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MIKAIL KOROGLU
Mountain and Nature Guide / Founder

Mikail is always in search of new routes in all four corners of the country. He walks them, he researches them. He promises us an alternative nature, from the most unique plateaus of the Eastern Black Sea to the Lycian Way – a favorite of the south; from the majestic canyons of Kastamonu to the Floodplain Forests of Thrace!

  • DEVAMI

    Mikail roads crossed during the many years that Mikail guided in the mountains and in the nature, and he is now with us to give life to all the green routes of BAŞKA ROTA!

    • He is originally from the Black Sea, from the town of Şavşat in Artvin.

    • He is a sportsman with a license from the Mountaineering Federation

    • He has joined activities in various mountains of Turkey, mostly in the Kaçkar Mountains (Rize/Artvin)

    • He created many ecotourism / trekking routes which are still popular today, and he is still continuing to create new ones.

    • Don’t be surprised if you see him on IZ TV.

    • After marrying his beloved wife Selcen – a local Smyrnian, he settled in Izmir and founded BAŞKA ROTA TOURIZM.

OZAN YILDIRIM
Professional Tour Guide – Archaeologist

Ozan is a graduate of Galatasaray High School and studied archaeology and visual communication at Kocaeli University. He joined archaeological excavations at Istanbul, Kocaeli, Osmaniye, Sagalassos and Larisa.

  • DEVAMI

    In 2010-2011 he led activities with 10-12 year children in order to develop their cultural consciousness, organized by the Association of Archaeologists. He has been leading nature tours in all around Turkey since 2010. He organizes tours where he combines archaeology with nature walks. He is the creator of the term ‘archaeotrekking’ and designs unique itineraries and guides groups on our archaeotrekking tours. Ozan is currently studying for a PhD degree at the department of Architectural History at Istanbul Technical University.

SERRA SOMERSAN
Professional Tour Guide – Archaeologist

Serra was born in Izmir in 1982 to an English mother and a Turkish father. She grew up in a travelling family and from a young age she knew that she could never work in an office. She decided to become an archaeologist to gain a better understanding of the land she lived on.

  • DEVAMI

    She worked at the excavations at Antandros for 7 years and joined underwater archaeological surveys in Kelenderis in Mersin. She received her master’s degree in classical archaeology in 2007 and obtained her guiding licence the same year. In the meantime she started learning Italian which led her to later learn Spanish and finally Portuguese and now speaks all three fluently. She travelled to more than 20 countries on all continents. Serra spends her summers working at the excavations at Aphrodisias and during the rest of the year she mainly focuses on nature tours involving archaeology and trekking.

ALTAY ÖZCAN
Professional Tour Guide

Altay graduated from Hacettepe University, Ankara in 2006 and became a professional licensed tourist guide in 2009. He worked as an activity leader specialising in canyoning , sea kayaking, trekking and mountain biking in Kaş before maturing into a cultural guide.

  • DEVAMI

    He now guides an international clientele exploring the diversity of all the regions of Turkey. Altay was a member of the Conquest Coast Expedition which aimed at and succeeded in paddling from the Syrian border in Hatay to Istanbul in 2007. He hiked all around Turkey and is co-founder & co-author of the Carian Trail project. His love of the outdoors and nature is expressed through his photography which has been published in several books and many magazines. He is also a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

YUNUZ ÖZDEMİR
Professional Tour Guide / Archaeologist

Yunus graduated from the department of Classical Archaeology at Akdeniz University in Antalya in 2005 and has been professionally guiding visitors from all over the world since 2003. After carrying out many tours on the Lycian Trail, Yunus came up with the idea to create a similar trail in the ancient region of Caria and fulfilled this idea.

  • DEVAMI

    Yunus prepared a two-episode program on the Lycian Trail for TRT. His new field of interest is the Hittite Kingdom. He guides students from all over the world studying archaeology and history of art in Study tours.

    Yunus resides in Nevşehir (Cappadocia) with his wife Bilsen and his two children Uluç Ege and Bade and works as an academic at the Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş University department of Archaeology.

ÖVÜNÇ D. ÖZSOY
Professional Tour Guide

Övünç was born in Izmir in 1977. She went to London to travel and to learn English in 1997. She worked for various travel agencies’ global services departments between 1998-2001 and 2012-2015. She became a professional tour guide in 2002 and completed various specialization programs in guiding between 2004-2013.

  • DEVAMI

    She lived in Istanbul for 15 years and guided guests mainly from the USA all around Turkey. In 2015 she took her backpack and did a Greece and Balkan tour, visiting her grandparents’ hometown Sarajevo and Plovdiv and completed course on Guiding in the Black-Sea in 2016 before she settled back in her hometown Izmir. She now guides Turkish tours mainly in the Balkans and the Blacksea region. She just started her studies in art history at Ege University and lives on her parents’ farm in Izmir Kavacık, where they do organic farming. She guides Başka Rota tours in the small and authentic villages of the Aegean and the Balkans.

MUSTAFA KALAYCI
Mountain and Nature Guide

Mustafa was born in Ankara in 1976 and graduated from French interpretation at Hacetepe University in Ankara in 2001.He started nature sports in 1995 at the Hacettepe Mountaineering and Nature Sports Club (Hüddosk) and completed his training in 1995-1996 becoming a professional in the field of mountaineering.

  • DEVAMI

    He participated in all the boards within Hüddosk and led groups and trained new students. Mustafa has climbed over 500 mountain peaks in Turkey and abroad. He has been guiding groups in Lycia since 1997 and continues to lead groups in Chile, Argentina, Kenya, Tanzania, Switzerland, France, Nepal and Tibet.Mustafa is also an avid rock climber and guides rock-climbing groups in Geyikbayırı and Olympos. He was active in the creation of the rock climbing routes in Geyikbayırı, Olympos, Karakaya, Aladağlar and Isparta. Mustafa is a consultant for United Nations Rural Development Projects and an author for Atlas magazine.Mustafa continues to guide mountain, trekking and rock-climbing tours and is a member of Akdeniz University nature sports club and Akut Search and Rescue Association. He gives lessons on nature sports and mountaineering at Koc University and resides in Antalya Geyikbayırı.

PEYMAN REZAI
Mountain and Nature Guide for Iran

Peyman was born in 1979 in Orumeih in Western Iran. After studying economy he went on to become a guide for nature, photography and culture tours for visitors from all around the world.

  • DEVAMI

    He still carries on practicing nature sports, a passion he has had since he was 15 years old. Peyman has climbed Mount Demavend (5671 m), Mount Sahand, Mount Sabalan (4811 m) in Iran; Mount Kaçkar and Mount Ağrı (Ararat) in Turkey.Besides guiding Peyman is interested in photography, theatre and music and speaks Turkish, Azeri and Farsi.

NILAY ISLEK
Photographer

Nilay was born in Izmir, Turkey. She completed her elementary and high school education in this city. Photography became her interest in her high school years. In 1999, she entered Dokuz Eylül University Fine Art Faculty and graduated with the thesis “Sensual Projections” in 2003.

  • DEVAMI

    She completed her Master Degree in the same faculty with her thesis “Visual Culture and Social Memory in the Context of Digital Photography Aesthetics” in 2009. Nilay started to Advertising Photography in 1995 during her education. While she moved up in the career ladder, she became a sought after instructor and gave lectures in several schools and associations such as Izmir Fen High School and Izmir Association of Photography Art (IFOD). Universiade 2005 Izmir Summer Plays was her first important international event as a member of editorial board. After that, she has participated to several international events and projects. Her newest project is Izmir- Bremen Photography Artist Residence Program “Elsewhere” between 2017-2018. In the meantime, Nilay started her own atelier, Artlens Visual Culture and Photography, which is a continuous education center in the field of photography for eight years now. In 2016, Nilay is chosen for the international title of Fujifilm “X-Photographer” as the first woman photographer from Turkey. She’s been given Basic Photography Courses Fujifilm Education Centre in Izmir as the official instructor of Fujifilm. She worked as a lecturer in Izmir Economy University between 2015-2018. On the other hand, her academic career is going on at Ege University Faculty of Communication, Radio, Television and Cinema PhD program. She lives and continues her life of art in London.

HALE SARGIN
Tour Leader for Latin America

Hale left the world of domesticated women living in warm houses to discover the green forests, majestic mountains, valleys with water gushing from every corner and paths washed with rain water. She left behind a 10 year carrier in the corporate world and took off for an alternative lifestyle in 2012. Since then she has lead a nomadic life in Europe and America, travelling from country to country.

  • DEVAMI

    Hale is a bicycle activist. She is currently pedalling from the southern tip of Patagonia towards the northern tip of Alaska. She is following the traces of the shamanic culture on the American continent. She takes yoga training at the countries she visits and gives yoga lessons to fellow travellers.

    Hale leads social responsibility projects in order to found bicycle clubs at village schools in Turkey and to support women of the world who try to earn a living through their own handcrafts.

    Hale has made Latin America her home for the past 4 years, she guides visitors around the various parts of the continent, tells them stories that are not written in the guidebooks and introduces them the true essence of Latin America.

    Hale shares all her adventures in her blog www.isimgucumgezmek.com

ŞEBNEM AKBULUT
Yoga and Meditation Instructor

Şebnem’s journey into the world of yoga began when she was studying computer engineering in 2003. In those days there weren’t enough yoga instructors nor were there many places to practice yoga in Turkey. Şebnem received her certificate as a yoga instructor after participating in the Swami Vivekananda University workshops carried out in Turkey.

  • DEVAMI

     In order to widen her knowledge Şebnem travelled to India and participated in the PGDYT Yoga Therapy education and received her diploma. On her return to Turkey she started working as a therapist in her own studio. She also started to train yoga instructors. During this period she hosted many foreign yoga instructors at Yogha. With the aim of developing her communication skills and for a better understanding of human relationships Şebnem completed her training in Comprehensive Coaching at FA Coach Academy which enabled her to have a more inclusive outlook during her yoga sessions. One of the most influential training and initiation that she took was from Dalai Lama at Dhramsala. There she received the name Tenzin Norzin “Dharma’s Jewel”. In the same year she widened her vision and experiences even more with the “Awaken the Giant Within!” training she took from Tony Robbins.

    She is currently running her own yoga studio Yogha and in various other establishments.

EMRAH ÇOBAN
Biologist

Emrah was born in Eskişehir in 1984 where he spent his whole childhood. He went on to study biology at Kafkas University in Kars and received his Master’s degree at the same University.

  • DEVAMI

    Emrah started to work at the KuzeyDoğa Association as project coordinator in 2008. He became the scientific coordinator in 2010. His wildlife adventures that started with birds, still continues with bears, wolves and lynxes for their protection and registration.

MAHMUT ZAHIROĞLU
Professional Tour Guide

Mahmut has worked as a tour guide for 20 years and has been in the tourism industry for a total of 25 years. He has worked for several well-known agencies and continues to operate the Central European tours of a prominent agency. After his graduation from the department of history and theology in the USA he got a second bachelor’s degree in Opera and Singing in Istanbul.

  • DEVAMI

    As a passionate student he is doing a third degree in History at Anadolu University. He has guided many tours in Europe, the USA and the Far East. He has his own followers due to his rhetorical and easy-to-follow way of explaining the visited sites. Mahmut also loves to sing and play the guitar and tours guided by him are always full of fun.