‘The publication of Meander has confirmed my suspicion that there are few better travel writers than Jeremy Seal writing today, and none better on Turkey.’ – Geographical Magazine
‘Jeremy Seal’s fascination with Turkey brought an unexpected additional delight and humour to the journey. His extrovert character and his Turkish ensured a ready flow of enriching encounters with locals. With all that he was still sensitive to the needs of the group and made each of us feel special. Another holiday led by Jeremy is high on my to do list.’ – Gill Hinton
‘My wife Joyce and I had the great pleasure of travelling with Jeremy in Cappadoccia and then in a gulet along the Lycian coast. Jeremy’s infectious enthusiasm for Turkey and the multiple layers of peoples and civilisations that we were exploring was a constant tonic and made the trip a special experience. He shared his knowledge freely and happily. Nothing was too much trouble to ensure that the party had a memorable experience. And Jeremy answered all my idiotic questions fully and expertly without a sign of impatience. And, if he didn’t know the answer, he made sure he did by the next day. A true professional!’ – Neil McRae
I’m a British writer and journalist who’s been visiting Turkey since teaching there in 1984. In the course of that year I spent all available free time exploring the far-flung corners of this vast country at a time when tourism was in its infancy: the volcanic landscapes of Cappadocia when there were few hotels; Kaş, when the road to the village was a cork-screwing dirt track; and Ölüdeniz, when the beach there was backed by nothing more than a line of idyllic (but scorpion-infested) camp sites.
Since then I’ve returned on scores of occasions to write travel articles for the Sunday Times, Times, Sunday Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Conde Nast Traveller, GQ, The Australian, and many other publications. My first book, A Fez of the Heart (1995), told of the Turkish journeyings I made during 1993 in search of the signature headgear (abolished by the state on, in some cases, pain of death in the revolutionary 1920s). The book, shortlisted for the Thomas Cook/Daily Telegraph Travel Book Award, was also published in the U.S, Germany and Italy.
I revisited Turkey to research later books including Santa: A Life (Nicholas: The Epic Journey from Saint to Santa Claus in the U.S, 2004). This historical travelogue, which traced the posthumous odyssey of a Byzantine bishop from modern Demre on the Mediterranean coast to his contemporary wintry manifestation, was serialised as Radio 4’s Book of the Week. My most recent book is Meander: East to West Along a Turkish River (2012). The book recounts the solo canoe journey I made down the valley of the classical Meander, western Turkey’s Büyük Menderes River, in the spring of 2008. The book won the British Guild of Travel Writers’ Narrative Travel Book Award and was short-listed for the Dolman Prize.
In recent years I’ve learned passable Turkish and begun to work as a leader on cultural tours to Turkey, leading walking groups to classical ruins along the Mediterranean and general groups to southeast Turkey and to Cappadocia. I’m now 53, precisely thirty years older than I was when I first visited Turkey, and just as enthralled by this fascinating country.