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Sunday, 24 September 2017 08:17

Mustafa and Olga Çelik - owners of Aristos Water Sports

Mustafa and Olga Çelik - owners of Aristos Water Sports Mustafa and Olga Çelik - owners of Aristos Water Sports

Name / Adınız Soyadiniz
Mustafa Çelik and Olga Çelik (née Malafouris)

Occupation / Mesleğiniz
Owners of Aristos Water Sports in Kalkan.

Originally from / Doğum yeriniz

Mustafa: Bezirgan village near Kalkan.

Olga: Athens, Greece.

Family / Evlimisiniz ve çocuğunuz varmi

What time do you get up? / Saat kaçta uyanırsınız?
At 07.00.

What’s for breakfast? / Kahvaltıda ne seversiniz?
Something quick.  Typically for Mustafa a simit and fruit juice, and for Olga maybe a boiled egg and coffee.  Mustafa doesn’t drink coffee or tea.

What time do you start work? / Saat kaçta çalışmaya başlarsiniz?
It depends on our bookings but usually we are down at our beachclub base by 08.00.

What time do you stop work? / Saat kaçta işiniz biter
Probably later than you might think.  Our final customers of the day must be finished by sunset at the latest, but we don’t leave until 22.30.  After the last customer has left we have to prepare the boats and equipment so they are ready for the next day.

Tell us something about your background and your working life. / Lütfen biraz bilgi söylermisiniz kendi arka plan yaşamınız ve çalışma hayatınız ile ilgili.

Mustafa: I have worked in the water sports industry for 14 years and in tourism for 22 years.  I started work before I left school, helping out at the Türk Evi pension in the old town from the age of twelve.

After I completed my national service I returned to Kalkan and to tourism, working for Blue Marlin Water Sports. 

Olga: My family moved from Athens to Australia when I was five years old.  When I left school I went to the University of New South Wales in Sydney thinking about a career in journalism.  Apart from my studies I was interested in fashion and make up so whilst at university I took a course on make up.  This was something that was to be life changing.  I loved being able to express myself creatively and decided to focus on make up and the world of fashion.  I never completed my university course.

Trying to get into the Sydney fashion scene as a make up artist was tough for a new kid on the block, but I worked hard and persevered.  I ended up working for some leading fashion labels and with a number of successful models.  

The fashion industry is very much an international business and I wanted to broaden my experience, so in 2003 at the age of 26 I moved to the east coast of America where amongst other things I worked on New York Fashion Week.  As a Greek national it was possible (and from a visa point of view easier) for me to work in Europe so in 2005 I headed to London where I continued to freelance working on fashion shows and advertising campaigns.  I also worked for a short time in Paris.  

In 2008 my life was to take a different direction.  I was in London with one of my sisters and some girlfriends and we decided we needed a holiday.  I had never been to Turkey and I thought it was about time I visited the country next door to my own birth place.  Having lived in some big cities I wanted somewhere small and preferably by the sea.  Searching on the internet I found the Fidanka Hotel in Kalkan.

I immediately fell in love with Kalkan and on day five out of our fortnight holiday I met my future husband Mustafa.  I made a few more trips out to Kalkan that year and by May 2009 Kalkan was my home and Mustafa and I had set up Aristos Water Sports.

We have worked hard over recent years to develop our business.  This year we added parasailing to our list of activities.  It has really taken off.  We both love what we do.

What’s the best thing about your job? / Yaptiniz işte en sevdiği şey nedir?
Being able to work with the sea is invigorating and very rewarding.  It gives us so much pleasure to see our guests enjoying themselves and returning from their trips with big smiles on their faces.

On the other hand the sea has to be respected and another aspect of what we do is to ensure that people stay safe whilst they are having fun.  Everyone has to take personal responsibility for what they do on the water but it’s our job to explain the rules and to operate within sensible boundaries.  So when we get to the end of the day and everyone is smiling and we have had no mishaps, that’s a great feeling.

Describe a typical day / Bir gününüzün nasıl geçtini anlatir misiniz?
We start each day by checking our reservations for different activities such as water-skiing, wakeboarding and mono-ski lessons.  We have to ensure the boats and equipment are good to go and that we have the staff we need.  Then it’s all systems go and we work flat out until the sun goes down, sometimes without a proper break.  We constantly answer messages, emails, responding to enquires and returning calls.  

Our day is filled with overseeing various activities such as jet-skis, parasailing, speedboat trips, sea-bobs, inflatables such as ringos, sofas and matrix rides, renting out boats and paddle boards.  Occasionally things break or stop working and when that happens it can sometimes mean a trip for Mustafa to a specialist engineer in Fethiye to get something fixed.

As we said earlier, after our last customer has departed there is work to do before we can go home.  Things have to be tidied up and prepared for the next day.

Do the seasons make a difference with your work? If so, how? / Yazın işinizde değişiklik oluyormu? Oluyorsa anlatın?

Our season starts in May and ends sometime in October depending on weather conditions and customer demand.  It’s not just the seasons that make a difference to us but also the ever changing weather conditions. 

During the tourist season we keep a close eye on the weather.  The local topography means that the winds and currents in Kalkan Bay are quite unique.  Conditions can change from one minute to the next so it’s our responsibility to watch the skies and read the water.

Our number one priority is customer safety.  Always.  You may think it’s a perfect sunny day - ideal for water sports, but if the winds and currents are unfavourable we will not operate.  Sometime this can mean customers are disappointed if we have to postpone something, but we just can’t take the risk.  We also have to think about the safety of our staff members and our boats and equipment.

What makes you happy? / Sizi en çok ne mutlu eder?

Mustafa:  My wife, working with soil, the smell of wet grass, travel, free diving and nature.

Olga:  My husband, lol! Dead calm seas, travel, laughter, adventures, margaritas, good food, family, good friends and music.

If you were not doing this job, what else would you like to do? / Şu anki yaptiğiniz işi yapmıyor olsaydiniz ne iş yapmek isterdiniz?

Mustafa: My heart says growing organic produce and my head says property development.  Maybe I could do both?

Olga: I would have my own fashion label.

What music do you like to listen to? / Hangi müziği dinlemeyi seviyorsunuz?
We like it all!  We are huge music fans and have eclectic tastes.  With our Greek and Turkish backgrounds we sometimes have a bit of friendly banter about which country has the best music!

The only music Mustafa does not like is opera.  Olga loves the experience of listening to live music - pretty much any live music.  She also likes jazz and rock.

If you could meet anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be, and why? / Eğer dünyada yaşayan yada yaşamayan herhangi biriyle tanışmanız mümkün olsaydı onun kim olmasını isterdiniz?

Mustafa:  I would have to say Atatürk.  I also enjoy the work of the American actor Morgan Freeman.  I think he would be an interesting man to spend some time with.

Olga:  I have chosen two people.  Both of them are iconic, strong ladies who overcame adversity to really make their mark in the world.  Both are no longer with us but I think they are inspirational.  The first person is Frida Kahlo the Mexican artist.  The second person is French singer Edith Piaf, also known as “The Little Sparrow”.

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know. / Kendinizle ilgili bir çok insanın bilmediği bir şeyi anlatırmısınız

Mustafa: I love a party.

Olga: My friends tell me I am hilarious when I am drunk.  I should add that it doesn’t happen often.

Anything else / Başka her hangi birşey
Everyone knows it has been a tough couple of years for tourism in Turkey.  Thank you to everyone who has visited Kalkan this year.  To any KTLN readers who have taken a break from Kalkan for whatever reason, we look forward to welcoming you back soon.  And if you are thinking of coming to Kalkan for the very first time, rest assured you will not be disappointed.