(By Dr Shahid Qureshi in Konya – Turkey) : –
We were received with a smile and welcoming words ‘dear guests’ by our official guide TUĞBA HİLAL KABAKÇI at the holy shrine of Molana Rum in old Konya City. She is young, ambitious and promising to be someone in her career. She was helpful in explaining historical events and places to our group. So we decided to have a brief interview for The London Post.
(Question) Please tell us about your parents, childhood and family?
I was born in Turkey one of the largest and modern city Konya. My mother was a housewife and father retired from a factory. My mother died when I was only 10 and my sister 11 months. My father re-married and had one daughter and son and then we have lived with my grandparents.
My family (mother and grandparents and uncles) went to Germany just before 12th September 1980 coup and lived for a long time there. Because my uncles joined in students’ conflict so it was difficult to live in Turkey for them.
My mother and grandparents returned to Turkey in 1984 and my mother got married with my father and then ı was born in 1986. My family was wealthy and affluent. I had a great childhood and it was very nice.
(Question) Where and what did you study?
My parents always want me to be a teacher or doctor like in traditional Anatolian families. But I believed that I was a different girl. As I am a daydreamer and think that I could become global woman.
I know that there is a very different World outside Konya and I have to see, travel… I started to learn foreign languages when I was only 9 years old. I emulated to my cousins who live in Germany and I want to speak language like them.
In high school I decided to be tourist guide. Because I like archaeology, history, language and also travelling and meet with different people from other countries. My family didn’t allow but I want and I achieved to study tourism guidance department in Seljuk University Vocational School. I started to work a professional guide as soon as I graduated from university. I dreamed myself as a successful and industrious guide. I am working for 9 years as a professional tourist guide and I don’t get fed up even one day because I’m really so happy and forget all my difficulties when I am with my group and guests.
Last years I was graduated from university again but history department. For now, I am working in Konya Metropolitan Municipality as a guide. Konya Municipality has always so special guests so I meet a lot of ministers, deputies and academicians both from Turkey and other countries. When they express their satisfactions ı feel that I’m approaching to my aims. Nowadays I am a postgraduate student also and I’m striving to be an academician at university.
(Question) How you spend your time, and your hobbies?
My hobbies are concerning with my job, travelling and writing travel article, read book, archery, swimming, and writing poem.
(Question) How do you feel being a successful tourism professional and a historian?
I think ı could achieve short-range plan so I can say I am a successful tourist guide inner peace but I have so many things to do to reach long-range purposes. I have a long way to become academician on history. I think I’m so lucky person because everybody that I met and everything that I experienced make me stronger and give me study ambition. Success is inevitable result if you love your job
(Question) What difficulties you faced in becoming tourist guide?
Tourist guiding is very difficult job. Initially, I was nervous about how could cope with people and their wish. Because you face so many different people who have different wants and culture. You should indulge or not without hurt. If you want to be successful you must read history, archaeology, politics, botany, zoology and daily news. Briefly, you must be versatile.
In Anatolia, family is very important. Some people think, a woman wants to have a job, she should choose more easy work to spare time for family. But tourist guiding difficult for this purpose because you must travel long times; one week, maybe one months. My family sometimes reproach me about marriage and I couldn’t get marry. I broke up with my lover twice.
(Question) What advice you will give to new young tourist guides?
Firstly, you love and secondly want. Tourist guiding is a money-spinner and joyful. These are attracting people. But then, they cannot achieve because not self-sacrifice and laziness. So if you want to be a tourist guide you have to cogitate and decide.
(Question) What are future plans?
I’m trying to be academician at university on history, branch of modern age. Of course I want to produce some scientific journals like every academician. I want to get together history and guiding at university because there is a big deficiency about history education on tourist guide department. I named myself modern traveller. I visited some European countries and Jerusalem and I will continue to travel especially to Middle east…
(Question) How you see yourself in next 5 years?
Busier than now with my job, travels and books