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Saffet Emre

Historian, Travel Writer, Professional Guide


“Passion for travelling comes from seeing the world as a jigsaw puzzle. Every trip will be a piece in this puzzle.” 

Passion for travelling is genetic

Saffet Emre Tonguç travels, takes photographs and writes. Tonguç made it his profession to leave his home behind and travel. He explains his feelings thus: “passion for travelling is genetically coded into people. For me, this desire has broadened my horizons and perspectives. For most people life consists of working and acquiring property. For me, the important thing is to acquire mental affluence.”

Tonguç has been on numerous expeditions and journeys to more than one hundred countries. He says that Turkey should in theory be one of the world’s premier travel destinations, but there are major deficiencies in the way the country is promoted abroad. “Turkey is the shortest distance between points A and B. For this reason, an amazing number of civilisations left their mark on the country. One of the most reliable guide books, Lonely Planet, says ‘If you want to see Greek ruins, go to Turkey, not to Greece; if you want to see Roman ruins, go to Turkey, not to Italy’. This is so true! But we are not aware of this and we don’t appreciate it. I have been to more than one hundred countries; of all these places, Anatolia made one of the greatest impressions on me.”

Who is Saffet Emre Tonguç?

Saffet Emre Tonguç started working as a tour guide in 1987 whilst studying tourism. Since 1990 his amateur photographs have appeared in various international publications, primarily in the USA and Australia. He was a narrator on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” In 2005, he received the Rotary Club’s Professional Excellence Award. He has travelled to around one hundred countries both for professional reasons and personal interest. He was named Turkey’s most well-travelled tour guide by the Turkish Association of Tourist Guides in 2005. He holds the award for “Best Travel Writer 2006.” 

Speech Topics

  • 101 places to see: In the World, in Europe, in the USA and in Turkey…
  • Istanbul and night
  • Wealths of Turkey
  • Exclusive routes