Testimonies from Eastern Turkey and Black Sea Travelers

Spring 2105

Our endorsement is that we have found the ancient sites to be more amazing than we ever expected. The cities are have all the modern comforts, are clean and very safe. Plus having such a knowledgeable, well connected and personable leader makes everything run very smoothly.

– Dave & Gail Lingnau, Calgary-Canada

Here is what I have seen; ancient lands, artifacts and mosaics. I have ben queried by friendly people on the street, smiling and curious. Families gathering on park lawns for a picnic dinner, children running and laughing. Bustling streets safe night and day.Modern hotels with every amenity.

What I have not seen: guns or weapons of any kind, ragged refugees, danger of any kind or ISIS.

– Sue LaCabe , Santa Barbara, Ca.

Come to Turkey! Beautiful countryside, beautiful people and beautiful ruins. I have been delighted with everything—from the infrastructure to the small nooks and cranies and alleyways of the older areas. We have wandered the streets at night with ease, strolling with an after dinner ice cream. My friends at home thought I was crazy to come here, but all is perfectly safe and our fearless leader Umit is the best.

– Christine Jent, Santa Barbara, Ca.


Oh my…so many sites, so many captivating experiences….every day a treasure to remember. We are in Mardin, having come from Antakya via Ganzientep and Sanliurfa…along the Syrian border. Yes, this may sound intimidating, given the media coverage at home. However, I have not experienced feelings of unease or danger in this area. My husband and I booked this trip a year ago, followed our news coverage from the states of the deterioration in Syria/Iraq etc….with refugees flooding in, etc. However, the reality here is quite different. Refugees are processed quickly and given work permits and assimilated into the population. Yes, there is a bit of military presence, but no feeling of unrest.

We traveled with Umit to the Stans with the same fears several years ago. With his assurance that he would not take his group into harms way, we ventured on without regret. He had assured us he would cancel the trip if the political situation and danger warranted so. So too with this trip.

– Andrea Yee & Bruce Kendall, Eagle Rock, CA.

Turkey Adventure,

When I made my decision to visit Turkey, I vassilated between excitement and dread. In the end, the decision to make the trip has turned out to be the best I could have made. All concerns about safety or insurgencies were soon dispelled as we found the Turkish people so welcoming, accommodating, friendly and charming. The countryside in Eastern Turkey is highly populated and very safe. The travel via small van, along well developed highways, with Umit, who is so very knowledgeable, has made this an incredible experience. If you’re looking for an adventure of a lifetime, then I’d highly recommend this trip and put your fears and concerns to rest. There are not even remote hints of any military or insurgency issues to be dealt with. Cities are highly populated and very safe, such that you can wander the streets at night after an evening meal. Come and enjoy, you’ll never look back.

– Jeffrey Inselmann, San Antonio, TX.

This is my second travel adventure with Treasures of Travel. Once again, Umit’s organization and care for our welfare and safety is of the highest order. So far, I have had no contact at all with any other English travelers which probably reflects the government’s official policy rather than the reality of travelling in this part of the world. The whole experience is so contrary to what we are led to believe at home and this is regrettable. Clearly, the contrast between perception and reality can be quite striking. Throughout the journey our group has mixed freely and safely amongst the locals without any issues. People here are friendly and want to communicate when possible, which enriches the whole cultural experience. The growing friendships and shared experiences is wonderful and I would recommend the tour without reservation to my friends and feel sure that they will enjoy themselves as much as I have.

– Stephen Rigby Saddleworth England

This is my second trip to Turkey with Umit but my first trip to Eastern Turkey. My son-in-law’s grandparents were from the Lake Van area and left for America during the very difficult time in Turkish history, so I have a very special reason for visiting this part of Turkey. The people are very friendly, warm, and welcoming. I shopped at the old bazaar in Urfa by myself; everyone was helpful and accommodating. I felt very safe and secure at all times. I wandered the old bazaar in Mardin, again by myself, during a quiet Sunday afternoon when at times I was the only non-local. It was fun taking pictures and shopping. I was transported back to another time and place. Very safe and secure in a different culture, so far from my husband and family.

– Marty Kopra, Austin, Texas

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