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Many of you have heard of thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown: the Belmont, the Preakness, and the Kentucky Derby.

These three races define equine greatness. If we approached our work life thinking about what three things would define professional greatness, I would suggest the following:
1. Passion and love for our work
2. Skill and talent in our field
3. Tangible contribution to the needs of society


When these three traits are in line the professional can be propelled into greatness. This is the realm in which tour guide Sevil Yalçın lives, moves and has her being.

Ms. Yalçın’s entire life story has prepared her for where she is today, which is being the only tour guide in the Cappadocia area that is licensed and excels in guiding tours in 4 languages: Turkish, English, German and Japanese.


Sevil was born in Germany to a Turkish father and a Yugoslavian mother. Her first language was German, moved to Turkey when she was in 5th grade, perfected her Turkish, and picked up English in high school, and eventually moved to Japan for three years in 1994.

Before her trip to Japan she had entered the tourism industry as a receptionist at a hotel in Istanbul. During these two short years her English increased to the degree where she decided she could travel abroad, thus, she was off to Japan. While there she added Japanese to her repertoire of languages and decided to further her tourism career by working at a tour agency as a tour guide back in Istanbul.

In those days resources were very limited in regards to formal education. Many tour guides gathered information from each other by way of books. These repositories of information were passed from one guide to the next, and the skillful ones were able to turn this knowledge into relevant, educational and engaging presentations for visiting tourists. This thirst for learning drove Sevil eventually to the completion of a degree, and was subsequently licensed as a tour guide in 4 languages.


Sevil excelled in learning and passing on information to eager visitors, and eventually found her way to Cappadocia in 2007, where she resides and works today as a freelance tour guide.

Her love for travel and exploring places that she rarely frequents adds intrigue and jollity to her tours. When asked what comprises a good tour she pointed out that it is the guide’s job to make sure that there is a good balance of information being presented. Some people are there to see things and know the basics, whereas others want to know about what they are seeing in detail. The guide needs to know who is who, and then be able to cater to those who want more information but not overwhelm those who are there for the experience. This might mean pulling the more curious aside and spend more time in explanation with them while the others are released to go explore.

Also, when visitors have a willingness to learn not only about the sites they are seeing but also the culture that houses these particular historical places, it is a great combination. “Quality tours are comprised of people who aren’t looking for something familiar to their life experience, or similar to their own culture, but who are willing to explore something new.” There is truly an exchange between the visitor and the culture they are in, with the tour guide being just that, a guide who leads them through this journey.

Two personal friends of our family’s have been on two separate tours with Sevil, and both of their assessments were exactly the same, “She is so fun and so knowledgable!”

It is obvious that Sevil has the Triple Crown: passion for what she does, unparalleled linguistic skill and she is enriching the lives of every tourist that she has the pleasure of guiding. (Additionally, her precious daughter Ceren also loves horses!!!)


Some of Sevil’s favorite places in Turkey are:
* Göbekli Tepe in Urfa
* Eastern Turkey where there is an interesting cultural cauldron: Turks, Kurds and Arabs
* Aphrodisias in south-western Turkey
* Gordion near Polatlı, Ankara
* And of course, home-sweet-home, Cappadocia!


If you are interested in having Sevil as your tour guide while in Cappadocia, or anywhere else in Turkey, please call her at:
She can organize any sized tour to any place in Turkey, and make it an incredible experience. Her love for the sites of Turkey is contagious!

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Aaron Moss has owned an exporting business, shipping pottery and rugs to America, and has been an outspoken advocate for bringing tour groups from North America over to Cappadocia for the past several years. Through his contribution to he hopes that more people will come and visit the incredible land he has called “home” since 2004. He and his wife have 6 children, and he has yet to meet anyone who hasn’t thoroughly enjoyed their stay in Cappadocia. Click here to read more about Aaron.