Name: Koray Parıltı
Position: Manager, Kusadasi Branch Office
Where are you from? I grew up in Ulukent which is a small town outside Denizli. It’s only around 3 1/2 hours drive from Kusadasi, so I can still see my family fairly easily, which is great.
How long have you worked for Fez? I’ve worked for Fez for 2 ½ years but I have worked in tourism for around 8 years.
What did you study at university? Funnily enough, I didn’t study tourism – I have a degree in English language and literature, and I was lucky enough to spend one year studying Russian language and literature in Moscow. It was a great experience for me, and has given me the travel bug. This photo is of me when I was in Moscow.
What does your job involve? I manage the operations for the Kusadasi branch office, so this involves overseeing the operations of all of the day tours, shore excursions and transfers that we run in this area. For example, we run Ephesus Day Tours, Priene, Miletus & Didyma tours, Pamukkale day trips, Aphrodisias tours plus a host of other private tours that we design in conjunction with guests. I am responsible for making sure all of the guides and drivers are in the right place, at the right time, and also for developing relationships and networks with our local partners such as hotels.
What’s your favourite part of your job? I love the fact that every day is different, and you really never know what will happen next. For example, last week, we had some guests who arrived at Kuşadası port to do a shore excursion to Ephesus, but when they arrived and met their guide and driver, they had decided that what they really wanted was to visit Pamukkale, which is just over a 3 hour drive in each direction. I told them there was not enough time to drive to Pamukkale and back before their ship departed, and so they asked whether it was possible by helicopter! So suddenly I found myself getting quotes for a helicopter from Kuşadası to Pamukkale… There is never a dull moment here.
What is your favourite place in Turkey? I really love Kalkan which is near Kaş, Antalya. It is one of the quietest places on the Mediterranean Coast. I first went there 8 years ago on holiday and loved it, and I try to go there as often as possible.
What is your favourite Fez Travel Tour? Well, I am biased obviously, given that I manage a branch office, but I think the Ephesus Day tour is a great day out – you cover so much in one day, and this area is full of really rich history. There’s actually not enough time to see everything in this area in just one day, and so I really like it when we get a chance to design customised Ephesus tours for people, because we have the chance to show some places a little bit more off the beaten track.
Tell us about the main photo here? This photo was taken on my wedding day last year – we were going through the range of silly poses that photographers put you through 🙂 It was a great day, although we actually celebrated for a couple of days – when Turkish people marry it’s a big deal and we have a range of celebrations on either side of the “big day” such as the henna night for the ladies.
What do you like to do in your free time? I like to hang out with my wife and my friends, enjoying our beautiful weather and sea views. Kuşadası is full of so many great fish restaurants that have a sea view. There is nothing nicer than sitting by the water on a Friday or Saturday night, eating fish and of course, no fish dinner would be complete without a glass of Raki. Kuşadası is also a great place for live music, and many of the local restaurants here will have live music several nights a week during summer. When I have time, usually in winter, my wife and I like to visit new places in Turkey – we’re really hoping to visit Mt Nemrut in the East to see the sunrise – I’ve seen so many pictures, and heard so much about it, and am looking forward to going there one day soon.