Rıdvan (Rudi) Zeybek - owner of Kalkan Experience Property 
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Sunday, 08 October 2017

Rıdvan (Rudi) Zeybek

Name / Adınız Soyadiniz
Rıdvan (Rudi) Zeybek

Occupation / Mesleğiniz
Owner of Kalkan Experience Property.  Dealing in real estate sales, rentals and management.   Local manager for Vision Holiday Group (Ilios Travel).



Originally from / Doğum yeriniz
Islamlar village, not far from Kalkan.

Family / Evlimisiniz ve çocuğunuz varmı
Recently engaged to Merve and due to be married in 2018.  I have one brother who works as a plumber.



What time do you get up? / Saat kaçta uyanırsınız?
Usually 07.30 but sometimes I sleep in as late as 08.00.

What’s for breakfast? / Kahvaltıda ne seversiniz?
Of course it has to be Turkish breakfast with çay.  



What time do you start work? / Saat kaçta çalışmaya başlarsiniz?
I start work at 09.00.

What time do you stop work? / Saat kaçta işiniz biter
?
I aim to finish work by 19.00 but in my job I have to be flexible.  My iPhone and laptop are always with me so the truth is I am available at any time.



Tell us something about your background and your working life. / Lütfen biraz bilgi söylermisiniz kendi arka plan yaşamınız ve çalışma hayatınız ile ilgili.
Some of the first “work” I did was at school where I wrote a local newspaper, but my first proper job was in tourism when I worked as a receptionist at Kulube Hotel in Kalamar.  When I started I was at school so I just worked there part time, but when I left school it became a full time job for me.

In the winter of 2007 I had a chance to go work in a hotel in Ankara and while I was there I did an English course.  Speaking a foreign language is important if you want to make a living in tourism.  Then in 2008 I did my national service.  Most of my time was in Istanbul where I was responsible for managing a team of soldiers who had the job of looking after a number of high ranking army personnel.  There I met and worked with some interesting people, one of whom was involved in a reciprocal training internship programme between the USA and Turkey. 

In 2009 I found myself on one of these internships and I travelled to Boston in the USA where I worked in the hotel industry for two years.  This enabled me to improve my English and to learn about different cultures.  The time I spent there was wonderful but the terms of the programme meant I had to return to Turkey, and so in 2011 I came home to Kalkan.

Mustafa Akdeniz offered me a job - well two jobs really.  In the day time I was working in property management as part of his property business, and in the evenings I worked as a waiter in the Alternatif Restaurant.  This was a great opportunity to develop my knowledge of the tourism business in Kalkan.

I was grateful to Mustafa for giving me the job but after three years I felt I needed to move on and to open my own business in Kalkan.  In 2014 I set up the Kalkan Experience Property business with my cousin where we would provide two services from one office - my cousin provides car rentals, transfers and organises trips under his brand “Best Rent a Car” and I deal with property management, sales and rentals.  This business model works well for us - many of our customers require services from both of us.

When I first started out I was working from home, and I started out with a laptop computer, an email address and a list of people I had got to know over the years who could be potential customers.  I remember that my first ever property rental booking was an English couple I had got to know quite well and when I emailed them they were so excited for me that they booked a villa straight away even though they had not planned to come out on holiday so soon!  They told their friends and urged them to support me and from their recommendation I got five more bookings.  And so it began.

Now I have an office near to the D400 traffic lights, next to the Aslı shop and in 2015 I started working as the local manager for Ilios Travel.

What’s the best thing about your job? / Yaptiniz işte en sevdiği şey nedir?
The thing I like best is how no two days are the same.  Sometimes you can have plans for a day but something happens to change things and you have to think on your feet.  I like the challenge of dealing with these situations and coming up with solutions that keep my customers happy.

It’s also great to get to meet new people.  Over the years some of them have become good friends.



Describe a typical day / Bir gününüzün nasıl geçtini anlatir misiniz
As I just mentioned every day is different but it begins with breakfast in Islamlar. 

Some days I may start by going to the office and checking my emails and messages, but some days I can begin by visiting the workers in our properties to make sure that things are on track.

Then I go where the priorities take me, which can be dealing with things in the office - taking bookings, or responding to customer enquiries, or going out to meet customers in rented properties.  I like to be organised in advance but sometimes problems crop up and it’s my job to make sure we get things sorted out as quickly as possible.

At the end of the working day I like to go to the gym for an hour.  It’s good for your health but it is also a good way to unwind.  Then it’s home to Islamlar where I relax with my family.

Do the seasons make a difference with your work? If so, how? / Yazın işinizde değişiklik oluyormu? Oluyorsa anlatın?
Yes.  Summer time is very busy for me but there are still lots of things to do in the winter months.

Between May and October much of my time is spent dealing with customers or managing staff who are looking after our properties.  July and August are especially busy months.  In the winter I spend time updating our web site and talking to property owners about the following year and discussing their future requirements.  Out of season I try to have Sundays off as holiday - a luxury I can’t have in the main tourist season.

What makes you happy? / Sizi en çok ne mutlu eder
My recent engagement to Merve was a very happy occasion for us and our families and friends.

Another thing is business.  And by that I don’t just mean business for me but I mean for the whole of Kalkan.  The way I see it is that if I am busy with property rentals that means more customers for other businesses in Kalkan too.  I like to see Kalkan busy.

If you were not doing this job, what else would you like to do? / Şu anki yaptiğiniz işi yapmıyor olsaydiniz ne iş yapmek isterdiniz
I quite like the idea of public service so I think I would work for the government in a local regional department.

What music do you like to listen to? / Hangi müziği dinlemeyi seviyorsunuz
I
like all kinds of music - Turkish traditional music and more popular western music. 

If you could meet anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be, and why? / Eğer dünyada yaşayan yada yaşamayan herhangi biriyle tanışmanız mümkün olsaydı onun kim olmasını isterdiniz?
Our first president, Atatürk. 

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know. / Kendinizle ilgili bir çok insanın bilmediği bir şeyi anlatırmısınız
When I said earlier I believe in trying to do good things through public service it has crossed my mind that I could one day stand in an election to become the Mayor.  I am proud to live in the district of Kaş - it’s a wonderful place and it would be an honour to serve the people as Mayor.  Who knows?  Maybe one day it can be.  Nothing is impossible.

Anything else / Başka her hangi birşey

A comment about my nickname Rudi.  My real name is Rıdvan.  Some people found it hard to remember or to pronounce so someone came up with the name Rudi from the song by The Specials * called "A Message to you Rudy".  It seemed to stick so now even my Turkish friends who have known me all my life call me Rudi.

*[Editor: A note for any music aficionados out there, the 1979 version by The specials was a cover version.  The original song "Rudy, a Message to You" was by Jamaican born musician Dandy Livingstone who is also known for his song "Suzanne Beware of the Devil"].  You're welcome.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 08 October 2017