Kastamonu Mansion main_sep Our Founder
OUR FOUNDER
THE STORY OF OUR FOUNDER GÜLSEN KIRBAŞ AND UĞURLU MANSIONS

Gülsen Kırbaş was born in İstanbul.

She graduated from St. Georg’s Austrian College and from Bosphorus University (B.S., Biology)

Thereafter she did not perform her own profession, and focused on tourism which she found attractive.

She continued her career in tourism, with which she began in 1985 as German and English professional tourist guide, by commencing a travel agency in 1995.

She founded NOVITAS Tourism & Travel Agency in 1997, of which she is the owner now. Besides scientific meetings and congresses, she has focused on cultural tour organizations inbound and outbound together with the abovementioned agency. Her agency became one of the leading agencies in Turkey within this sphere. She formed many authentic cultural tour programs, and became the guide of these programs as well.

Since 1999 she has focused especially on West Black Sea and Kastamonu region and by preparing tour programs inherent to Kastamonu region she has realized these programs. After these activities, admiring the natural and cultural tourism potential in Kastamonu, she decided to invest in this city.

She founded “Kastamonu Mansions Tourism and Trade Co. Ltd.” in 2003 and signed an agreement with the Kastamonu Progress Foundation in order to run the historical Toprakçılar Mansion as a touristic facility.

Toprakçılar Mansion hotel-restaurant management was opened in January 2004 and began to be operated as a special-licensed boutique hotel.

In 2005, Gülsen Kırbaş bought the 150 year old Uğurlu Mansion and restored it according to the restoration project which was approved by the Council of Monuments. She managed herself the restoration process of four years and worked herself in the most parts of the restoration, including the parts concerning woodwork. She designed and implemented herself the inner decoration, furnishing and garden landscaping. In December 2009 she inaugurated the building as special-licensed accommodation facility and restaurant. (special category hotel) She is still directing the hotel management practically as the general manager of Kastamonu Mansion Enterprises.

In 1988 Gülsen Kırbaş obtained her M.A. degree from the History Department of Bosphorus University in Art History. Her thesis subject is “Changes seen in the physiognomy of İstanbul during westernization in the 19th century with an emphasis on its architecture”.

She still continues with her doctoral studies. Her subject matter is the problems considering authenticity within the preservation process in traditional Turkish Civil Architecture in Kastamonu. And her special interests are Turkish-Islam Architecture, civil life culture and the preservation and revival of historical urban patterns.

In the academic year of 2012-2013, she lectured part-time in the Department of Tourism Management in Bosphorus University. Gülsen Kırbaş is TÜRSAB (Association of Turkish Travel Agencies) Cultural Tourism Committee General Secretary, member of Nature Tourism Committee, Founder and Chair of Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Association, member of TUREB (Union of Tourist Guides), member of ITO, member of KATSO, founder and trustee of NÖBİVA (Turkish Foundation for Neurological Sciences), founder and trustee of ALV (Foundation of Saint Georg College), member of board of Association of Preservation and Enlivening the Kastamonu Historical Houses and their Cultural Assets.

Gülsen Kırbaş has knowledge of German and English in proficient level and of Latin in reading and comprehending level. She is married to Prof. Dr. Dursun Kırbaş and is the mother of Zeynep Kırbaş.

The awards given to Gülsen Kırbaş and Uğurlu Mansions are:

*In 2003: Gülsen Kırbaş was awarded by Kastamonu Chamber of Commerce and Industry thanks to her contributions to tourism by a plaque of appreciation.

** In 2005: Gülsen Kırbaş was deemed worthy of the award of “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” which is given by Dünya Newspaper to one female entrepreneur of one province.

* In 2008: Gülsen Kırbaş was awarded by Kastamonu Commerce and Industry Chamber as ‘the successful businesswoman of the year’.

* In 2011: Kastamonu Mansions Management was awarded by the Kastamonu Quality Life Association “because of its implementations in ascending quality”.

* In 2011: Gülsen Kırbaş was awarded in the “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” competition with the prize “Promising Female Entrepreneur” transmitted jointly by Garanti Bankası, KAGİDER and the Journal Ekonomist.

* In 2012: Uğurlu Konakları won the third prize which Scal International Istanbul Club giving under the theme of “Contribution to the Preservation of Cultural Values”.

*In 2013: Uğurlu Konakları was chosen the “Most Beautiful Small Hotel of Turkey” among 450 small hotels in the rating made by Small Hotels Site via internet.

* In 2014: Uğurlu Mansions received the “Award of Excellence” by Booking.com.

* In 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 : Uğurlu Mansions received the “Certificate of Excellence” by Tripadvisor.

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