(Note: professional guides provide their services for a fee. Although they welcome inquiries about scheduling and availability of their services, they expect to be paid when they provide tourism information. You may be asked to arrange payment before questions are answered. Also, if you reserve a guide’s time in advance, you may be asked to arrange credit card payment at the time of reservation, just as for a hotel room, rental car, or flight. Please note that guides are not travel agents, and are not licensed to make reservations or other travel agency services.—Tom Brosnahan)
Hello! I’m Gamze Artaman…
I am a native of Istanbul and have been a professional licensed tourist guide since 1990. I have considerable experience of guiding visitors around Turkey and especially in Istanbul.
To date, I have mostly guided visitors from the USA but inevitably, being an English-speaking tour guide, I have hosted guests from all over the world whose shared langauge with me is English. As a result, I believe I have a proper appreciation of what visitors want.
I specialise in guiding guests staying in the major 5-star hotels including the Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton, the InterContinental, Conrad, Hilton Istanbul, Hyatt Regency, and Çirağan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul.
My philosophy of guiding is to give factual information about the sites, but such details can easily be found in guidebooks, so I also help my visitors to understand those nuances of life here that can only be experienced by being in Turkey. My priority is that my clients enjoy their time in my country so I help them to appreciate the Turkish approach to life and grasp details of our honorable past. I like to do this in an enjoyable way. After all, visitors are supposed to be on vacation, not taking history or architecture classes, so ever since I started doing this job, I have been making the same jokes. They must be really good jokes because, after all these years, new clients still find them funny!
I have been doing this job for so long without getting apathetic simply because I base my professional life on the assumption that people travel to comprehend, assimilate AND acknowledge the varieties that this world has to offer. I believe that as a guide I am an ambassador for my country and am at the forefront of promoting mutual appreciation and understanding. In some small way, I believe I am contributing to a more peaceful and respectful world.
I particularly enjoy planning cultural, sufi, architectural and shopping tours for visitors to Istanbul and I like to tailor tours to my guests’ tastes and interests. I consider it a privilege to share the full benefit of my insider knowledge. Over the years, I have developed some unique routes around the 4,000 or so shops in the fascinating, world famous Grand Bazaar and help my guests to explore and browse with the confidence of a local. I also like to organize “off the beaten track” tours in both the old and new districts of the city, enabling my visitors to experience the city beyond the guidebooks or, if they prefer, to pursue special interests. And, whenever possible while we are touring, I share my appreciation of the delicacies of Turkish cuisine because I’m a foodie too!
Complementing my main work, in winter I work with Turkish pre-schoolers and elementary (primary) schoolchildren in Istanbul, to introduce them in an entertaining way to the events, traditions and personalities that have forged the city in which they live.
I was born in Istanbul in 1967. I hold a Bachelor of International Affairs degree from the University of Istanbul. I got married in 1994 and my daughter was born in 2001. In my spare time I like to read poetry by Rumi, books on history and psychology, spend time with my family and go to the movies.
(By the way, my first name is pronounced GAHM-zeh…)
Please fill out the following form if you are interested in having me guide you in Istanbul and Turkey. —Gamze Artaman