Mike is rather famous in Istanbul, and for that matter, much of Turkey.
He has been around, for what seems like forever, and he and his brothers used to own the Kybele Hotel. It is utterly gorgeous.
He also has a jewelry and rug store, right beside it, and they used to actually have a connector door so you could go from one to the other.
Jill hadn’t seen Mike since 2011, when she visited Turkey last time, and so she wasn’t sure if he would be in or on vacation somewhere.
Mike is known as the “Mayor of Istanbul” because everyone knows him.
He is able to connect you up with whatever you need, whenever you need it, and Jill has seen him on documentaries about the city of Istanbul.
He is also an incredibly gracious and wonderful person.
We walked in, and he asked us to sit down, and we shared tea with him.
He asked us about our trip, Jill’s and his friends that they have in common, and what we were doing and planning on doing in our future.
We asked him about his life and what has changed.
He seemed like he was incredibly happy, and content, with his life.
He also showed me a bunch of utterly gorgeous and amazing rugs.
I wish I had a place to put them because I’d love to own them.
He also noticed my name and asked if I was Armenian.
I’m always a bit nervous about letting Turkish people know I’m Armenian because of the genocide and the history between the two countries.
However, every single Turk that I’ve met, and told this to, always seem happy that I’m there and that the past isn’t stopping me, and then, from seeing each other as human beings.
I always bring up how we are all the same and that we can change the way we perceive each other and the world.
Everyone agrees and it is very nice to see that kind of acceptance happening.
Just one more reason I love to travel and connect with others.
After hanging out with Mike for about an hour, we went down to his jewelry store and look at everything for sale.
It was all very fairly priced, and gorgeous, but we didn’t buy anything as we are traveling light and just wanted to wait and see what we would find on our trip.
Mike’s family is also quite famous because they were the first family to produce the gorgeous lights, that you can see in the pictures below, in mass quantity. They did very well off of them and then bought the Kybele Hotel and the store beside it.
After selling the hotel, Mike has decided to branch out and do other things.
I can’t wait to see what he does next as he seems be a very intriguing, and innovative, person.