We have just booked a tour with EKOL Travel for our stop in Istanbul. Will probably book them for Ephesus as well. They have been very professional in helping me decide what to do with our family. Hopefully our tour will go just as well.
For our second trip to Istanbul we wanted something a little different,having seen the Blue Mosque, Topkapi and so on.
We contacted Kagan Kosagan and had long email discussions with him which ended up in designing a wonderful personalized tour which we enjoyed very much. He is an amazingly well informed guide, and has a driver who is a wizard in Istanbul traffic! I know he can also do a good job on the more "standard" attractions.
We had a private guide for all 3 of those days who was wonderful. We can't say enough good things about Levent Solmaz.
You won't be disappointed...we certainly weren't!
We too had heard good things about Levent Solmaz, so we booked with him well in advance for our trip to Kusadasi (Ephesus). Sadly we WERE disapointed as when we arrived at the pier, with no advance notice, we found that Levent had sent a substitute. The guide he sent, Hulya, was very good and we were happy with our trip. However we did not feel it was very ethical for him to give us no notice and simply have another guide meet us at the port.
I have seen reports from some other people of the same thing happening. Now it is possible for a booked guide to have a genuine emergency, and he did provide an alternate, but having heard such good things about him personally it was disappointing nevertheless.