Name: Mehmet Darga
Position: Sales Manager
Where are you from? I was born in Istanbul. My family has lived in Istanbul since 1878 – they came here from Tırnavo (Tarnovo, Bulgaria) which was an Ottoman city.
How long have you worked for Fez Travel? I’ve worked here for 8 ½ years and in that time I’ve done several different jobs. One of my first jobs was selling in our retail office back in the day when we did walk-in sales from our old office on the famous Akbiyik Street in Sultanahmet. I then moved to managing the operations of Gallipoli and Troy Tours and then on to Operations Manager for our escorted tours before settling into the role of Sales Manager. The fact that I’ve had so much operations experience really helps me to know our products.
What does your job involve? My responsibility is to organise our sales team and to make sure our agents and other clients receive the correct support and service that they need. I also do some marketing, and frequently attend trade fairs around the world and so I travel quite a lot. Occasionally, I will help out with some new product development – an example of this is the Thrace Winery tour which was a real labour of love. In 2013 laws were put in place that banned the sales and advertising of alcohol through the internet and so we started this tour as a partnership with wine growers in the Thrace region – tourism is a way for them to showcase their products. I love the fact that my job provides me with so much variety.
What’s your favourite part of your job? I get to meet people from all around the World.
What is your favourite place in Turkey? I’m a big fan of the Aegean coast of Turkey. I absolutely love all of the small coastal towns along the Aegean. There are so many great places, I can’t just pick just one – places such as Foca , Urla, Seferihisar , Guzelcamli Natural Park which is near Kusadasi, and Datca. These are all really relaxing little towns that are not as developed so they have lots of charm, and amazing scenery. Most of these places are just a short drive from ruins which are over 4000 years old – such as Ehesus, Priene, Miletus and the temple at Didim, and this gives me a real buzz, to think that incredible ruins are so close.
What is your favourite Fez Travel Tour? My favourite tour is the Anatolian Highlights tour because for me it is the perfect combination of ancient cities, history and natural beauty such as Pamukkale and Cappadocia. This tour also spends some time on the Mediterranean Coast, in Antalya which is great because here you’ve got the charming old city part of Antalya, beautiful water and beaches, and just a short drive away are some incredible ruins such as Aspendos. Also, the accommodation we use in this tour includes some more ‘authentic’ properties such as a Cave Hotel in Cappadocia, and an old Ottoman House in Safranbolu. There are no long drives on this tour and so the pace of it is really great in that you get to see a lot without long days spent on the tour bus.
What do you like to do in your free time? All my life I have loved to play sport – some of my favourites are football (soccer), tennis, handball. I’m also a keen swimmer and diver, and the main photo of this post is of me diving on the Aegean Coast. So, in my free time I can always be found playing sport or doing some kind of outdoor activity with my family and friends. I’m also a big fan of the football team Besiktas so I watch their matches as often as I can.