Few words about me. My name is Emek and I was born and raised in Denizli-Turkey, famous for UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Pamukkale and Hierapolis. I have to tell you, if you haven’t been there, you are missing out!
I graduated as a city planner from the Faculty of Architecture in Middle East Technical University in Ankara; got my master’s degree there and worked as a research assistant while continuing my PhD in the Urban Policy Planning program. After my contract with the university ended, I worked in private sector. Around that time came the best decision of my life: applying to the University of Helsinki’s Urban Studies PhD program and moving to Helsinki!
moving to Helsinki
And this decision wasn’t just a roll of the dice
I fell in love with Helsinki while I was visiting my cousin, years before my move. I knew instantly, this was going to be a long-term relationship. You know why? If you fall in love with Helsinki in November, it means things will only get better.
The beauty of snowy winters, the green explosion in spring, white nights in summer and those autumn colours, the ruska! Such a silent, calm, safe, compact, functional, green, beautiful, inviting, captivating city Helsinki is.
So I walked and walked and walked some more, discovering new places, streets, alleys, neighbourhoods, bars, cafes, parks, forests, islands, and bays. I felt that I can combine my love and admiration for Helsinki with my knowledge and research about its history, culture, planning and architecture. So I made the 2nd best decision of my life: I established my company Ataman Tours and became an authorised Helsinki guide.
The tours I provide are not crowded, pre-scripted, touristy tours. My tours are safe and intimate; I do small-group tours. They are always interactive; I enjoy answering all sorts of questions about Helsinki and Finland. They are personal; your interests and preferences will dictate our route. We will be walking; it just doesn’t get more environmentally friendly and sustainable than that. And they reflect my feelings as a fellow Helsinkian.