First of, I wanted to say how grateful I am to have met Mert Taner. I was In Istanbul last month and Mert was our guide. As a woman traveling esp from a diff country and hearing that I have to be very extra careful in Turkey, is very scary. But thanks to Mert, I felt safe and he is soooo knowledgeable, friendly almost like the mayor in town- everybody knows him! He showed us around, even treated us for drinks and snacks. How cool is that!!!! And by the way, i didnt pay much attention to my purse as i was shopping and taking photos.. mert made sure I wont lose it and even carry it for me. I recommend this guy to everyone! He will go out of his way to make reservations for ur dinner or whatsoever. He is also ghe official guide of rick steves best of turkey tours!
As a woman traveling esp from a diff country and hearing that I have
to be very extra careful in Turkey, is very scary.
Just curious what you meant there...who said this and why? Extra careful of ...what? I've been to Turkey solo several times and it was not scary, just very crowded in Istanbul. I think it could be intimidating for some people but it depends what you're used to and your past travel experience.
I was just told by several people Turkey isnt safe for a solo travel and esp for a woman. Ie, pick pocketers etc.. and you were right, it is safe , just crowded. But my point is, I'm happy and grateful for my tour guide. Certainly the best!
We just returned from a private tour with Mert Taner. He knows ALL the who/what/when/where/how-to-do's of Turkey! I guess that comes naturally with over 25 years of experience as a veteran guide.
I was so grateful that a friend connected us with him before we committed to go on our first international trip. In all honesty, we had looked at some other destinations/tour companies first, but that same friend bragged on Mert so much! She had been on two of Rick's past tours with him. When we finally had a chance to chat with him via Facebook, Mert was careful to listen to all of our vacation requests - exploring history, shopping, relaxing, and eating great food. The rest was easy once we decided on Turkey!
On another coincidental note, I had been given similar advice about being super watchful for pick pockets and a few other things before our trip. My husband and I wore RFID blocking Samsonite travel pouches around our necks and I didn't take a purse.
When we were walking near the busiest areas of Istanbul (Spice Market & Grand Bazaar primarily), Mert had me walk beside him and kept a close eye on our surroundings/packages. But we never felt in danger and enjoyed the experiences everywhere we went!
One last thing, well maybe a few things, to know about Mert. First, he has a great sense of humor! He also kept us laughing, taught us so much about Turkish history, and kept our 11 year old entertained (he's great with kids). No regrets and we can't wait to return to see everyone we met in Turkey - hopefully next year! 😁