Shopping in Turkey
Charming souvenirs and gifts can be selected from among Turkish crafts, the worldrenowned carpets, brilliant handpainted ceramics, copperware, brassware, and meerschaum pipes. The gold jewelry in brilliantly lit cases dazzles passersby. Leather and suede goods of excellent quality make a relatively inexpensive purchase. In the heart of the bazaar, the Old Bedesten offers a curious assortment of antiques. It is worth poking through the clutter of decades in the hope of finding a treasure.
The Misir Carsisi or Spice Bazaar, next to the Yeni Mosque at Eminonu, transports you to fantasies from the mystical East. The enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice fill the air. Sultanahmet has become another shopping mecca in the old city. The Istanbul Sanatlari Carsisi (Bazaar of Istanbul Arts) in the 18th centuryMehmet Efendi Medresesi, and the nearby 16th- century Caferaga Medrese, built by Sinan, offer you the chance to see craftsmen at work and to purchase their wares. In the Arasta (old bazaar) of the Sultanahmet Mosque, a thriving shopping arcade makes both shopping and sightseeing very convenient.
The sophisticated shops of the Taksim – Nisantasi districts contrast with the chaos of the bazaars. On Istiklal Avenue, Cumhuriyet Avenue and Rumeli Avenue, you can browse peacefully in the most fashionable shops selling elegant fashions made from Turkey’s high quality textiles. Exquisite jewelry as well as finely designed handbags and shoes can also be found. The Atakoy Galleria Mall in Atakoy and the Akmerkez Mall in Etiler have branches of Istanbul’s most elegant shops. In Bakirkoy, the Carousel Mall is worth a visit, as is the Atlas Passage in Beyoglu. Bahariye Avenue, Bagdat Avenue,and Capitol Mall on the Asian side, offer the same shopping opportunities.
In Istanbul’s busy flea markets you can find an astonishing assortment of goods, both old and new. Every day offers a new opportunity to poke about the Sahaflar Carsisi and Cinaralti in the Beyazitdistrict. On Sundays, in a flea market between the Sahaflar and the Covered Bazaar, vendors uncover their wares on carts and blankets. The Horhor Carsisi is a collection of shops that sell furniture of varying age and quality. Flea markets are open daily in the Topkapi district, on Cukurcuma Sokak in Cihangir, on Buyuk Hamam Sokak in Uskudar, in the Kadikoy Carsi Duragi area, and betweenEminonu and Tahtakale. After a Sunday drive up the Bosphorus, stop between Buyukdere and Sariyer to wander through another lively market.