Here the advantages of couchsurfing emerges. You can’t get to know Istanbul just by coming here with a cruise ship and a rushed sloppy tour. The real interesting aspects of the city are the side streets, away from tourist groups. Talking about Istanbul, eating the traditional “zerde” dessert in Vefa Bozacısı, Zeyrek Kahvehanesi or a typical restaurant in Sütlüce will leave a deeper impression in mind. There are hundreds of mosques, churches, museums, many are similar to each other, and you’re confused. I think that it takes to be inside the social life of a particular country to be a real traveller.
I add young people, who become my guest via couchsurfing, to my life for a few days. They listen to my conferences at schools, come to the university, attend radio-television programmes, go shopping with me on the side streets, drink real Turkish coffee.
In terms of geography, the whole of Mardin province, Adıyaman Nemrut Mountain Tanrı Sculptures, Ani Remains in Kars, motorbike tours in Canyons in Erzincan Kemaliye and the tonnes of green in Artvin Borçka across Turkey should be experienced.