First of all let me quickly introduce myself. After spending 17 years in audit business, I have become a Corporate Risk Manager of a reputable international company and by the peek of my career I have also become aware that it is capitalism itself that makes me unhappy.
So I decided to leave everything and return back to my home country and make a living on art, handcrafts, this house and other beauties of the world, instead of cruel corporate world.
This house that I list on Airbnb is a 5 floors building, with a single 20 sqm room on each of the first 4 floors and a terrace roof top on the 5th with a Golden Horn view.
I let the building either as an entire house or room by room.
One of the main motives to run this small business is sincerely having friends from other cultures, so my initial preference is to host guest who speak at least a little English, the only foreign language I am able to express myself with, to a certain extent of course. I speak a little bit of Russian and currently I am studying German but I wouldn't count on these.
Translator websites helped with many friends as well, so all we need to do is to be brave and motivated to share about ourselves and our lives.
If you are not willing to communicate at all, that is ok for me also, however I need to have a little bit of information about you during our communication regarding your reservation. Least of the information I need is your age (I don't need to know your exact age of course, but to give you correct and to the point information, I need to have an idea), your purpose of trip, how you will use the house etc.) I don't host people that tend to give no information about themselves.
ABOUT RARE NEGATIVE COMMENTS IN THE PREVIOUS YEARS: This house is listed on airbnb since more than a year now. Initially 3 young friends of mine who need to do this thing financially, asked the house from me and started this small business. They did many good things for the house as well, so I feel grateful, but due to their age and way of living, I have the heritage of some negative comments as well, very few in total thanks god, but they are still there for you to observe :) What I can promise is, if this house was criticized in a rightful way about anything before, same issue won't happen ever again.
PERSONAL GUIDE: In addition to this accommodation service, I function as a guide also, if I have time, I design some special tours in the city, not like the ones you can design for yourself free of charge using internet, or get from a Tourism Agency easily for some expensive price to ensure the cliches and stereotypes of all the information that can be gathered from internet for free in several minutes. I like to design tours that help my guests understand Turkey in deep. If you are interested to know much about Kurdish culture for example, or if you want to photograph Gypsy way of living in Turkey, or if you want to have a photo or shooting session on let's say "adventurous" parts of the city, or if you want to sail over Bosporus using a fisherman's boat instead of regular tourist boats or fancy yachts or if you want to discover the real Turkish cousin, instead of the Middle Eastern one that you believe to be Turkish, I am the guy that you should talk to. I either design tailor made tours according to your wishes and interest or give you some fast recommendations that you may utilize on your own.
VEGANS and VEGETARIANS SAVE LIVES: I am not a vegan or vegetarian but I very much respect these people and I know how difficult can basic nutrition get for them in Turkey. I have a very much affordable food on demand service also, but only for vegans and vegetarians. If you eat meat, go out and help yourself, everywhere is full of dead animals ;)
Let me quickly provide you guys with a guide and (website hidden):
HOST: Libertarian with a belief in free thinking and free speech. Has 20 years of experience in various corporate environments, that’s why taking this hosting activity seriously and aiming perfection in meeting the expectations of guests. Working with an amateur spirit that makes him available 7/24, approaching the duty professionally that gives him the ability to provide complete transparency and honesty to shape visitor expectations in the right direction.
STREET: Old, historical street with a mosque and fountain more than 200 years old. Mostly preferred by Europeans because of its location close to almost all of the touristic spots, as well as its ability to provide perfect scenes of traditional life style for photographers, directors and artists. Even the grocery shop in the street has been preserved in the way it was established in 1960’s. The “muezzin” who is on duty in the neighborhood mosque and guests will be hearing praying 5 times a day, is famous about his vocal abilities and visited quite often by tourists to listen Azan (Call to prayer).
NEIGHBORHOOD: Known as Pera (Ancient Greek name) or Beyoğlu (Modern name as the folk etymology of Venetian word Bailo), the neighborhood settled in the Northern shore of Golden Horn has historical evidence to be existing since Before Christ. It is not only one of the 2 main historical centers of culture in the city (the other one is historical Peninsula), but also the main center of contemporary arts for Turkey.
RESIDENTS: Socioeconomically low segment. Street is mostly inhabited by people with an average educational degree of middle and high school. Average monthly income is around several hundred dollars. General attitude towards foreigners is very friendly. They try to communicate only upon an observation of visitors’ wish. Although financially not very strong, helping one another is a way of living strictly followed by residents, as a part of Eastern culture. People define themselves as religious in general, despite the lack of strict practice of Islamic rituals, which provides the visitors a healthier environment of observation of prevailing culture, without feeling any cultural pressure. Petting and feeding street animals is a natural part of everyday life. Since the street is very narrow, only several cars pass throughout all day. And there are many kids constantly playing in the street also, who like to be photographed by visitors.
SAFETY: Despite the low economic conditions, the crime rate in the street and neighboring streets is zero, “0”. However if anyone tells you that Istanbul is a safe city, they will be lying as in any other metropolitan.
ACCESS TO TRANSPORTATION: Walking distance to following lines – minutes are provided as average minimums and maximums, calculated according to comments of previous guests and personal experiences;
-Şişhane Metro station (7-10 minutes)
-Taksim Metro Station (9-13 minutes)
-Historical Tünel (World’s second oldest subway line)(Closest link to tram lines) (8-12 minutes)
-Public buses on Refik Saydam going to almost all destinations of Istanbul, including Atatürk Airport (3-5 minutes)
-Port of Kasımpaşa where you can take boats to Historical Peninsula (Eminönü Port), Tram lines (Karaköy Port), Asian Side (Üsküdar Port) (8-11 minutes)
-Gümüşsuyu dolmuş to Beşiktaş (12-15 minutes)
WALKING DİSTANCE TOURISTIC SPOTS (5 to 20 minutes):
-St. Anthony of Padua Church
-Çiçek Pasajı, Cite de Pera
-Historical Galatasaray Hammam (In addition to several more historical hammams)
-Neve Şalom Synagogue
-German Protestants Church
-Borusan Culture and Arts Galery
-Istanbul Modern Arts Museum
-Aya Nikola (Hagia Nicolas)
-The Holy Church of St John of the Chiots
-Cezayir (Algerian) Street, known as French Street also
-Santa Maria Draperis Church
-Surp Yerrortutyun Armenian Catholic Church
-Panayia Orthodox Church
-Arter (Exhibition Center – Part of Istanbul Bieanal)
-Salt Beyoğlu (Exhibition Center – Part of Istanbul Bieanal)
-Yapı Kredi Nedim Tör Museum
-Le Palais de France à Istanbul
-Ağa Camii (“Cami”: Mosque in Turkish)
-Ekmekçibaba Ali Camii
-Mother Mary Syrian Church
-Poet Adam Mickiewicz Church
-Museum of Innocence (Orhan Pamuk museum)
-Turkish Jews Museum
-…. (There are more than several hundreds :) )
WALKING DİSTANCE TOURISTIC SPOTS (20 to 50 minutes):
-Grand Bazaar, Egyptian Bazaar
-Sultanahmet Area (Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Topkapı Palace and hundreds of more historical masterpieces from 3 Empires that ruled İstanbul)
-Due to physical constraints (the stairs inside the house and 40 meters of rapid slope on the way home) the house is not available for friends with walking disabilities and children below the age 10)
Hey, hey, hey, forget about what was written below, and stay tuned. Will be back soon, better than ever ;)
Profile on 2012:
I know you have seen many names on this account so let me explain the clear picture to you to avoid conclusion.
This house I own was being sublet to guests visiting Istanbul since the beginning of August.
I started this work as a result of request of my friends there in Istanbul and my part was only to reply your messages via airbnb since I actually live in Kiev, Ukraine.
They were responsible for all the actual work there, to meet and greet you, to provide you with a healthy and clean environment.
At first things started quite good, however in time, my young pals started showing that they have different priorities than to keep the place worthy of your interest to stay there.
Since I received terrible comments yesterday, resulting in a reservation cancellation and guests leaving earlier than planned, I have decided to take this small business on hold.
I will be back when i am able to return to Turkey and meet your needs in the way I wish.
For current reservations, what i can tell is, it is more than understandable for me if you decide to cancel them. As of now, I cannot assure the level of service you get will be satisfactory. There are reservations even in two days and all I can assure is the handling of key at this moment.
I am extremely sorry about this picture and I am asking sincerely for apologies..
You know what they say; do it yourself or go without!
Once again, sorry. Hope to serve you with the quality level you deserve in the nearest future.