Dolunay Bungalows

This delightful collection of bungalows set in their own gardens and right by the sea provides visitors with everything they need for a comfortable holiday.

For more details contact English speaking Mr Halil Ören on 0536 326 56 26.

Car Hire Istanbul

old car image

Over the past 5 years we have rented quite a few cars from Istanbul Ataturk Airport. If car hire could be made to be complicated and difficult then you could hold Istanbul up as the model example for having achieved this goal.

We hire between 3-4 cars a year through Istanbul Airport. The results have been a mixed and varied assortment of disappointing experiences. The professionalism and reliability of local firms leaves something to be desired. After 5 long years of hoping to find a better experience we have come to the conclusion that you are better off sticking with the big brand names rather than trying to find cheap car hire online.

Most of the online car rental sites are just brokers. They pass their bookings onto the likes of local firms like Circular Car Hire and Essence so in actual fact you think you are dealing with a branded company but you are  actually dealing with a booking agent and the hit and miss service that often comes with a local provider.

We have used Economy Car Hire, Economy Rentals, Cizgi Car Hire and a host of Online Bookings through Travel Up, Expedia and Car Trawler which inevitably almost always put you at the mercy of a local small operator.

There are many pitfalls to booking online. The Online sites claim to provide full insurance but the first thing that the car rental company does is to try and sell you additional insurance to cover the windscreen, tyres and undercarriage of the vehicle. They then add the HGS or OGS Highway Toll at anywhere from 10 to 30 Euros and leave you with a car with no fuel in it.

Local agents are only interested in taking your cash. There is no going through the controls of the vehicle and explaining how things work. You should also check your car very carefully for damages as anything not listed on the original hire documents paperwork could result in you having to pay damages when you return the vehicle.

Perhaps the most frustrating element of hiring a car in Istanbul is that you are promised to be met by a company rep of the car company your car hire has been placed with. They are hardly ever present waiting for you. Ultimately it is up to you to contact them from the number you were given with your booking form. Not a great start when you arrive tired off a flight and then have to make contact yourself to actually acquire your vehicle. To top it all they will expect you to pay for the car park charges for the vehicle having been brought to you.

We have heard every excuse there is to hear about why we have not been met. We have been fobbed off with sub standard vehicles and cars that varied considerably from what our booking specified.

Chasing a cheap rental price will ultimately end in tears and frustration. It really isn’t worth it. Our very last trip via online booking was through Travel Up via Car Trawler but with a local operator. The price was good. We were promised a Fiesta or similar vehicle with full insurance and the confirmation that we would be met at the airport. What followed was comical.

The car company Rental Provider was Essence. The meet and greet did not take place. We phoned the company. They struggled to find our booking and then promised to deliver the car asap. Half an hour later they turned up with a battered Fiat Punto with a cracked windscreen.

We started to go through the paperwork. The rep could not process our credit card for the deposit or the rental fee. He would not take cash and the deal was terminated there and then. Such unprofessional behavior is the norm here in Istanbul.

I went back into the main terminal and approached Rent Go who have an agency in the main hall. They promptly produced a new Ford Fiesta for £19 a day with full insurance. Really! Was it worth all the stress to get a car 25% cheaper online. Nope. Not at all. The stupidity of the whole situation is that I used the same card that the other rental company had declined and it worked fine with Rent Go.

Seriously. Do yourself a favour and go with a decent Car Rental Company. Life really is too short.

 

 

 

 

Kösedere Village

Kösedere village is approximately 35 km from Ezine and one of the closest villages to Tavakli. In fact, with a population of around 1,200 it is the largest village in the area.

The village income is derived mainly from agriculture and particularly vegetable produce. Livestock such as sheep and goats and olive oil production is also a valuable source of income for the village. Situated near the Aegean coast there is also a large fresh water reservoir near the village of Kösedere.

 

Our Mosque

Tavakli mosque might look just like any other mosque to a visitor passing through but this is the centre of the community and it is very well looked after and revered by the citizens of Tavakli village.

Tavakli mosque welcomes all visitors. Please take the time to visit the mosque for prayer or to look around. Visiting a mosque is a learning experience and followers of Islam welcome tourists to the mosque.

Please observe simple rules of etiquette when visiting so as not to cause offence. The most important thing is to leave your shoes in the area provided before you enter the mosque and to act as you would in any house of God. Avoid talking loudly, turn off your mobile phone and do not take food or drink inside the mosque. Most of the rules are common sense.

Basically, dress appropriately and make sure your legs are covered and that you are respectful of your surroundings. If in doubt ask and someone will happily escort you around and put you right if you make any mistakes.

May Allah be with you at every step you take,
May Allah guide you in each decision you make,
May Allah help you when life gets rough,
May Allah Bless you with more than enough,
May Allah protect you when you fall,
May Allah hear you when you call,
May Allah sooth your heart when you don’t understand,
May you always be in Allah’s loving Hand.. Ameen

Village Hall Appeal!

DSC_0203

This is a magnificent old building and basically a sound structure but the roof is in a poor state and needs attention. With a new roof and some windows, a lick of paint and a bit of effort, this could be an amazing community centre and a good playground for the children of the village.

Sadly there are not enough funds to pay for the work needed but if you know anyone who could help please contact our village leader ( Muhtar ) Mr Ender Şengül on 0542 6700591 who will direct you to the right department.

Agricultural Cart

DSC_0199
Prior to the late 1980’s agricultural carts of this nature could be found in villages and towns across Turkey. Many of these carts are over 50 years old. There are not so many around today. In Tavakli village one such example of a cart in very good condition is Auntie Hanife’s.
DSC_0201
Look at the detail on the side of the cart. You can tell it has been well looked after and kept out of the rain and bad weather. Such carts are hard to find these days. It is a pity that there is no special place to display the cart in the centre of the village where people could view and admire its beauty.

 

Neandrea ( Neandreia )

The view from Mount Çığrı is spectacular. The granite formations stand tall and proud across the plain of this ancient walled city of Neandrea. To the casual tourist this archaelogical site might not seem that impressive but dig a little deeper and you will appreciate why this is an important historical landmark.

The remaining defence walls are all that is left of what must have once been a large city. Tracing the route of the walls and what is left of them you begin to get an idea of the sheer scale of this place. Dating back to the 8th century B.C. granite would have been quarried out of the mountain.