Anna-Eva Lohe

Next Stop Istanbul – a visionary visit

After four days in Istanbul for work and pleasure I feel marinated with new impressions; colours, music, architecture, smells, sounds, and food – you name it! There is no way to hide from the attention that this city demands from you. Your senses are on the alert. At the same time, I notice a particular peace in the middle of it all. Interesting. A part of me feels at home. I really like it!

We had the privilege to stay at Manzara Istanbul, a tourist agency that offers cultural experiences and apartment living with a breath-taking view over the Bosporus. Manzara is run by a passionate German-Turkish couple; Erdogan and Gabi Altindis. In a long conversation with Erdogan and by experiencing how they have taken care of us here, I really got their dream and vision behind their company; to be a bridge between two cultures. They want to make me feel at home in this city of 16 million people including two continents. It is an ambitious intent and they deliver.

Why is that? How can that be?
Thinking of our workshop ”Leadership as an Act of Passion”, what appears to be clear to me is the connection between their business idea and their passion. There is a dream behind what we, the guests, see and experience, which is far broader than the actual services that they provide. I realise that the ambition behind everything they are doing is the drive to invest in the relationships all the way out to the fringes of the organisation. It includes everyone involved in the company; the cleaning and kitchen staff, receptionist, chauffeur. But also the local people around their block, the shop and restaurant owners, as well as the city guide Miriam. It is as everyone is a part of their family. You could call it the Manzara family.
I start to feel at home in the midst of this cosmopolitan stew of cultural spices. It becomes more personal and close. The unknown becomes a friend that feels more intriguing than frightening, more inviting and almost seductive rather than strange and fearful.

Thank you Erdogan and Gabi! Thank you Manzara Istanbul for having us as guest-friends! Thank you for the way you made us feel at home!

PS. By the way. Manzara is Turkish and means view, vision, and also insight. Take a look at their website and enjoy the visit. You will not be disappointed! DS