What a gorgeous man.
We have left part of our hearts in Turkey and these memories will be with us forever.
Deborah Rogers and Keith Vardy, Seaton, Victoria, Australia.
JEWELS OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE
Istanbul, Bursa, Edırne and Mount Ida
Judıth and Jean Humphrıes
We had a wonderful trip; thank you very much for organising it. Elif, our guide, was perfect, always charming and informative and Osman, a great and careful driver. We enjoyed every moment of our time together. Now we look forward to our next trip. Thank you very much for the loan of the bird books.
Judith and Jean
PEARLS OF THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE TOUR
Davıd and June Hodgson
Thank you for your e-mail & good wishes for Christmas & 2011. We hope the new year will be a happy & rewarding one for you also.
I wanted to write & tell you what a great week we spent with you & your associates in Istanbul. We are due to leave Guernsey on Thursday after spending a wonderful Christmas with our son & his family and when I can download my images I will e-mail them to you.
It has been a very interesting three months with a very enjoyable time in Turkey, a somewhat strenuous rail trip through Germany, and a more relaxing six weeks on Guernsey. However, it will be good to get back to Armidale and reflect on what we have seen & done.
Thank you for looking after us so well on the "Pearls" tour - we did enjoy ourselves & learned so much. My love of Turkey in general and Istanbul in particular continues. I would like to return at some time and you will certainly hear from us if we do.
David and June Hodgson
Mrs Ilene Beth Smıth and Mr Wıllıam Harrıs Smıth (USA)
19th - 24th October 2010
Thank you so much for making Istanbul such a memorable experience for Bill and I. We had a fabulous trip.
HIGHLIGHTS OF ISTANBUL & EPHESUS
28th October to November 2nd 2010
Tonight is our last night on the ship and I am getting caught up on a couple of emails.
I wanted to express my thanks and gratitude for putting together the great tours of Istanbul. We had a wonderful time in Kusadasi too.
I appreciated your taking the time to join us on our tours - I think it worked out quite well. And thank you thank you thank you for the fantastic Baklava!!
We enjoyed it for several days on the ship!
Back to reality soon and hopefully we will be able to send you more business.
Have a great fall and winter!
South Bend Indiana USA
28th October to November 6th 2010
The tour was a great success thanks to your expert arrangements. Elif was a really delightful tour manager and we so enjoyed having her with us. I hope that Ciceroni will go ahead with a tour of Istanbul, perhaps in 2012, and we can use your firm and Elif once again.
With every good wish,
ISTANBUL PHOTOGRAPHY DAY TOUR
Sue Mottınger And Nancy Whallen
(The “Dallas Duo”)
Our time in Istanbul with Arzu as well as you was terrific. We shared everything we did and how neat Arzu was with everyone on our cruise. Many were jealous that they did not do the things we did with a guide. I have NOT downloaded any photos and it will take me a while as I took more than 100 g on the entire trip. What impressed us so much about Arzu was her friendliness to us as well as others as she appears to be a well known young woman in Istanbul. She responded to all questions, provided additional information, and topped off the entire day with a trip to the top of a small hotel for a perfect view of the city. We returned to the market location on Saturday and Sunday as we walked and ended up at the river to watch all fishing and enjoying the day. Saturday we even ventured through the underground tunnel from the market side to the river side and moved like turtles. We could not believe we let ourselves do that. Of course Sunday it wasn‘t even crowded so we just laughed at what we had done the day before. We have shared with Olivia, our tour group that we travel with about you all and will do so in a formal letter to them e.g., the company and advantages of doing business with you all.
We would be more than happy to complete a formal evaluation of our relationship and experience with you all especially with the day with Arzu. If there is a form or anything we can do please advise. Again, thank you for picking us up at the airport, Arzu, and all the communication throughout the entire time. You all are terrific!
Sue and Nancy
HIGHLIGHTS OF ISTANBUL
Dr. Gary Sher and Nancy Lashıne
I am sorry it took so long for me to write and thank you for the amazing time you arranged for us in Istanbul.
We came back from Europe, and were very occupied with work and guests. I finally have a few moments, and I just want to say thank you for all your efforts. We realise how lucky we were to have found you, as our travel consultant. Your suggestions were perfect, as was your choice of hotels in Istanbul. We certainly feel blessed that we were upgraded to the Presidential Suite, it was an experience we shall always remember and cherish.
Hopefully we will be able to return to your beautiful country in the near future, and maybe do a trip on a Gulet, and see some other interesting parts of the country.
Elif made all the difference to our experience. She is the best guide we have ever had! She is knowledgeable, fun and easy to travel with. Hopefully if we return, we will again have her as our guide.
I have included some photos, that I thought you may enjoy.
Gary, Nancy and Julia.
(PS: thanks for meeting us with roses, and seeing that we left safely)
THE HITTITES AND PHRYGIAN TOUR
Norma Hull, UK
Having looked at the photos to remind me where I’ve visited I’m still suffering from ‘information overload’, even though I took notes each day. I’m assuming you would like some feedback on the tour.
Uysal is amazing!! She’s had a varied and very interesting life. Her knowledge of ancient sites is extensive and those that are new to her she makes every effort to research and her stamina climbing the hills was incredible! She looked after me extremely well especially as I don’t know the language. When she decides to retire, the tourist industry will be the poorer without her.
As for the tour – I was glad of my boots. They saved me from sprained ankles several times. Strong shoes are ok for normal sites but if going to the more remote areas and climbing hills that have no paths boots are best.
... I found the directors treated their sites very differently which was a surprise. All were very hospitable. The tour wasn’t tiring as such because we were resting in the car between sites. I found the heat the worst but again we were not in it for too long.
All the hotels were excellent – clean, food plentiful and staff were very polite and efficient. I cannot think of anything that needs improving.
Again thank you all for a successful tour. I will certainly recommend you and with some hard saving maybe meet again.
I wish you every success in your future endeavours.
ISTANBUL PRIVATE TOUR
Meredıth Rogers and Margaret Hansford
Many thanks for our fascinating time in Istanbul. Uysal was a wonderful guide - engaging, funny and well informed. Your carefully constructed itinerary was most enjoyable, and I can‘t think of a better way to have seen the highlights of Istanbul. We are only sorry that we did not have longer in your great city.
The hotel: Overall it was great - thoughtful service, lovely food and stunning decor.We would certainly travel with you again and be happy to recommend Peten Travels to others.
Margaret and Meredith
LATE ROMAN AND BYZANTINE MONUMENTS - ISTANBUL
Mıchael Hughes, Sussex, England
Having just returned from a wonderful 4-day sojourn in Constantinople (Istanbul) with a group of 20 English adult education students during which we visited and studied Late Roman and Byzantine monuments, I must give full praise to the organisation, effectiveness and friendliness of Iffet Ozgonul and the staff of Peten Tours. Every visit was expertly guided, every restaurant carefully chosen and the hotel accomodation was perfectly adequate for our needs.
Michael (Mike) Hughes
Retired Professor of Archaeology and History
ISTANBUL AND EPHESUS
All home safe and sound!
Many thanks to you and Peten for your understanding of our needs and helping to make the trip a great success.
Turkey is a wonderful place, really a center of the world‘s history. The Chora mosaics and frescos were wonderful and the archeaological museum was exceptional, but the special highlight was the personal attention we got at the Ephesus restoration of the Terrace houses We got a thorough explanation of the work going on there and amazing feeling of being in a Roman home. Also , we did get to see the Rumelihisari fortress, another spectacular site.
Our guides were excellent-knowledgable and patient and, in the case of Azir at Ephesus,an untiring wheelchair pusher (far beyond the call of duty).
And the CATS! In Turkey you‘d better be a cat lover.
Once again, thanks for all your help.
David, Jenny and Nigel
HIGHLIGHTS OF ISTANBUL
The Schulte Famıly
30th May-01st June 2009
I had excellent feed back from the Schulte, here is a copy of an excerpt of her e-mail: thank you for taking such good care of them: Thanks - Barbara
We loved Turkey! And we were very pleased with our Peten Tours guide and all that we saw. We, of course, wished we had more time.
Barbara Ochs, CTC
Cedar Rapids IA / USA
Prof. Samuel & Mrs.Barbara PALEY, New York / USA
31st May-13th June 2009
How wondeful to finally meet. Thank you so much for a delicious lunch and visit to the happening part of Istanbul. With my new sweater and necklace, you will always be with me.
See you again before we leave.
Hello from NY......already, I miss Istanbul.
Thank you so much for arriving in the nick of time Saturday morning, organizing breakfast for Sam and getting us to the airport.
It was a delight to be with you.....I just regret it took so long to meet.
All the best....more soon
Marıanne Ludwıg, Bonıta Sprıngs, Florıda
Aprıl 22nd-May 06th 2009
As a repeat customer of Peten Travel I knew that my visit to Turkey‘s west coast would be just as enjoyable and informative as my first visit to Capadoccia.
Archeological marvels, breathtaking scenery, knowledgeable guides, comfortable transportation as well as great food and company again made this visit a wonderful experience. Thank you.
Gayle Starr / Phoenıx, AZ
08th-09th March 2009
THANK YOU so much for the time we spent enjoying Istanbul! I had such a great time! I know how busy you are and I hope the time you took off didn‘t put you behind in your work. It was GREAT spending time with you!
Mrs. Annıe Margaret ROSS and Mr. Rowan ROSS / AUSTRALIA
10th-21st February 2009
Thank you for all you did for us. It was a great trip in Turkey - we learned so much! And really enjoyed our experience.
We‘re sorry not to have seen you again in Istanbul - but my goodness, it was such a rush, we barely saw Uysal! - We just ran all the way from one terminal to the next. Luckily the plane was delayed due to the snow and wind conditions----and no doubt to the many phone calls from you to stop it leaving before we boarded. We did not think our luggage would make it...all the way to Milan, but by some miracle it did!
Umut was terrific in Cappadocia - we really enjoyed his company, and he taught us many things. Please thank him from us. We loved the Whirling Dervish show, and the exploration of 10th century rock ‘churches’ and dwellings etc - wonderful. He took us to good little restaurants along the way - all very simple but good. The driver Hussein was good fun - always singing and laughing.
It was a very different experience to see a place like Cappodocia under snow - quite extraordinary. Wonderful! The hotel was terrific, and the owners charming, and the food excellent
I wish you good health and happiness, and hope we meet again one day.
Thank you again, Iffet, for all that you did for us,
Annie and Rowan Ross.
PREHISTORY OF CENTRAL & EASTERN ANATOLIA
GLASGOW UNIVERSITY / UK
July 4-18th, 2008
We all got back after our wonderful tour of Central and SE Anatolia. It was certainly one of the most enjoyable and rewarding tours I have done in over 40 years of tours, and this is due in no small measure to the excellent planning and arrangements which you made on our behalf.
Everything worked very well with the coaching and all the drivers provided considerate service. The hotels, too, were fine and, despite the inevitable number of changes, no one grumbled, at least in my presence.
I‘m waiting to hear how Bruce got on at his Doctor‘s surgery this morning. Like Bruce, I‘m immensely grateful to you for looking after him at the American Hospital. It‘s things like this that make a good agent an excellent one.
In Gulden we could not have had a better tour guide. She was always happy and cheerful, got on extremely well with the clients, made absolutely certain of all our arrangements I would be delighted to have her as a tour guide. She was, quite simply, brilliant.
Once again, my most grateful thanks to you for organising such a superb tour. I really would like to do it again so will see if I can raise a few more clients from Higham Hall and, perhaps, some of the people on the tour would go again.
All good wishes.
PRIVATE EPHESUS TOUR
VICTORIA A. GOLWYN AND HER FRIENDS / USA
August 14th, 2008
I am so very sorry and the credit card information is attached. Thank you for not charging for nine. It was my husband and me who did not make it to the tour. My husband took ill and it prevented us from seeing many things. So, we will return to Turkey and take a longer trip as recommended. Thank you again. My friends said it was complete highlight of our trip.
HALICARNASSUS TO EPHESUS
THE DUNLIEVE FAMILY / USA
August 6-15th, 2008
I finally connected with Elizabeth this morning, after playing phone tag for a few days. They were in London for a few days after disembarking from Hulya , due to Bruce‘s business and by the time they returned I was in Zambia, on safari. My leg did great! I was concerned about the long flights and getting in and out of land rovers but really with the metal brace around my knee at all time I managed very well to everyone‘s surprise. I am now in physical therapy but I think I will not need surgery which is my goal if I can avoid it. I see the doctor nest week but I am finally walking without the brace so making progress.
I trust the season is winding down for you and that by the end of the month you will take a few days to relax… before 2009 starts in earnest again. Our manager is going to Turkey for 2 weeks next week with A&K. So we will have a report on what‘s new.
It will be my turn one of these days, which I would like to combine with Jordan. I will need 2 weeks indeed.
I spoke with Elizabeth today and she could not have been more complimentary of you, your arrangements and Mrs. Art. Hulya was a little more difficult as the crew did not speak English and some issues were a little more complex to resolve due to language barrier.
All and all THANK you for ALL your efforts and I hope to send more clients next year to Turkey via Iffet.
All the best,
Dominique Ashton, CTA
HIGLIGHTS OF TURKEY (Istanbul & Ephesus)
THE OCEANIA CRUISE / NAUTICA USA
May 21st-23rd, 2008
Thank you again for all of your help in making our tours so great!!!! I hope that we can work together again.
ISTANBUL, CAPPADOCIA AND EPHESUS
THE RUBESNTAIN FAMILY / USA
July 6-13th, 2008
Thank you so, so much for organizing a wonderful trip for us. We LOVED the Anatolian Houses and want to thank you for pushing me to stay there. What a special and unique place.
I am now leaving for Prague and returning to the States on the 16th. Let‘s speak when I get back.
ISTANBUL & EPHESUS
THE KEARNS FAMILY / USA
June 14-19th, 2008
This note will introduce Mr. Gerry Chiaruttini. I have copied him as you can see. Gerry and his wife Bev are looking for a tour guide service in Turkey. Since Gail, Michael and I had such wonderful time there I am recommending you. Please contact Gerry for details. I hope all is well.
TRAVEL BEYOND THE ORDINARY
Mrs.P.BEESELY & Dr. R. WEEKS / UK
Mrs.K.KIENER & Mr.G.KIENER / FRANCE
May 19th-June 1st, 2008
It was great to see you again. Thanks for organizing everything for us. We have lovely memories of beautiful places and friendly people. Viva Turkey and best of success to you and Turkey.
Karen and Georges
ISTANBUL, CAPPADOCIA AND EPHESUS
Mr.Davıd INLANDER & Mrs. Beth INLANDER / USA
Mr. Roger HYMEN & Dr. Monıka COHEN / USA
February 26th-March 4th, 2008
We‘re finally back to our normal routine in Chicago, and enjoying telling friends and family about our wonderful trip to Turkey. Let me share a few thoughts with you.
Your detailed preparation without a doubt made the trip a success. We thought all of the hotels were excellent, especially the Anatolian House hotel which was a special treat, one of the nicest hotels we have ever experienced. The Sultanhan was very nice and clean, and had a wonderful breakfast in a nice setting. The Kismet had a spectacular view, and a delightful pub/bar area
The hot air balloon company was exceptionally well run, and our two hour flight with pilot Mike was a breath-taking highlight of the vacation. Our dinners were all delicious, and our reservations honored. In Istanbul, Tugra and Sunset were outstanding, albeit very expensive! Special thanks for helping us out when we were stranded trying to find Cezayir, which was a nice counterpoint. In Cappadocia, both Alaturca and the private dining at the hotel were excellent. In Ephesus, the Secret Garden was quite a delicious fresh seafood extravaganza!
Although we admit we were disappointed that you personally were not our guide in Istanbul, we thought Urgul was bright, nice, articulate and an excellent leader of our group. She helped bring your wonderful city into a historical and cultural perspective in a delightful way. We were pleased to have met her, and would highly recommend her to others.
Alec possessed a gregarious personality, and it would be hard to imagine anyone better to show us around this Anatolian region. His charm was matched only by his knowledge of the unique terrain of Cappadocia. Your driver was polite and most competent. Ayse likewise was wonderful. We not only learned volumes from her during the Ephesus visit, but loved the time we spent with her. Again our van driver was very good.
All three guides took good care to make sure all our needs were met, including all issues at the airports.
We couldn‘t have asked for more!
Finally, a word about your beautiful country. Everyone was warm and welcoming. The diversity of terrains, the sights and sounds of Turkey make it an extraordinary place to visit.
Our meetings with the AJC added a nice supplement to your expert itinerary. Dinners with Jewish Community leaders at Carne, a state dinner hosted by US consul general Sharon Weiner at her home overlooking the Bosphorus, and trips to the Ahrida and Neve Shalom synagogues were all superb. Our day trip to Ankara featured important meetings with the US and Israeli ambassadors, the ASSM think tank group, and members of Parliament, and covered a wide range of topics of importance to Turkey, Israel and the U.S. Hopefully, we made some progress!
Thanks again for all of your assistance in making this trip so spectacular.
Hopefully, we‘ll make it back to Turkey again soon. And if you ever have the interest in coming to the US, make sure you visit our great city of Chicago! We‘d love to show you around
Thanks for the clarification! We are still raving to everyone about you, your guides and your beautiful country, and hope to be able to refer business to you in the future. Last week we were treated to a fabulous dinner by the Turkish Consul General in Chicago at one of the finest Turkish restaurants here, and heard all about the soccer team!
There were no snow storms in Tel Aviv, so Monika and I made all of our connections and had no trouble getting home last night. I have spent a good part of my day today when people ask me about my vacation telling them what a wonderful trip we had thanks in large part to your assistance. Iffet, meet Joel, Joel, meet Iffet. If either of you needs to refer someone to Turkey or Israel, I highly recommend each of you to the other. Several people did ask me today and I forwarded your names (only one was a definite trip to Israel rather than a “someday” trip). Part of what made our Israel trip so interesting was the knowledge we gained in Turkey of the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottoman Empire and could see similar things happening during these periods in Israel. The best example I gave people was the story Ergule (sorry, I don‘t know how to spell her name) told us when we were in the Archeological Museum in Istanbul that the early 1900‘s museum curator was afraid that the Sultan might give the Alexander Sarcophagus to Kaiser Wilhelm when he visited. The curator closed the wing where it was exhibited and hid the sarcophagus. In Israel, Joel told us that the Sultan changed the doorway to the Jaffa Gate to the Old City in order to accommodate the Kaiser. Had we not had two excellent and knowledgeable people telling us these stories, we couldn‘t have made the connections.
Again, thank you
Roger J. Hymen
Mr. Dave STANARD & Mrs. Judy STANARD / USA
May 17th-21st, 2008
Hello Dear Iffet!
We got your message this morning and thank you so very much for being in contact with us. Ever since we got home we have been going to send you an e-mail, but somehow or another we haven‘t quite gotten it done!
After leaving Istanbul our trip was a good one. We did enjoy our trip to Ephesus as did Jane and everyone else in the group. Your guide did an excellent job and impressed us all with her knowledge. Jane, by the way, is so happy she met you. It makes her feel really good that for the first time in her career she has a good contact in Istanbul.
We are sure you know we had a wonderful time in Istanbul. We both enjoy working with Uysal and, in addition to learning many things, have had many good conversations with her.
We are attaching pictures that we took at the restaurant. It was a great honor and privilege to be able to enjoy dinner and conversation with you in your country. And thank you for taking such good care of us! You make us appreciate Turkey and Istanbul even more than we already did!
With much affection,
Judy and Dave
Mr. Jeremy STAFFORD-DEITSCH / UK
Mıss Laura STAFFORD-DEITSCH and Mıss Camılla STAFFORD-DEITSCH / UK
Aprıl 3rd-10th, 2008
The tour went very well - the girls were fascinated and Inci was an excellent guide - so I can‘t think of any criticisms apart from the rain at Ephesus which may not be under your control.
If you want a good book on Orientalism - that criticises Edward Said‘s pernicious Orientalism - see:
For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies by Robert Irwin
ISTANBUL TRIP FOR THE SCOTT GROUP
Head of Department
Aprıl 11-14th, 2008
Many thanks for your email & your kind greetings which my colleagues passed on to me! It sounds like they all had a fabulous time in Istanbul - they loved the city & the sights are apparently amazing. It sounds like you arranged everything so well for them, thank you.
I am so excited about visiting - I do hope to meet you but of course understand how busy you must be.
Thank you very much for the finalized itinerary for my family trip - just so you know, our flight details from the UK are as follows:
BA 678 01 MAY Arrive IST 1255
BA 679 07 MAY Depart IST 1355
With regards to payment for the trip - will you invoice Scott Dunn for this amount, or do you prefer credit cards? Let me know what works best.
TURKEY FAM TRIP
May 1st-7th, 2008
Firstly, my apologies for sending this so late. I cannot believe I returned from Turkey a week ago - it has been so busy & I do not know where the time has gone.
But I wanted to thank you so much for arranging such a fantastic trip for my mother & I. It was so kind of you taking the time to show us Istanbul, Ephesus & Cappadocia and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip (including the museums!!) It was so nice getting to know you and we had such fun!
I am so excited about including Turkey in our portfolio, it is such a beautiful country and I was really impressed by the hotels & the kindness everyone showed us.
When you have a moment (I know you are also very busy!), do you think you would be able to send me the email addresses & the main contact at Nisanyan houses at Sirince village, Anatolian houses, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and also Cappadocia Balloons so I can thank them personally?
Iffet, we really cannot thank you enough - when you are next in the UK, we would love to take you to the opera/ballet as a little thank you (& you are also more than welcome to stay with us!)... We hope that you will be over soon!
I will be in touch again soon about putting together itineraries etc for our website, but in the meantime, thank you again & I hope you have a lovely weekend.
Istanbul, Cappadocıa, Ephesus
Mr. Gıordano (“Gerry”) CHIARUTTINI & Mrs. Beverly BROSKY
Oct 2nd-10th, 2008
We will follow up with a detailed email soon about our absolutely wonderful tour that you set up for all six of us. We couldn‘t have been move pleased. Martin was great! More about that later.
Mr. John ZOLDAK & Mrs. Joyce ZOLDAK
Thank you So much for Sending (delivering) my charger to the hotel. I tried to find another one but no success. Now I can continue to take pictures.
Please charge my credit Card for expenses to deliver the Package.
We loved our Visit
The tour was so well organized And delivered
Martin was Wonderful!
All our Best
John and Joyce
Bodrum and the Instıtute of Nautıcal Archaeology
Laura S. Wertheımer
December 31, 2008
Dear Iffet and Don
This past August, we toured part of the Aegean Coast with Iffet Ozgonul. She arranged for us to spend a morning with you touring the Institute of Nautical Archaeology. The morning that we spent with you was remarkable -- we were overwhelmed by the excavations conducted by the Institute and the knowledge gained of peoples who lived thousands of years ago. While we enjoyed our visit to Ephesus, and Priene, and Didyma, the time we spent walking through the finds from different shipwrecks was like opening a time capsule of that period and civilization, and our conversation over lunch made clear how much work remains to be done.
Under separate cover, we have sent you today a check for $5,000 in support of the work of the Institute, at your Texas address. We are making this contribution to honor Iffet Ozgonul, who so generously shared her love for Turkey with us.
Best regards to you and your wife for a happy and healthy New Year.