Incentives, Meetings, Events, Conferences, Special Interest Groups, Tailor made Fit’s, Product and Car Launches
ODS TURKEY is a leading Destination Management Company based in Istanbul, serving all destinations in Turkey. It is privately owned, limited company founded in 1999 by Sadik Caglar and Hasan Dinç. At the root of ODS Turkey’s successful and exciting 18-year journey lie 30 years of industry experience, a great team of people and wonderful local and international partners they are proud to call friends.

ODS is an entity continuously striving for excellence, leading them to act and reflect, to execute and improve, to inspire and be inspired in order to serve clients best. How they get things done is as important to them as getting things done. Following their long-term orientation, they avoid the quick win and prefer to attain their goals in a solid pace, always keeping in mind the soundness of their company and quality of their services.


Omar’s Destination Services (ODS)
Autumn Newsletter !

November 2005

Dear Colleagues,

We are approaching to the end of another year and another operations season is about to come to an end at OMAR’s…. We are a little tired but happy to have had the chance of serving many precious clients and guests this year in our country. We are also delighted to see that Turkey is once again gaining momentum as a preferred destination for Conferences and Incentives and we feel that especially Istanbul is on the road of becoming one of the hottest and favorite cities in Europe. If you have not been in Istanbul in the last 4 years we would highly encourage you to come and visit us to have a look at the tremendous changes in our infrastructure, hotels, choices of restaurants and activities in the city. Our economy is now one of the top 5 fastest growing economies in the world and the official start of the EU accession talks on October 3rd this year gave an additional boost to our country and the path that we are taking.

Our newsletter is designed to keep you updated on the developments and we would be very pleased if you share your comments with us.

We are looking forward to welcoming you in Turkey and we thank you for your continuous support in us and our company.

Yours sincerely,

Sadik Caglar                                                                 Hasan Dinc

Upcoming Events

Whirling Dervishes
Festival of the Whirling Dervishes will take place between 10-17 December 2005 in Konya. The commemorative ceremony for the great Sufi Mevlana (1207-1273), is one of the greatest spectacles in the world. More than a million people descend on Konya, the ancient Seljuk capital, for the festival of the Whirling Dervishes.

Solar Eclipse 2006
A total solar eclipse will take place on March 29, 2006 passing diagonally across central Turkey from the Mediterranean coast in the southwest to the Black sea in the Northeast. The towns of Side and Manavgat in the Mediterranean coast, Konya and Aksaray in the Cappadocia region and Ordu on the Black sea coast will be directly in the eclipse path.

What is Turkey up to?

Lets look at some statistics
Based on the statistics provided by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism; More than 11.7 million tourists visited Turkey through July 2005. This is a 25.8% increase from 2004. During the month of July, more than 3 million tourists chose Turkey as a vacation destination. The Ministry predicts that by the end of the year, this number will reach 22 million.

Turkey ranks 26th, while Istanbul ranks 23rd in the list of conventions that are hosting the highest number of participants. A total of 39,271 participants attended conventions held in Turkey in 2004.

Thriving Economy
GDP is up by more than 9 percent, one of the highest growth rates in the world, unemployment is falling, and inflation has been reduced to single digits for the first time in 30 years. Mr Erdogan has pledged to reduce inflation to 5% by next year.

New Currency
Beginning from January 1st 2005, YTL (New Turkish Lira) has been introduced as the new currency for Turkey replacing the old TL (Turkish Lira). Six zeros have been dropped from the old currency. In other words;1,000.000TL = 1 YTL.
New YTL notes are 1, 5 10,20, 50 and 100 YTL. The new Turkish lira is divided into 100 Kurus. Turkish currency was not revalued or devalued.

EU membership Talks
EU opens membership talks with Turkey. \"It\'s going to be a long road ahead but bringing Turkey into the EU is a prize worth striving for.\" says British Foreign Minister Jack Straw.

Expanding our Ports
A modern terminal building opened last month at Kusadasi, Turkey\'s second largest cruise port and the gateway to the city of Ephesus. The new terminal building is part of a multi-million dollar improvement and enlargement of Kusadasi Port\'s facilities which welcomes more than 300,000 cruise ship and ferry passengers annually.
More projects are on the way for other ports around Turkey.

Major Summer Events?

Formula 1 Grand Prix
Istanbul hosted yet another major event this summer. 50.000 fans from around the world visited Turkey between 19-21 August 2005. Together with the Turkish fans the spectators at the race reached 100.000. Istanbul Hotels of all categories reached their peak occupancy. Crowds of tourists visited the historical sights in the old city. The Grand Bazaar seemed to be the most popular attraction.

Istanbul Park
Turkey’s new purpose-built Formula 1 race track is one of racing’s most challenging and interesting courses with an uneven surface punctuated by dangerous slopes and 14 curves. Following Formula1 race, Istanbul Park have hosted the World Touring Car Championships, Moto Grand Prix and more.

“World Unity on the Aegean Blue”
The 23rd Universiade, Olympic games for the students was held in Izmir between 11-21 August 2005. Over 7000 sportsmen from 130 countries participated in the event, the highest participation in the history of the summer games. “World Unity on the Aegean Blue” was chosen as the as the slogan.

Champions League Finals
Between Milan and Liverpool took place on May 25th 2005, at the Olympic Atatürk Stadium. With 70.000 spectators in the stadium, the event was televised in 233 countries and viewed by over 3 billion people around the world. Our Italian and British guests enjoyed a week-end of sunshine, sight-seeing and shopping, bring Turkey revenue of 50 million Euro.

Why choose Istanbul for your next event?

Istanbul is a unique city in many ways. Geographically; it is the only city that bridges two continents Asia and Europe. Historically; it has been an influential city for centuries acting as the capitol of empires, treaties and commerce. Globally; it is the gateway between two worlds, East and West, embracing many different religions and cultures.
Today, Istanbul offers easy accessibility from anywhere in the world by over 200 International flights daily. We are only 2-3 hours flying time away from Central Europe. Our International airport is only 45km away from the city center. There are over 6500 rooms in the 5 star deluxe hotel category alone. Fully equipped, state of the art conference and exhibition center is only few minutes from major hotels. Shopping malls and wide selection of restaurants located nearby offer excellent service and genuine hospitality. Yet the old city dating back 2000 years remains thickly atmospheric with bazaars markets, Ottoman mansions and Byzantine churches. History and modernity blend perfectly here.

New in town

The 9th Istanbul Biennale begins on the 16th of September through the end of October featuring 53 International artists from Bosnia, Iran, Egypt, Greece and Lebanon. Approximately 3000 international critics, curators, museum and gallery directors and foreign press will attend this prestigious event.

Istanbul Modern
Opened in December of 2004, the museum transformed one of the vast warehouses located on the port of Karaköy into an elegant museum of modern art. Changing exhibits feature local and international artists, however, their primary purpose is devoted to exhibiting the accumulated works of Turkey’s arts and cultural identity. The museum also aims to influence the new generation by organizing special exhibits and tours.

Pera Museum
Opened in June 2005 is part of the Pera Project founded by the Suna-Inan Kiraç foundation. The eventual project will be composed of 3 phases, a museum, a research institute and a cultural center. The museum displays Kütahya tile collection, Anatolian weights and measurements and oriental paintings. The 1906 painting “Turtle trainer” by Osman Hamdi Bey bought for 3.5 million dollars is also among the private collection.

New deluxe properties around Turkey

Kempinski Hotel, The Dome opened in Belek/Antalya. The hotel\'s architecture reflects the pre-Ottoman, Selçuk style, and comprises 157 rooms, 18 private Villas & two Royal Villas.

Kempinski Hotel, Barbaros Bay in Bodrum is set within acres of spectacular gardens and overlooks its own bay with a 600m sandy beach. the hotel will open Turkey \'s largest spa, covering some 5,000 m2, which will be operated by ‘Six Senses\'.

Marmara Antalya is a modern resort hotel comprising a high-rise building with magnificent views and a unique \'Revolving Loft\'. This 15 floor hotel features 238 guest rooms decorated with bright colors and contemporary furnishings.

Omar’s Featured Pick

History of wine & today’s Turkish wine production
It was 4000 years ago in Asia Minor and the lands surrounding it that men first learned how to cultivate the grapevine. Earliest traces of wine culture in history have repeatedly been discovered in the many civilizations that flourished in Anatolia, millennium ago. This culture eventually became more pronounced in Europe, spreading from there to the new worlds.
Today, Turkey remains one of the world\'s largest grape producers, annually growing more than 1,000 types of grapes, including some 40 varieties in nearly 50 Turkish wineries producing some 275 million liters per year.

Vineyards of Turkey
Turkey\'s finest grapes are grown in Mürefte; A town located 230 km northwest of Istanbul, home of the Doluca Wines. 3rd generation Kutman family have a wine museum and private cellar containing over 2 million bottles. Next stop is Ankara to visit the Kavaklidere winery where 32 different varieties of grapes are grown producing 20 tons of wine per hour. Continuing onto Cappadocia to visit one of the most interesting winery in the world; Turasan Winery located underground carved from natural rock. The wines of this region are always full body and have a long lasting taste.

Nostalgie Corner

Orient Express
World famous Orient Express began its journey in Paris, stopping in Budapest, Bucharest and Varna, finally arriving in Istanbul on September 7th for the 8th time with 94 passengers.

Agatha Christie
The queen of crime Agatha Christie visited Istanbul regularly during the 1920’s, where she stayed at the famous Pera Palace Hotel. She even wrote her best seller “Murder on the Orient Express” there. The mystery behind her disappearance for 11 days in December of 1926 seems to lying under the floorboards of her room 411 in Pera Palace.

History & Mystery in your next event.
Welcome cocktail at the Orient Express Station, Gala Dinner at the Pera Palace.

Ottoman Caiques
Exact replicas of Imperial Ottoman caiques which once navigated the shores of the Golden Horn are now available for a leisurely journey across the Bosphorus. There are a total of 3 Sultan boats already built, each with a capacity of 30 persons. A Sun-set cruise on these boats could just be the highlight of your visit.

Omar’s Event Log

We began the summer season in full swing with our cruise groups touring Turkey’s Aegean Coast. Then as the appointed core PCO for IFTA for the next 5 years, we organized their joint Congress with AFTA in Washington. In August came the most anticipated event of the year; Formula 1 Istanbul Grand Prix. Our Incentive team organized the tours and events of the F1 Renault Club. The highlight was of course meeting the famous drivers. During the fall our incentive team was busy organizing many private functions of the pharmaceutical companies in town for the ESGO and Monothematic conferences, while our Congress Club was getting ready to set-up the mega exhibition for the EANM Congress of 4000 participants.

New partnership
Omar’s Destination Services became a member of Star-cite International, which is world’s largest and fastest growing provider of marketing, sales and technology solutions for the meeting and event industry. SCI has close to 60 partner suppliers in 29 countries.

Trade Shows
Omar’s Destination Services participated in the IT&ME Chicago Show with both partners Star-cite & Euromic. It was wonderful to see the rise of interest for Turkey in the US meeting and Incentive market

Wise words

from Nasreddin Hoca
One day Hoca is walking in the street, a stranger comes near him and slaps Hoca in the face. The man is immediately rounded up. Hoca, witnesses and the culprit go before The judge. The man is sentenced to Pay Hoca one gold coin. The judge orders him to go and get impatient and not optimistic about the man\'s return to court. He gets up, goes up to the judge, slaps him on the face, and says: \"I\'ve got to go now. Your Honor. Here\'s your slap. When the man comes back, you get the gold coin.\"

We’d like to share with you some of our “hot” events of the summer.

A spiritual journey by the shores of the Bosphorus ...

One of the worlds’ best racing team and its top executives enjoyed a mystical performance by the Whirling Dervishes at the Esma Sultan Mansion as they prepared themselves for the upcoming race.
Esma Sultan Mansion is an unusual venue combining the remains of 18th century palace walls with modern glass architecture covering the roof and sides, which complement to the mood of this evening.
Our guests were welcomed in the gardens for cocktails and music then escorted inside the mansion for a seated dinner. Following the mesmerizing sounds of Mey; a Turkish folk wind instrument, the dervishes began their spiritual dance symbolizing divine unity.

And the award goes to ...

The Award ceremony for our 65 top executives from France was held in the gardens of Dolmabahçe Palace; a19th century rococo style residence of the last Ottoman Sultans.
Guests were welcomed at the palace with cocktails and live piano. Special lighting was used to emphasize the ornate walls of the palace. Sound system, podium and a tent was built in case of rain.
An authentic fashion show reflecting costumes and gowns form the Ottoman era was staged by the Ankara Institute of Olgunlasma, where all clothes are sawn and embroidered by hand as the originals in order to preserve the Turkish culture. Round tables were decorated with flowers and candelabras where guests enjoyed a deluxe menu and watched the show. The evenings highlight was a performance by the modern ballet, accenting the Anatolian civilization through their folk dance figures and music collected from different regions of Turkey.

Welcome cocktail a la Turca…

For our group of 70 top sales managers of an American automobile company, we organized a welcome cocktail at the Sepetciler Kasri, built in the 17th century named after the basket makers dwelling around in the region.
The venue is located on the shores of the old city with a magnificent view of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Our guests enjoyed their cocktails on the terrace accompanied by a live quartet. Following the deluxe open-buffet dinner prepared by the Swissotel, guests were entertained by a belly dancer, dancing around the tables.

We traveled back in time ...

Some 2000 years to the ancient city of Ephesus as one of the seven wonders of the world came alive exclusively for our group of 35 top executives. The evening began with a detailed visit of the magnificent open-air museum, passing through the ancient amphitheatre; our guests were surprised to see the gladiators perform a mock fight. Ladies and gentlemen were then escorted to the Celcius Library by Praetorian guards for dinner in their appropriate togas and laurel wreaths. A superb menu was served by waiters in Roman costumes. This breathtaking scenery under the stars was lit with torches giving way to a spectacular ballet performance of Cleopatra and Antonius.

Should you need more information, please contact Mr. Sadik Caglar or Mr. Hasan Dinç at turkey@euromic.com


Sadik Caglar

Hasan Dinç


F1 Grand Prix

Istanbul Park

Champions League Final


Kempinski Hotel Antalya

Kempinski Hotel Bodrum

Marmara Antalya