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Arriving from beachside Mersin to landlocked Nevsehir University in the Tour Guide and Travel Agent faculty in 2003, Serdal Dikli was not sure which direction his life would go. But over 8 years later he is still here and working as a tour guide in what has become his favorite region of Turkey.
Serdal loves to share his knowledge of the beautiful Cappadocia region with visitors.
Being the youngest of five children, Serdal followed in big footsteps with one sister working as a professor in America and another sister and a brother working as teachers in Mersin and Hatay, respectively. He learned English in school and realized that guiding would be a good way to put it to use.
From my conversation with Serdal at the In Pension in Cavusin, I quickly recognized that he did not fit the normal tour guide personality, having a more reserved demeanor. In spite of this his guiding talent comes from his love of learning, evidenced by the fact that he was reading about Cappadocia cave paintings when we met. He told me his favorite guests are those who want deeper knowledge about the region. He prides himself on his Cappadocian erudition which is constantly growing due to his insatiable desire to keep learning.
Turkey licensed tour guides are trained to lead tours anywhere in the country. However, keeping up with the latest news on every region is very difficult. This is why I recommend choosing local guides. A guide from Istanbul would be hard-pressed to match the knowledge of a tour guide spending most of his time in Cappadocia and vice versa. Of course, any licensed guide will be able to hold their own, but if you have the opportunity to get a local guide, go for it.
Within Cappadocia Serdal’s favorite area is the Ihlara Valley, a sentiment with which I agree. His normal two day tour includes the normal sites: Göreme Open-Air Museum, Pigeon Valley, Ürgüp (wineries, shopping, three beauties), Mustafapaşa (Greek village), Devrent Valley, and Paşabağ, as well as Derinkuyu underground city, Göreme panorama, Çavuşin, and the Ihlara Valley, Selime monastery, and Ağızkarahan Caravanserai. This is a full two days that will take care of most of your Cappadocia needs. Give yourself a third day to do a bit of your own thing- hot-air balloon, shopping, maybe a valley hike, and Turkish Night show, and you will have lasting memories of one of the most unique regions of the world.
Seldar worked for an agency for a couple of years after graduating from university but has spent the last two years doing freelance guiding. You can reach him at the In Pension or at his phone number 90-537-767-0098 (Note: include the 9 if you are outside of Turkey; if in the country, the number to dial is 0537-767-0098). He also enjoys leading tours to his home region of Mersin/Tarsus/Hatay (ancient Antioch).
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