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Oğuzhan Abacı

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Guide at a Glance

Guide Bio

Get to Know Turkey Guide Oğuzhan Abacı

Guide Oğuzhan Abacı has been showing people around Turkey since 2002, giving him 13 years of experience. Living in Cappadocia, Oguzhan can give you the low down on this popular destination in Turkey, and with a Masters in History, he can fill you in on the vast background of the ‘cradle of civilisation’.
How did you get into guiding in Cappadocia and in Turkey?

After high school, I enrolled in a vocational college for its guiding department. I was taught lessons about history, architecture, mythology and more. At the end of school, the students had to partake in a round trip of Turkey in order to practice what we learnt. After the second year of my subsequent study at the English Language Teaching department, I passed the proficiency exam and so, got my guiding license.

I first began guiding along with the coastal line of the Eastern Mediterranean region of Turkey. Later I extended farther east, to the south east of Turkey, and to farther west on the coast. As for Cappadocia, one day a friend of mine asked: “Won’t you guide trekking groups in Cappadocia and in the Taurus mountain ranges?” I said, “I do not know the routes to hike with the groups” and he answered “You can learn it, and for this what you need is to go with another guide.” He introduced me to a guide who knew all about the routes (now we are very close friends) and soon I found myself in the valleys of Cappadocia or the high summits of the Taurus Mountains. Cappadocia became a base for me and from there, I extended my services to every corner of Turkey.

How did you make the transition to becoming a tour guide?

My father was ever a model for me. He could speak several foreign languages and encouraged me to learn one. So, my early experiences in the countryside and the memories of my father made me take a step into modern times’ “semi-nomadism” – or travelling in tourism.

Have you got a certain style of guiding, or do you just run with it on the day?

I prefer the tours not to be rushed through, because I believe saying “I have done this” is totally different than saying “I have enjoyed this”. Therefore, I care about comprehensive planning as well as being flexible.

What’s the most bizarre or craziest experience you’ve had on a guided tour?

It was I think five years ago, at the border gate in Kilis. I was waiting to meet a group of six at the exit gate on the Turkish side but I did not have their contact information. The driver and I waited there for maybe half an hour. Meanwhile I had the phone number of a man in Syria, given to me by the travel agency in Turkey. He spoke very poor English – I could only figure out that he had taken the travellers to the border.

After another half an hour there, two or three of the travellers found us and said the others had left for the town centre. I told the driver to take us to the central bus station in town. When we arrived, I talked to maybe a dozen people asking if they had seen such a group of people. Several agreed that about 20 minutes ago the travellers had gotten into a minibus aheading to the centre of the nearest province, Gaziantep. Thanks to them, I talked on the phone with the driver of this minibus who said “Okay. They are with me and sitting at the back.”

Because the driver could not speak English, I requested that he pass his mobile to them. Funny, I could tell that the mobile went to the back of the bus, passed from hand to hand by the Turkish passengers, finally reaching one of the guys that I was looking for. I told him that I would ask the driver to take them to the last stop and that they had to wait for us there. When we got to the bus stop, they were there and eating kebap.

How do you use your Master’s degree in history to inform your guiding – for instance, what sights do you show that you’ve learned about through your studies? 

Turkey hosted many civilisations and beliefs throughout history. For this reason, it fits the description that it is a ‘cradle of civilisation’ very well.  One cannot easily find the details of this in a guide book or a college level history book. My Masters taught me how to be humble and how to use well organised information effectively.

Ever had any odd requests from clients?

Yes, I did, in the ancient ruins of Olympos, in Antalya. A lady asked me with great insistence to show her the Topkapı Palace there. Despite the fact that it is in Istanbul, she interrupted my explanations now and then, asking the same question. No matter what I said, she was not convinced. Probably she had just seen a leaflet with information about Topkapı that day and this caused her to think that it was located somewhere here.

What one sight in Cappadocia should first time travellers see and why? What one Turkish dish should first time travellers taste and why?

Paşabağı. It is an exquisite sight indeed. Though Cappadocia offers a divine panorama in many points, Paşabağı is like a natural studio background for photographers and easy to access. Even I took some of my wedding pictures there.

Kebap in a clay pot is a good option for first time visitors. It tastes like casserole but it only consists of onion, pepper, garlic, tomato and meat. The ingredients are put in clay pot which is covered with a piece of dough to prevent air getting in. The pot is kept in an oven for several hours and when serving, it is broken below the dough by a machete.

Every job has its ups and downs. Are there any aspects of your job that you don’t like or aren’t that keen on?

One thing which I do not like are the situations that make me feel as if I am speaking like a tape recorder the whole trip. Of course, we cannot expect everybody to be an extrovert, but when as a guide you feel that you are speaking to yourself, that is a bit frustrating.

As an experienced guide yourself, can you explain to our readers what the benefits of hiring a guide are?

The guide is, in short, an assistant. The traveller won’t have to work on planning their time during the trip. Secondly, the traveller does not have to spend most of her or his time dealing with ‘what if’ questions.

In your view, what makes a good tour guide?

I think a good guide is one who is enthusiastic to meet people and is someone who communicates well. In most cases, people forget that communication is a spontaneous two-way process. A good guide is a good reader of people, situations, books, etc. A good reading will thus bring a good understanding of the emotions and the will behind the messages conveyed to him. Of course, this will all need an engaged listener. And listening means that you care that they are there.

If you like this, you might also like Explore Turkey and Turkey Like You’ve Never Tasted.


As a person descended from a family of nomadic origin, I thought guiding would really suit me. So, to me, it always sounded like more than just a business – I am a traveller as well. This helps me to see things from travellers’ perspectives, indeed. Through my work and my travels, I have made lots of friends from around the world.

Licensed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey, I’ve been a freelance tour guide for 13 years now. I have led many exclusive, personalized, cultural, nature-based tours countrywide in Turkey. At this point, rather than confining my preferences to a certain type of group I would rather love working with visitors of all ages and groups of all sizes. I can assure you that together we can gear any tour to your special needs or interests.

Should you ever decide to exceed your expectations for your holiday, or go sightseeing with the accompaniment of a professional tour guide, then please do not hesitate to contact me. I will always be keen on assisting you in your visit to Cappadocia or to any corner of Turkey.


* A “National Tourist Guide License” issued by Turkish Federation of Chambers of Tour Guides in accordance with Turkish Laws regarding the profession.
* A certificate of Proficiency in Cappadocia’s Valleys & Hiking jointly given by Turkish Federation of Chambers of Tour Guides and Nevşehir (Cappadocia) Professional Tour Guides Chamber.
* Proficiency Expedition in South Eastern Turkey organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkish Republic.

*Nevşehir University, Doctoral Student, History
* Nevsehir University, Master’s Degree, History
* Anadolu University, B.A. Degree, English Language Teaching
* Kocaeli University, Vocational College, Guidance in Tourism
* A certificate of photoghraphy & videotape.

Should you book your tour with me or not, I would like to take this occasion to thank you all for reading these pages and spending your very valuable time reading about me.

Oğuzhan Abacı's Reviews

  • oguzhan

    It’s very kind of you Lori, thank you! Thank you for your tactful company. I wish you the most divine inspiration to make the ideal decision on your business life ahead. All the best to you.

    Your friend Oğuzhan

  • Lori Dolginoff

    As a global single female traveler, I’ve had a lot of experience hiring travel guides over the years. For me, Oguzhan holds a special place among them all. He positioned himself as a friend vs a guide right from the start which created a much more personalized experience. He listened carefully to customize options on the fly based on my preferences which was only possible because of his deep knowledge of the area. His love of what he does for a living is clear as the experience for me wasn’t about a ‘formula’ but out of a feeling of offering someone a lifetime positive experience from a place he clearly loves. And for any history buffs, his storytelling abilities where both memorable and fun as he put a common sensibility to historical truths. If this review had a rating, I’d offer him a 10+!! -Lori (Sept 2015)

  • oguzhan

    Thank you too Kathleen, for your friendly accompaniment and kindness. I think, I should say getting the advantage of your immense knowledge was all pleasure for me. Hope to see you again. Greetings to James!

    Kind Regards

  • Kathleen Bishop

    Oguzhan was our guide for two days in Cappadocia. As priests in the Episcopal Church, USA, my husband and I were drawn to Cappodiccia for its Biblical history. We got that and much more. Oguzhan took us around to the underground city and the open air museum which featured St. Basil. He is so knowledgeable about all of the Abrahamic faiths and great company to boot!

  • Bruce and Judie

    Oğuzhan Abaci was our guide for two days of touring and hiking in Cappadocia this past April (2015). We had a wonderful experience there, to which he added a great deal. His combined knowledge of the terrain and its complex human history were extremely valuable. And we enjoyed his good company as well.

    Thank you again, Oğuzhan!

    • oguzhan

      Thank you Bruce, thank you Judie for your kind words. It was a great delight for me to spend those days with you. Always welcome to Turkey!
      Kind Regards
      Your friend in Cappadocia

Professional & Freelance Tour Guide for Cappadocia, OĞUZHAN ABACI

I have been working as a professional freelance tour guide since 2002 with the certification of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Republic of Turkey. With 27 years experience in the tourism industry and almost 20 years in guiding now, I have led groups of many different sizes and types to all corners of Turkey. with joy with love... Kind regards Oğuzhan

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