Name: Gül Karakaş
Position: Tour Guide – Kuşadası Branch Office
Where are you from? I was born in Aydın which is about 1 hour from Kuşadası but my family moved to Kuşadası when I was four years old.
How long have you worked for Fez? I have been working with Fez since 2011, and am based in the Kuşadası branch office, so I mainly do Ephesus and Pamukkale tours with the occasional round Turkey tour thrown in.
What did you study at university? I studied in the Tour Guiding Department at Marmara University in Istanbul. I studied subjects such as archaeology, mythology and history – especially Greek and Roman history.
What does your job involve? As a tour guide we do either private or regular tours. Regular tours are when it is an open group and we pick up people from different hotels. Sometimes we pick up guests from the cruise ship port, sometimes from the airport. A tour could be with anywhere from 1 person to 20 people, depending what type of tour it is. On any given day I could be touring Ephesus with a group, or driving further, to Pamukkale, or even up the coast to Pergamum. There is a lot of variety.
What’s the best thing about your job? Every day is different and this is why I love what I do. Every day I meet different people from all around the world, and so this is really interesting for me.
What is your favorite place in Turkey? Istanbul. Because I went to university in Istanbul, it is like my second home. I lived there for 3 years and so I feel very comfortable there. For me, Istanbul has it all – it has so much history, the Bosphorus is beautiful and I feel the city talks to my heart. However, I am happy just to visit – I love living in Kuşadası because it is smaller and not so busy and provides a great lifestyle.
Tell us about the small photo here? This photo was taken in Ephesus. Anyone who has been to Ephesus know that there are cats everywhere, and I love it, because they are like the silent guards of Ephesus. I have several favourite Ephesus cats, and this is one of them. My colleagues are always joking with me because I am always taking photos of the cats.
What do you like to do in your free time? In summer, because we work so hard, if I manage to have a day off, I do like a good sleep-in. I really love succulents and cactus plants and I have a huge collection of these on my balcony and all through the house. In winter, we have more free time, and so I like to travel to new countries. I have travelled a lot around Europe. Italy is one of my favourite countries and I have covered most of it. My favourite cities in Italy are Rome and Florence. Rome, because it has so much history, and in Florence, I love the architecture and atmosphere.