(Federation of Turkish Tourist Guide Associations)
The tourist guide guilds and associations gathered under TUREB are as follows:
ALRED – Association of Professional Tourist Guides of Alanya
ARED – Association of Professional Tourist Guides of Ankara
ARO – Tourist Guides’ Guild of Antalya
BORED – Association of Professional Tourist Guides of Bodrum
ÇARED – Association of Professional Tourist Guides of Çanakkale
ÇİRED – Association of Chinese Speaking Professional Tourist Guides
ÇURED – Association of Professional Tourist Guides of Çukurova
GARED – Association of Professional Tourist Guides of Gaziantep
GÜMRED – Association of Professional Tourist Guides of Southern Marmara
İRO – Tourist Guides’ Guild of İstanbul
KARED – Association of Professional Tourist Guides of Kapadokya
KARDER – Association of Professional Tourist Guides of Black Sea, Trabzon
KURED – Association of Professional Tourist Guides of Kuşadası
MARED – Association of Professional Tourist Guides of Marmaris
ŞURED – Association of Professional Tourist Guides of Şanlıurfa
VANTURED – Association of Professional Tourist Guides of Van
YURED – Association of Greek Speaking Professional Tourist Guides
TUREB is a member of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) and European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations – FEG.
TUREB is the national federation, which was formed with a Protocol of Cooperation and Coordination among Professional Organizations of Turkish Tourist Guides. It consists of tourist guide guilds and associations with more than 5-6 thousand members from all over Turkey. The head office of TUREB is in the same place as IRO’s.
TUREB was founded by considering the problem of formation of shared opinion and representation caused by the fact that the professional organizations of Turkish tourist guides are gathered under different identities and associations, and accepting that tourist guides must gather under a uniform organization, tourist guiding must be recognized as a “profession”, a Bill of Law concerning the profession and organization of tourist guides must be passed in order to solve the above mentioned problems, and coordination must be established among the existing professional organizations so that the ongoing administrative and professional endeavours concerning the profession and organization of tourist guides reach a successful conclusion, the shared problems of tourist guides are identified, and suggestions for solution are generated.
We have become a member of the FEG and the WFTGA. By using our relations with other countries, we are planning to improve our regulations in Turkey.
IRO is Istanbul Tourist Guides’ Guild founded under the Turkish Laws for the tourist guides living in Istanbul. Today, IRO is the oldest and largest tourist guide organisation in Turkey. With almost 3000 members it is a very strong professional organisation. In our Istanbul office we have 9 employees working for both IRO and TUREB on salary. Some are public relations experts, secretaries and some are web publishers, technicians etc.
We have rented and restored the third and fourth floors of a beautiful 19th century building right in the center of Istanbul and it is only 5 minutes walk to the Taksim Square. The third floor is IRO/TUREB office floor and conference-exhibition hall. We have decorated the 4th floor as a café-bar and restaurant for our member guides. It has been active since January 2005 as a Tourist Guides’ Club, named ROL, with a seating capacity of 60-70 people.
TUREV is the Tourist Guides’ Foundation founded by 108 trustees. It has been established in order to prepare social, cultural and economical activities for Turkish tourist guides, to enhance professional solidarity, and work towards increasing the importance and respectability of this sector in the Turkish economy, and putting its tourism potential into practice.
Although it was founded by 108 people, its constitution was prepared in a way that it will cover all of the tourist guides in Turkey. Last few years our foundation applied for some international funds for our “Children and Museums” project. In this project, tourist guides, who have had training in pedagogy, drama and first aid, are taking elementary school children to museums and archaeological sites free of charge so that children can be aware of the historical richness of the lands they live on. Our application was accepted and we got 45 thousand US Dollars for this project and we dealt with 4800 children. We are trying to continue our project, and get more and more extensive throughout Turkey in the following years.
We accept donations from professional tourist guides and give scholarships to the children of our deceased colleagues.
Websites and mail groups:
www.tureb.net: We are continuing to contribute to the world of tourism through a dynamic website, which is updated daily to publish announcements and developments concerning our profession as well as all kinds of news related to cultural assets and tourism.
Apart from the website, we have a mail group for discussion between our colleagues. More than 1500 tourist guides from all over Turkey discuss their opinions vigorously and share their experiences. It is a free-talk platform.
www.turkishguides.org: TUREB has established a website to provide easy access to tourist guides by travelers, travel agencies and tour operators. There are hundreds of tourist guides listed in this online catalogue. Each guide has to pay a fee of 20 US dollars. This income is not enough to sustain the website but TUREB takes care of the expenses.
www.turizmhabercisi.com: We have launched another website as an online tourism newspaper in Turkish. It is updated 5-6 times a day. A lot of tourism professionals start their days by reading our online paper. In this website we look at events from tourist guides’ perspective and publish articles of tourist guides and tourism professionals.
Tourist Guides’ Catalogue: TUREB has prepared a comprehensive catalogue as a reliable database and reference source on tourist guides. The first print of this hard copy catalogue covered 450, and the second print covers more than 800 guides.
Ongoing Training: By law, each tourist guide has to get a visa (re-register) for his guiding license each year. To get this visa, every tourist guide has to take minimum three seminars each year. These seminars are offered by TUREB. Thousands of tourist guides are receiving training on issues determined by surveys among tourist guides each year. The seminars cover a wide variety of subjects ranging from the Hittite History to the Art of Effective Speaking and Body Language, Ottoman Architecture, and Turkey-European Union Relationships. We pick the best lecturers in their fields.
Certificate Programs: According to the changing demands of the tourism industry, TUREB also organizes specialty seminars for the tourist guides such as the training programs on the Gallipolis Campaign (ANZACS), Biblical Tours in Anatolia, Neolithic Settlements, The Jewish Heritage Tours, Ecotourism, In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, etc.
Conferences, panels, field trips: In addition to seminars and certificate programs, many conferences and panel discussions, participated by a variety of speakers from foreign experts to university lecturers, are organized in order to provide the tourist guides with diverse and comprehensive information. Especially in winter months, we have at least one activity in almost everyday.
We have conducted many training and field trips within and outside Turkey such as educational training tours to Greece, Syria, Kastamonu, Excavations at Troy, Tokat, Mardin, etc.
We pay importance to entertainment in order to enhance “sharing” among us. We frequently come together for various reasons such as celebrations, cocktails, dinners and balls.
Exhibitions: Exhibitions of tourist guides’ paintings and photographs are held in TUREB Yasemin Cebenoyan Meeting Hall for publicity.
World Tourist Guides Day: On 21 February each year The World Tourist Guides Day is celebrated by the member organizations of TUREB through various activities like panels, conferences, voluntary tour guiding, dinners, etc. For instance in the last party we had in Istanbul, the number of guides and guests, was more than 600.
We admire and pay our respect to senior tourist guides. Member organizations of TUREB are organizing special gatherings in order to hear and benefit from their experiences. We are respectful for the past.
Tourism Week and Fairs: The tourist guides are actively participating in the celebrations of Tourism Week held between 15 and 22 April each year in order to promote tourism consciousness in the society.
We support and participate in the Tourism Fairs by our activities and exhibition stands.
TUREB Trophies/Awards: A few years ago we started TUREB awards. We carry out some polls on the Internet among tourist guides, we altogether decide on areas of awards and then nominate various people and organizations. On the 21st of February, with the participation of our ministers, mayors, governors, press we hold one full day activity for almost hundreds of tourist guides. Conferences, exhibitions, performances and an award ceremony take place all day long. The next day we show up in the media.
As TUREB, we are participating in all kinds of platforms which will improve the tourism policies. We are one of the active actors in the tourism policies.
TUREB Forests: Within the context of Protection of Environment and Nature, we have started TUREB forests in Ankara and Antalya. Thousands of pine trees have been planted. We can show these forests to our travelers from the coaches as their locations were chosen by the highways.
Consumer Rights: TUREB has started the first discussions concerning consumer rights in Turkish tourism, and organized conferences and panels inviting international experts to Turkey. For instance, we invited Mr. John Downes from Scotland to give a lecture on consumer rights in Turkey and he did deliver his lecture very successfully. We published a brochure for consumers on illegal guiding and prepared a poster for museums and archaeological sites.
TUREB prepared and published a comprehensive booklet “Travel Tips by Tourist Guides” concerning dos and don’ts for travelers during their travels.
First Crossroads, now Heritage: Who could possibly know Turkey better than tourist guides? The Heritage magazine issued by TUREB, promotes Anatolia through guides’ eyes. Published quarterly in English and Turkish with a circulation of 30.000, the magazine is appreciated by a wide scale of readers, both local and foreign.
Rehber Dünyası (Tourist Guide’s World): This magazine is published quarterly with the aim of providing a platform of communication among the tourist guides and introducing them to the society in its kind whereby experiences are shared, professional issues, interviews and original researches are printed, and thus other representatives of the tourism sector as well as the tourist guides are addressed.
Cooperation with other NGO’s: We are cooperating with the other nongovernmental organizations on the grounds of shared goals. WWF is one of them for instance. We partner in some projects and preparing a protocol on training tourist guides as observers of sustainable tourism.
Public Relations and Media Coverage: TUREB and the member organizations frequently appear on the press with their activities and the press bulletins prepared by “Press and Public Relations Department” in order to inform the public opinion and our colleagues.