Throughout Turkey, my agents and I have several people whom we can recommend as superb guide-companion-lecturers. Good, licensed Turkish guides fluent in English run about $150 per day, plus their expenses. But remember: like good boats, these individuals are in demand. I need to know, as early as possible, if you do want a guide
My own services as your cultural liaison and factotum in Turkey are also available. If that idea appeals to you, I invite your inquiries. My rates depend upon the nature of your program plus lodging, food, transportation- whatever it takes for me to be whatever you want. I can steer you through bazaars and ruins, introduce you to Ottoman mosque architecture, show you autumn crocuses in bloom, teach you how to stuff grape-leaves, unravel the mysteries of tribal rugs, and translate your desires from English into Turkish.
Just as importantly, I can also leave you alone, merely staying in the background to make sure you're armed with the knowledge of how to find my favorite wooden spoon shop or an Istanbul couturier whose creations rival those of Milan and Paris.
People call me a guide, tour manager, translator, lecturer, art historian, and gastronomic fanatic. I confess to all. Sharing my knowledge and appreciation of the Mediterranean and the Middle East gives me immense pleasure
Should you wish to have me accompany you, I'll be gratified and very flattered. However, until I see who is going to Turkey-and when-I cannot guarantee my own availability. Some of our favorite hotels and yachts are already wait-listing clients for the 2009 season, so please let us hear from you at your earliest convenience. We look forward to helping you enjoy Turkey.
A Biographical Note: I first went to Turkey in 1971, lived there in the mid-70's and have worked throughout the Middle East. A specialist in Islamic carpets and textiles, I'm often a consultant to non-profit groups and government agencies on the preservation, design and marketing of traditional crafts.
Devising itineraries and conducting tours for individuals, museums and special-interest groups allow me to write and lecture on the arts, cultures, and cuisines of that lie between Portugal and India.
Want to know me-and Turkey-a little better? For an idiosyncratic look at the country's complex and beguiling society, try my book Turkish Tapestry, A Travller's Portrait of Turkey.
The perfect cone of Hasan Dag rises against a few puffs of cumulus and a sky almost as blue as the mountain itself. Below lie the only amber waves of grain I know. I've never seen America's great grasslands, but I recognize this extension of the steppes of Central Asia as the heartland of the country my heart has chosen.
It takes a wide-angle lens to encompass the Anatolian Plateau. Here, photographs taken with a normal lens are diminished in majesty; only optical distortion makes the landscape look right, the way I see it, even without a camera.
The little red poppies, the full-headed grain at my feet, and the stones in the sheepfold half-way up the distant slope seem to be in equally sharp focus, a neat trick. Mystics, monks, and dervishes have dwelt here for centuries. Surely, they have been bred by this plateau, where one need only raise a hand to touch the sky.
~from Turkish Tapestry, A Traveller's Portrait of Turkey by Holly Chase (Bosphorus Books, 1993)