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Ahmet Koçak, a warm host in "Paradise Regained"...

Ahmet Kocak, a passionate Anatolia lover, was born in İstanbul in 1963 . Following his secondary and high school education at the French College of Saint Benoît, he graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences. During high school, he worked as a tour guide, a profession that awakened an endless love in him for Anatolia . The love he felt for the nature, the geography and the people of Anatolia inspired him that he changed his educational plans and toured the country as a guide during 14 years. The turning point of his life was the coincidental visit he made to Şirince ( "charming" in Turkish) in 1988. In this old Greek village, he restored two old houses in 1993 to serve Turkey 's tourism. In so doing he pioneered the concept of "boutique hotels" in provincial Turkey.

Jean-Paul Roux
In 1982, having met the famous French professor of Turkology, Mr. Jean-Paul Roux, on one of his tours in Anatolia -which gradually resulted in an adopted father-and-son relationship – Kocak found an opportunity to gain a richer knowledge of Turkish-Islamic Art. Furthermore, his friends Nicole Thierry and Catherine Jolivet-Lévy, world-famous names in Byzantine iconography, led him to become an expert on didactic Byzantine Art, especially on Byzantine churches in Capadocia, the Church of Saint-Savior in Chora in İstanbul and on the frescoes of Sumela Monastery in Trabzon . Byzantine Art has actually been an area of interest for him since the very beginning. His successful graduation thesis for the professional Tour Guide Course organized in 1984 by the Turkish Ministry of Culture in Ankara , was on the Basilica of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul .
Kocak, who speaks English, French and Italian, graduated from the School of Politics in İzmir in 1994 scoring the highest marks. In 1997, he started working as a translator in French, for the training programs on fiber-optics technology at a factory in Turkey . He became interested in the subject and completed the program as an expert.
Kocak is currently spending his time hosting Turkish and foreign guests at his 6-room and 14-bed "boutique hotel", SIRINCE EVLERI, having kept to his principle of completing every mission with meticulous care, as it would be expected from an Aquarian. He accompanies his guests at breakfast, giving information on Anatolia , Turkey and the Turks. He shares the accumulated knowledge of his 20 years tour-guide experience, explaining the history and legends of Ephesus , the Temple of Artemis , the Basilica of St. John and the House of Virgin Mary. He also accompanies those who wish to tour with him in other cities and listen to the majesty of Byzantine, the magnificence of the Ottoman Empire and the power of faith in Capadocia. He responds to requests to guide only in English and French, which he speaks as perfectly and fluently as his mother- tongue. His guests, however, referring to the perfect Italian he speaks, have not yet persuaded him to provide tour guidance in Italian.
Kocak is also involved in the designing, production and marketing of the Turkish handcrafted products, especially hand-woven home furniture accessories and ladies accessories in silk and wool, such as table-cloths, table-runners, bed-spreads, throws and pillow-cases, as well as shawls and scarves. He has recently made these original products which he exports to the USA , Australia , Canada and France , available on-line for his Turkish and foreign visitors who do not have the opportunity to buy them in his boutique shop , Motif, in Sirince. Kocak invites you to discover the fascinating world of Turkish handcrafted products at www.motifTR.com.

To more richly explore the Ephesus region with Ahmet Kocak, please contact him at guide@sirince-evleri.com .

Sirince Village Selcuk (Ephesus), Izmir TURKEY
Tel: +90 (232) 898 30 99   Faks: +90 (232) 898 30 63