About Us

Our Company

Mission, Vision and Values

Mission

Helping people to travel effortlessly by providing excellent quality service.

Vision

Be a trusted and innovative travel management company. Providing our customers with unforgettable memories, enjoyment and guaranteed service that exceeds their expectations.

Values

1.Solve it Together

Travel at times can bring forward hurdles. We will be here along your journey to ensure that you are supported.

2.Deliver with clarity and honesty.

We foster a positive atmosphere. You will know where you stand throughout your journey with us.

3.Give it all you got

We believe that the only way to do great work is by loving what you do. We find inspiration from those we meet and serve on our tours.

Why Choose Istanbul Guide

Our goals is to bring people together from all walks of life. Through our tours and services, we hope to give back to the community to put light into the hard work that local people do to make the experience of travelers a memorable one. The impact of Covid19 has caused a ripple effect that has created the vacuum for the cycle of poverty, for many.  Prices listed on our website are done so that we can provide fair pay to our guides, hotels, and accommodations while we cater and respect our travelers. 

The care for humanity is in the forefront of our services. Without community there would be no us. Therefore, prices are subject to change to reflect the state of changes in Turkey, as the nation continues to recover from the impacts of Covid19. 

Meet Our Team

Onur Kose

Co-Founder Istanbul Guide

About Onur

Onur is raised in Istanbul. The passion he holds for Istanbul (the city he calls home) can be felt from the moment you begin to discover its beautiful history with Onur’s guidance.

Onur attended  Mugla University in Turkey and holds a background in Travel and Tour Management along with training through the Ministry of Tourism Turkey focusing on Guiding Tourism. For nearly two decades Onur has been supporting those who visit Turkey.
Onur’s passion for this work grew out of his interest in history, philosophy, and archeology. Onur’s years of experience have molded out for him to be the perfect companion for your travels. If you are looking for the right guide in order to gain the best experience as you take a journey across history’s prized civilization, then you have come to the right place.

Onur is the creative mind behind the tours that you see on this website. He designs and operates on ground, working closely with Safra. 
Language’s spoken: English, Turkish, and conversational Spanish

Safra Farouque

Co-Founder Istanbul Guide

About Safra

Safra was raised in the multifaceted city of Toronto, Canada. From a young age, Safra was fascinated by the Ottoman Empire and the history of Turkey. Safra has visited numerous cities across Turkey in 2013 and continued to make visits to the beautiful country.
Safra holds a Bachelor of Honors Degree in Psychology and Humanities from York University and Diploma in Social Service Work from Sheridan College. Under her degree in the Humanities, Safra studied history, philosophy, and religion/mysticism. Safra also completed her Program and Project Management Certification from the University of Maryland and she is currently completing her Travel and Tourism Management Certification from the University of Queensland.

He has chosen to return to York University to complete her Risk Management Program. 
With her knowledge and education in business, working with people, and passion for human history, Safra is able to ensure that your step into Istanbul is done with precise care. She will be the person of contact for all Canadian Travelers. She will work closely with Onur to ensure the visit to Turkey is splendid. 

Sabrina Khan

Social Media and Marketing Coordinator

About Sabrina

Sabrina was born in Dubai and raised in UK with a desire to explore and display the beauty of the world using social media tools.
Sabrina graduated from Henley Business School with a Frist Class degree in Business and Management where she focused on Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship. She has spent much of her professional experience working in the Marketing and Social Media space and is now currently working towards her Tourism and Management qualification with the University of Queensland.

Zul Kassamali

Service Advisor and Consultant

About Zul

Zul is an individual who has worked tirelessly to overcome prejudices and to right social injustices, not through angry words or retribution, but through positive action. He has over 50 plus years of solid experience in establishing, managing and working with not-for-profit, interfaith and other community organizations, sitting on many boards, commissions and councils.

Here are some of Zul’s accomplishments in his years of service to better communities:

 

He has served as the Governor of Seneca College.

The National Council of Welfare for Canada.

Ontario Health Quality Council.

Panel Judge on Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario.

Premier’s Round Table on Elder Abuse.

One of the Eight Ontarians selected on the Tsunami Spirit Team.

Conciliation and Arbitration Board of Ontario.

His Highness The Aga Khan Council for Ontario.

Convenor, Institute of Ismail Studies, United Kingdom.

Board Member, International Federation on Aging.

Mr. Kassamali has attended all the G8 -G20

World Religious Conferences, including the World Religions for Peace conference in Vienna.

 

Zul is the HONORARY CHIEF OF TORONTO POLICE.

 

Currently he is the President of The National Alliance for the Advancement of Pluralistic Societies. (1NAAS)

President Toronto Area Interfaith Council.

Co-Chair RCMP Diversity Council.

Co-Chair Toronto

Vice President Association of Progressive Muslims of Canada.

Co-Chair Canadian Interfaith Conversation.

Vice President Canadian Foundation of Asian Culture

President Multicultural Council for Ontario Seniors.

 

Zul’s contribution to Istanbul Guide will entail his expert knowledge on advancing local cultures and displaying the unique heritage and history of the Turkish people. He will work closely with the Service Delivery element of the business connecting tourism and preservation of culture. Zul has a personal interest and desire in Turkish history stemming from the rise of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey’s connection to the historical Silk Road, which connected Turkey to Spain, Portugal and Northern Africa.

Languages Spoken:Gujarati, Swahili, Katchi and Hindi.

Taimoor Abbasi

Web Developer

About Taimoor

Taimoor is our Web Master who was born and raised in Pakistan. He graduated with a Computer Science Degree and during his sophomore year, he started his own digital agency by the name of Elbtys with a team of 6 people. He is specialized in web and blockchain technology but as a team, they provide A-Z services to their clients. From design to development they take care of everything and after your product is launched they even help you to market your product to potential customers. Taimoor begin supporting the Istanbul Guide team since the time of its early development. Taimoor is responsible for creating the website and ongoing support in ensuring a smoother customer experience. 

The collaboration between Onur and Safra

Safra and Onur met nearly 10 years ago during a tour across Turkey. The intent of creating a business and platform to showcase the beauty of Turkey begin in the early stages of their friendship. Life took them in different directions; however, on a recent trip that Safra took with her family to Turkey,  the impact of Covid19 pandemic was visible and the stories of struggle that Onur shared was seen by the numerous encounters Safra had during her stay – from shop keepers, hotel staff, caretakers, restaurant owners, even Onur. It was apparent to both that this vision 10 years ago must now become a reality to support  economic recovery and  well-being.

The intent of this initiative is to bring travelers to the beautiful country of Turkey to take in the history it offers, while exposing them to the people who have made the country become what it is. The culture that is carried on by the people of Turkey is what keeps it a magical place to visit over and over again. 

Safra will help book and prepare you for your trip.   Onur will help ensure that all requirements, sites, and transportation is arranged upon your arrival in Istanbul when you book with us. He is the creative mind behind the itineraries you see on our page. Onur is the key advisor to tours for Safra, as a Turkish national. All arrangements for travelers are supported by Safra.

We also arrange transportation from the airport to your hotel/residence.
If you are looking to create a custom tour, we also offer a free consultation over phone or video, where both Onur or/and Safra can help by getting to know you and creating a magnificent trip full of memories.

More Tours in Development. Stay tuned!

Partnership with Yilmaz Kalyoncu

The founder of the company, Yilmaz Ermi Kalyoncu, continues his guidance and agency services that he started in Turkey and Greece, based in London as of 2020.

Born in Istanbul, Kalyoncu completed his university education in the field of Tourism at Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University in 2004. In addition to working as a Professional Tourist Guide in English and Greek languages ​​officially in the Republic of Turkey since 2006, he has also worked as a Sworn Translator in these languages. He has also worked as a Guide/Tour Leader in around 50 countries abroad.

Yilmaz and Onur have been long time friends and colleagues in the industry. They met in the year 2000 (22 years ago), and both went aboard to explore England. Their friendship has continued to carry through. 

If you are interested in tours to Greece after your visit with us in Turkey, we are happy to connect you to Yilmaz who continues to tour in Greece. 

 

Join our team

We are always looking for talented individuals and
people who are hungry to do great work.