I'm always glad to hear about anyone who traveled in Turkey without a group tour, and I'm very glad Bcboyce and his wife enjoyed their trip. I think other potential travelers should know, though, that the Boyces were paying top dollar. It's possible to travel in Turkey for much less, without setting foot in a youth hostel.
We drove through Turkey, without paying uch attention to our budget, but stayed in smaller towns, and went farther East, away from the most congested tourist areas. On the seacoast near Anamur, we had a seafront room in the best hotel in town --we shared it, somewhat nervously, with a major political figure and his armed security staff-- and paid just under $32 a night. This was a fairly typical price. We ate in restaurants which attracted local businessmen, and paid $15 or so (for two) for authentic, Turkish food, which we found quite delicious and varied. As I recall, though, we never did have shish kabob! On a previous trip to Turkey, we travelled on inter-city buses,which are clean and reliable-- and, of course, considerably cheaper than renting a car.
Bcboyce is quite right, many Turks in the tourist business do speak English, so knowing Turkish isn't essential. As everywhere else in the world, though, knowing enough to say the polite phrases in the local language does break the ice. In any case, I hope more people try traveling on their own in Turkey, whether on the Boyce's lavish budget, or on a more modest scale. It really is the only way to appreciate the country.