Limani hotels in Çanakkale and Bozcaada are run by the Yalman family. The group was founded by Hüseyin Yalman and all members of his family are involved in their operation. Hüseyin is the overseer and commander-in chief. His wife Hülya, active in various local organizations, may be found schmoozing with ladies’ groups in Cafe du Port in the afternoon. His elder son Orkun, manager of the IVECO dealership and second-hand car showroom, hobnobs with businessmen and buddies over a glass of amber nectar at the bar in the evenings. His younger son Akın is le manager of “Otel Limani” on the island of Bozcaada (Tenedos), the sister hotel of “Çanakkale Limani”. Orkun’s wife Dilara became the proud mother of a baby boy, given the name Hüseyin Batı (“HB” for short) in May 2011. That makes six Yalman’s (so far).
Hüseyin Yalman was born in Gelibolu (Gallipoli) in 1955, the grandson of immigrants from Macedonia in Greece and the son of a truck driver who started the first bus company operating the route from Istanbul to Çanakkale-Edremit. Hüseyin’s induction into the world of business was as a nipper selling simit on the streets of Gelibolu in the school holidays and polishing shoes in Istanbul. Following graduation from Agricultural College, he gave up tending peach trees after a few years to open his own shop selling spare parts for Ford lorries. He then became the official distributor for IVECO vehicles (trucks and minibuses) in the region and set up a showroom and service center. As a member of Çanakkale Businessmen’s’ Association (ÇASIAD), he has made many trips to Europe and also several to Australia to brush up his already-fluent English and see what his sons were up to. Orkun went to Italy to learn Italian before hoofing it down-under to learn Australian English in Sydney. Akin studied advertising, marketing and haute cuisine in Sydney. Hüseyin Yalman is a former President of Çanakkale Businessmen’s Association.
Hüseyin explains how the idea of Hotel Limani came about. “Sometimes, the name of a hotel describes its location. I took over a hotel on Bozcaada (Tenedos) for Akın. It’s at the top of the hill overlooking the port. On Bozcaada, it's trendy to give hotels Greek names. So we called our hotel “Limani”, meaning “harbor” in Greek. Liman also happens to be the Turkish word for harbor. Later, we were walking along the seafront in Çanakkale one day while it was snowing. This was not long after Orkun and Dilara had got married. We were passing in front of a hotel that was up for sale and I said to Dilara, who had lots of experience in the tourism business in Istanbul, ‘If you want to work, I can get this hotel for you’. Dilara was delighted. After renovation and whatnot, when we were looking for a new name for the hotel, we decided to call it “Limani” too. Both hotels having the same name would create synergy. At the same time it would provide a venue to connect up members of the family. We wanted to create a hotel where our guests would feel at home, a sort of home-away-from- home. I have to admit that we borrowed some ideas from my own house, where of course Hulya has a lot to say about matters of design and decoration.”