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The Guides’ Advocacy Focused on “Those Who Do Not Know Foreign Languages ​​Cannot Become Guides” Threw the Entire Sector into a Whirlpool


The Guides’ Advocacy Focused on “Those Who Do Not Know Foreign Languages ​​Cannot Become Guides” Threw the Entire Sector into a Whirlpool

The “Law on Amendments to the Tourist Guide Profession Law No. 7500”, which came into force without taking the opinions and suggestions of sector representatives working with different segments and product ranges and a wide range of people who will have the ability to represent all of them, received intense reactions from the stakeholders of the tourism sector. Because what worked for agency X did not suit agency Y, or what suited guide A did not fit guide B. An agency that has been organizing cultural tours for many years also shared its objections, criticisms and ideas about this law change with Tourism Diary. Your guides

The Law on Amending the Tourist Guide Profession Law No. 7500 and the Law on Travel Agencies and the Association of Travel Agencies attracted intense reaction from stakeholders of the tourism industry, especially tourist guides.

Finally, the Republican People’s Party applied to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of some regulations of the relevant law amendment.

CHP, Turist Rehberliği Meslek Kanunu'nu Anayasa Mahkemesi'ne Taşıdı!
CHP brought the Tourist Guide Profession Law to the Constitutional Court!

The owner of an agency that has been organizing cultural tours for many years made a statement to Tourism Diary.

The concept of “Turkish Guide” in the relevant law, “base wage application” and “Chinese etc. He shared his criticisms about “a guide who knows languages”.


The agency owner started his explanations by pointing out that the agencies that came to the concept of “tourist guiding” and organized domestic tours had different perspectives and opinions and said the following:

“Concerning the New Tourist Guide Law, one of the points that should be clearly known is; I believe that it is important to be able to explain correctly what the concept of “guide” is. The reason for this is; It is still not fully understood what guidance is. Unfortunately, among the agencies that bring tourists from abroad and organize domestic tours for local tourists, some have different perspectives on guides.

A tourist guide should not be seen as someone who only knows a language. A guide is a person with many qualities. The guide must know sociology, psychology, history, geography, ethnic structure, religious structures and belief. Besides all these, guides are people who have to know Anatolia’s mosaic culture in depth. I’m sure there are those who will add dozens more to these features. Because this person is the host, this person is the guide, this person is the president, If this person explains correctly, he is the one who makes tourists come to our country again and again or creates opportunities for people in Turkey to visit other regions. They are the people who engrave memories in minds and hearts. They are the people who will make you experience a time that you cannot get back even if you pay millions of lira.

In this regard, a guide who will have all this type of infrastructure must also, of course, know the language. But unfortunately, without the above, just knowledge of grammar is useless.”


“Cultural tourism has become incredibly popular in Turkey in recent years, and there is an incredible circulation throughout the year. In connection with this, there is a need for guides.

Foreign language knowledge is not required here, it is necessary to explain in Turkish, but these guides may need to put in a little more effort than other guides and even strengthen their infrastructure. From where? Because; You are trying to explain Turkey and your own homeland to Turkish people. You have to add information to their knowledge. Or you need to correct and correct something that is known to be wrong by citing and explaining the source. We all know very well that it is equally difficult to correct an issue that a Turkish person thinks he knows. For this, he/she must be sure of your knowledge and trust you. Therefore, “Turkish guidance” is a much more difficult field of guidance.”


The agency owner, who shared his views on the relevant law change with Tourism Diary, later added; He continued by drawing attention to the wrong perspectives and misunderstandings regarding the concept of “Turkish guide”:

“It is a matter of treating the Turkish guide as someone who does not know a foreign language, does not have deep cultural knowledge, should be paid less, and will skip the tour with general and superficial information… This is one of the biggest mistakes we have made from the very beginning… This is a problem both among the guides and the agencies.” A big mistake made between In other words, a Turkish guide should not mean that a man passing by on the street accidentally gets into the car and tells you about the place; On the contrary, he has to know much more than everyone else.

The point we object to and that everyone should understand is this; Just as we need guides who are very fluent in languages, we also need guides who are very good in Turkish and will appeal to Turkish groups. However, we all agree that this document should not be given to anyone who has not undergone a certain training, has not passed certain exams, and has no knowledge of the region.”


Another point that the agency owner drew attention to in his statements was the importance of guides who speak foreign languages, measuring the currentness and level of foreign language knowledge at regular intervals, and inspections.

“Regarding language skills, guides always bring this up: They say; “You cannot get a cockade without knowing the language…”Right now, I wish we had the opportunity to take an exam, let’s see how many of the approximately 9 thousand friends who have a cockade and who we assume to be active actually know the language written on their cockade, or vice versa, how many of them can actually speak Turkish!”

The clear conclusion is that which guide, who does his job correctly, sends the guests away happily, and does not receive any complaints, has their linguistic knowledge been checked?


In the continuation of the statements, the travel agency made statements about guide fees and the pricing of the guide service and made some self-criticisms and noted the following:

“By the way, one of the more important issues is that, unfortunately, Turkish guidance is seen as an internship phase… Since Turkish guidance is seen as an internship, agencies have low wage expectations. Since the agencies agree that the Turkish guide price and guide fee will be lower, they see this as an opportunity to make tours cheaper. I think this is a very wrong attitude; We have become unable to organize a “cultural tour” as the prices have decreased. Or we turned the tours from “Cultural Tours” into “Intercity Bus Tours”… If a “Cultural Tour” is made for the local guest, the guide of that tour should be getting the highest fee.


Another issue is the base price application in the law… Regarding this, the guides have criticism that “the base price enforcement will be the same as the fee to be paid to the guide who does not deserve it and the fee to be paid to the guide who deserves it”.

But here’s the thing: Those who deserve it do not sit down with you and say, “I will go to the base wage.” This is my fee, brother, he says, it happens, it ends. The other side does not object anyway. These guides; They have no fight about this law because they can say “This is my price…” They have no problems. The customer base is clear, the agency to go to is clear, the desired service is clear, the number is clear.


The so-called base wage is wrong… A person can determine his own wage based on the service he provides. Just like you sit and talk about 3-star and 5-star hotels, even in 5-star hotels the prices are different from each other… I think the “base wage” application is another element that shows the obsoleteness of the law.


Speaking to Tourism Diary, the owner of the cultural tour agency lastly said:

Just “There is no guide who doesn’t know the language!” “There is no guide who doesn’t know the language!” This is what happened when he came forward with his statement, objected and made a defense based on this. It was said, “We will increase the number of Chinese tourists, for this we need people who speak Chinese”; Now, the way has been opened for tourist guides who only speak Chinese and will introduce our country with memorized information. He became a guide who knew a foreign language… Currently, under the new law, someone passing by on the street who happens to know Chinese will become a guide and get on the tour bus. So what will happen to the other guides after this guide gets on the bus? What about agencies? Has this never been thought of? If the person who is bored knows a foreign language, he will be a guide. Is it that simple?

We tried to explain it many times. “One language, one person” I have nothing to say to him, but on this issue, regarding guidance, “Unfortunately, one language is not one person…” If you base your objections on this issue on the argument of a single language, you will hit your head against the wall when the law is passed. None of us can get out of the vortex we are currently in.


Chinese is one example, but this will also apply to other little-known languages ​​where supply is low. Tomorrow it will be Mongolian, Hindi, the next day it will be Bulgarian. Unfortunately, under the name of “There is a need for a language”, we can easily guide anyone passing by on the street. I hope the guides will understand this too.”


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