A two people team: mother and son.

As we step into 2024, the heartbeat of our core team pulsates through just two dedicated individuals: Fethi, who playfully oversees operations, and Ayse, the culinary artist behind our lunches.

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Born in Istanbul in 1988, Fethi Karatas is the youngest of four brothers. As the only member of his family born in Turkey, Fethi possesses a unique perspective on his vibrant hometown. Growing up in the conservative, low-income neighborhood of Esenler inspired Fethi’s mission to reveal the area’s hidden heart to the world.

In 2011, he founded The Other Tour, an experience designed to take visitors far beyond Istanbul‘s typical tourist haunts. Fethi has captivated travelers from all backgrounds with his authentic, off-the-beaten-path explorations of the city. His tours are praised for their insightful commentary, local experiences, and a touch of the unexpected.

Born in Giresun in 1956, Ayşe Karatas embodies the warmth and generosity that defines Turkish culture. And she’s the one who came up with the idea of serving lunch at home for The Other Tour. Married young, she became a mother at just 15 and lived in Essen, Germany for a decade before returning to raise her sons in Istanbul’s Esenler neighborhood.

Ayşe’s home, and her table, are legendary among visitors who join The Other Tour, founded by her son, Fethi. Travelers rave about her kindness, her infectious laugh, and the incredible home-cooked feasts she prepares. Her cooking has been described as the highlight of their Istanbul experience, a window into the authentic flavors of everyday life in the city.

Team members of the past

Since its inception in 2011, “The Other Tour” has witnessed an ebb and flow in its team dynamics. Over the years, a diverse ensemble of more than a dozen individuals, ranging from family members and friends to professional tour guides and travel agents, has passionately contributed to the growth and enrichment of The Other Tour. Their collective spirit remains the backbone of our events.

Soner Dursun

Soner stood at the genesis of The Other Tour, contributing as a pivotal founding member in 2011. His dedication propelled its growth until 2014, after which he elegantly transitioned into the hospitality sector, assuming the role of a hotel manager. Today, he is not only an industry stalwart but also the proud father of a wonderful son.

Visiting schools on The Other Tour Istanbul.

Bülent Karatas

From the outset, Bülent, Fethi’s elder brother, was an integral part of The Other Tour’s foundation. As a co-founder, he played a pivotal role in its operations starting from 2011. Following a nearly 5-year sojourn in NYC, Bubu has made a triumphant return, and his presence invariably elevates The Other Tour’s essence. 

Trevor Brown

Trevor, with his unwavering commitment, was an integral part of our team, steering the organizational helm of The Other Tour for over a year. Now flourishing in the States as a psychologist, he intriguingly christened his venture “The Other Therapy”—a nod, perhaps, to our shared journey. You can read his incredible articles on our blog.

Murat Karatas, a chess expert and experience leader in Istanbul

Murat Karataş

Murat, the elder brother of Fethi and Bülent, returned to Istanbul in 2012 after an 11-year stint in Amsterdam, enriching our team. Having actively participated in numerous “The Other Tour” events, he played a pivotal role in our organization’s growth. While not as engaged now, Murat is keen to fully rejoin the team should we revisit our past successes.

Murat Can

Murat and Fethi share a bond that traces back to their formative years. With a commendable dedication, Murat has actively participated in “The Other Tour” on over a hundred full-day excursions, not including his spontaneous visits. Though Berlin is now his home, his commitment to The Other Tour remains unwavering, stepping in robustly whenever called upon. 

Milena Bühring

Between 2014 and 2018, Milena, Fethi’s ex-wife from Berlin, was a cornerstone of The Other Tour. On multiple occasions, she independently guided the tour, garnering around 100 TripAdvisor reviews praising her vibrant energy and expertise. Though she’s now based in Berlin, focusing on her studies and work, her presence is fondly remembered and deeply missed.

Hakan Şahin

Hakan, Fethi’s cousin and a dedicated history teacher, participated in “The Other Tour” over 50 times. Although his teaching commitments now limit his involvement, we’ve found a way to bridge the gap—by integrating his classes into our tour. If you’ve ever wondered about our school visits, well, now you know our little secret! 🙂

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Rubil Gündüz

Rubil, an esteemed tour guide, has been an intrinsic part of ‘The Other Tour’ even before its formal inception. His longstanding camaraderie with Fethi led to the conceptualization of this unique tour. Rubil has been instrumental in nurturing and preserving the essence of the tour with his unwavering support and generosity. 

Ahmet Karataş

Indeed, the quartet of Karataş brothers were the driving force behind ‘The Other Tour’. Ahmet, the eldest among them, gracefully manages the company’s digital spectrum. Not only does he capture moments during the tour with his photography, but he also masterfully crafts our website and designs our essential documentation and brochures.

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A Network of Expertise

The Other Tour is more than just its core members. We believe in the power of collaboration and have built a strong network of partnerships with local travel companies, hotels, and tour guides across Istanbul. This allows us to offer a wider range of experiences and tap into the expertise of the city’s best professionals.

At the heart of this network is our founder, Fethi Karataş. His dedication to building connections has created a vibrant ecosystem where different businesses and individuals come together to provide travelers with immersive and authentic Istanbul experiences. We think of our team as extending far beyond our website, encompassing the talented people from Cheers Hostel, Imperial Travel, and the many guides and hotels we partner with.

Interested in joining our team?

Check out our Jobs page and apply today!