Right after my visit to Cappadocia a new law began to be enforced -- a tour guide code. On June 7, the Professional Tour Guide Code was published in the Official Gazette. Previously, the legislation was inadequate. That means there was no clarity on the number of tour guides working and their qualifications. In some regions tour guides with insufficient foreign language skills and information about the region were free to work without restriction, even though they did not provide a good introduction to the country. This is the first proper law regulating tour guides.
With its geographical position, Turkey is a country where tourism is gradually developing. With the safest political landscape in the Middle East, it seems that tourism in Turkey will develop more and more. We should remember both sea tourism and cultural tourism are available, both of which are of great importance to the country. Most Turks used to travel without a tour guide because of the false impression that a tour guide was an additional cost and unnecessary. A tour without a guide is usually only sight-seeing and visitors may miss quite a bit of important information. The tourism sector is a means of livelihood for millions. One of the main lines of business in tourism is guided tours. In culturally and historically rich countries such as Turkey, tour guides are responsible for presenting a complex picture of the country. This code should have been prepared much earlier, but it is still good to have it.
What amendments are included in the new law? The purpose of the new code is to determine the rules on acceptance into the profession and performance standards. The new law has some conditions for becoming a tour guide. Every tour guide must be a Turkish citizen, aged 18 or above and have graduated from a tour guide faculty or passed a certification program.
One of the important points in becoming a tour guide according to the new code is that applicants should also pass a language exam set by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. By creating this requirement, tour guides' foreign languages skills will improve.
When the new legislation is applied, Turkey will make more headway in tourism. Tour guides will have an important position in representing the country. With highly skilled guides, tourists will get better service and the cultural values will be represented effectively.
I am very much impressed and, needless to say, Cappadocia is a must-see. While I'm on the subject of Cappadocia, I should also add that a balloon ride is well worth it. We flew with Sultan Balloons, and Captain İsmail Keremoğlu gave us a fantastic flight. It was one of my most pleasant experiences.
New hotels give you the best accommodation with a view that gives you an impossible to define kind of feeling. I also recommend the Argos hotel, which is good quality. Even if you don't stay there, I recommend the restaurant for breakfast.
NOTE: Berk Çektir is a Turkish lawyer and available to answer questions on the legal aspects of living and doing business in Turkey. Please kindly send inquiries to email@example.com. If a sender's letter is published, names may be disclosed unless otherwise is expressly stated by the sender.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is intended to give basic legal information. You should get legal assistance from a licensed attorney at law while conducting legal transactions and not rely solely on the information in this column.