Requirement for Foreigners
Turkish Embassies Abroad
Turkish Tourism Offices
Turkish Trade Offices
Post & Communications
Books & Newspapers & Magazines
Weights & Measures
Food and Drink
The Turkish Bath
Getting There & Away
is another pleasure of any vacation or even business trip. In Turkey you
are able to buy special handicrafts which vary from one region to another.
Authentic bazaars, rug(carpet) and kilim workshops besides other
traditional handicraft centers are offering pleasant shopping. The most
well-known shopping center is Kapalicarsi, The Grand Covered Bazaar of
Istanbul. The Spice Bazaar is also in the neighborhood.
famous Turkish rugs and kilims are uncomparable in respect of quality and
beauty. You will certainly have a great pleasure in selecting and buying
different rugs woven with various styles in different parts of Turkey.
Turkish leather and textile products reflecting the latest fashion are
attracting the visitors of malls with reasonable prices. The origins of
jewellery go back to the neolithic age in Anatolia. Several designs have
been created combining the ancient styles with those of the future. Silver
and gold jewellery with precious stones are most popular items of shopping
number of art and antique galeries in the neighborhood of the Grand Bazaar.
They sell rare pieces of Ottoman
engravings, silverware, needlework, illuminations, ceramics & tiles,
paintings and contemporary art. Visiting these kind of merchants is highly
valuable item for shopping is hand-painted ceramics and porcelain, which
is originating from Iznik, Istanbul & Kutahya.
traditional art presents many samples over hundreds of years to
international collections. A number of souvenir shops offer a wide range
of popular gift items at attractive rates, such as laces, kanavice (canvas
embroidery) yemeni (colour print cotton scarves), copperware and gifts
made of brass and marble.
are several shops and fashion boutiques at different malls in several
cities. Galleria Atakoy, Akmerkez, Capitol in Istanbul, Karum and Atakule
in Ankara, Oasis in Bodrum are some of these shopping malls. In these
malls you can easily find modern shopping items at very attractive rates
besides well-known brands from fashion centers of the world.
is very easy since you can use all major credit cards, if you do not wish
to pay cash. Many shopkeepers and other staff in retail shops speak
English and they are attentive and willing to show and introduce their
goods. Shopping in Turkey is a part of a great vacation.
and enjoy the destination. Youll love it!
Indulge in a shopping spree! What
is money for anyway!?
Search and Stroll through
"The Stores in Turkey"
Find their addresses, phone and fax numbers and e-mails.
See how you can pay a visit to their Store when you get to Turkey,
or if you can order through the Internet.
Learn about what they carry , their Special prices and the Sales.
Bargain, haggle, shake hands but never be bored, for, you will come to a point
where both parties will leave with a contented smile on their faces.
Flying Carpets, Glittering
Jewelry, Fine Leather goods and Leatherware, Beautiful Tiles,
Exquisite Porcelains, Antique Copper and Brass, Thousands of Souvenirs, and Turkish
Await You here!
SHOPPING FROM THE COVERED BAZAAR TO NISANTASI
In Istanbul where thousands of
business centers producing small handcrafts to heavy industry organizations are located,
it is natural the consumption, too, be in conformity to those sizes. While Istanbul sells
her production to other sectors of Turkey and abroad, it works the other way round in
foodstuffs. Various centers of Turkey tries to feed Istanbul. Her manufacturing capacity
is so great that she is capable of meeting 1/10 of Turkey's needs. With this state of her,
Istanbul resembles a giant which is dexterous and powerful but hard to feed.
If it were possible to make an
inquiry at any time of any day, it would be possible to see thousands of merchants who
came to Istanbul to buy something.
People visiting any foreign country
with touristical purposes would of course buy some souvenirs to take back to their
country. This is rather different in Istanbul, here shopping occupies a place important
enough to be included in daily schedule. The foreign tourists automatically wish to do so.
It must be added that number of groups including shopping as the first item in their
schedule cannot be underestimated. This is an indication that there are things for anyone
to buy in Istanbul. What is available in
Istanbul? What is not? In istanbul a historical
atmosphere and a folklore view carried forward by various traditions are added to that
colorfulness and activity observed in large shopping centers in any country and city.
Therefore, even if you don't have any intention for shopping, you may feel like asking
yourself "why don't I shop and join others in this amusement ?". Yes, shopping
in the Covered Bazaar in Mısır Carsisi (spice market) and Mahmutpasa is something even
J. Pardoe, who describes
l9th century, says, "the Covered Bazaar of Istanbul is something like the thousand
and one nights for Europeans. Neither the historical value of At Meydani nor the dignity
and splendour of St. Sophia is as interesting as the shopping area of the city among these
three seas. The covered Bazaar of Istanbul beams like the magic lantern of Aladdin in
This famous market initial foundation of which goes back
to the l5th century has been enlarged, partially burned, repaired and subjected to some
modifications on various dates. Despite all these, she has not lost any part of her mystic
at mosphere Covered Bazaar, with all the structures like streets, squares, masjids (mosque
without minaret) and fountains is respected as a city. With her size, vividness and wealth
she is matchless in the world. Covered Bazaar is real oriental and is the abundance
itself. There, the business, art and the folklore are combined.
This gigantic market with a surface
area of 47.600 square meter has 61 streets and 3600 shops. During summer seasons, 7000
tourists visit and make shopping there in a day. In the Ottoman period it was arranged in
a manner to meet all of the needs of people, except foodstuffs. According to that
arrangement, each specific subject or group of tradesmen had a separate street. Since the
jewellers, money changers and goldsmiths were also here, it was treated as another
treasure of the country and was protected with extraordinary measures. Today again, the
jewelry shops are the ones which add color to the Covered Bazaar and the Bazaar is again
under strict safety measures.
In the old days, cosmopolitan people
of Istanbul Society with assorted costumes, used to form a color jollification with their
fezes, turbans, baggy trousers and sashes and do their shopping on the streets with
covered tops. Today it provides services for a more cosmopolitan society with the tourists
from all over the world. Consumer goods formerly sold in ordinary shops, today again are
sold therein. The only difference is the fact that such goods are being sold in antiquity
stores in the same market. Covered Bazaar must be learned not only with its existing shops
and their display windows loaded with goods and commodities, but also with its
surroundings. Quite a large number of business places and workshops, tend to disappear and
encircle all around the market simply race with each other for producing goods for it.
These shops formerly had taken place within the market. A ring you see in a shop-window,
is handled by same number of artificers settled in gloomy inns, as the number of processes
they have gone through.
Liveliness on the main streets of
the market may not be observed on the side streets, but here you live the old Covered
Bazaar more thoroughly. Owners of shops inviting passing-by people to their shops by
bowing in front of their doors are far more courteous than those sticky sellers who try to
flute to tourists on streets. If they invite the passing-by tourists whom they don't
know in their respective languages within a few seconds, there is nothing to be surprised
about. Because they have the ability to recognize the people of various nationalities
before talking to them and, to talk to them in their own languages. This place offers a
big chance and opportunity for the tradesmen, but utilizing this opportunity requires
skill and proficiency. Tradesmen of the Covered Bazaar take place among the best marketers
of the world. Once you step in a jewellery or a rug store, non-existence of the kind
you desire is impossible. how you shall come to an a ment on price, too.
One of the scenes frequently
rendered in the Covered Bazaar each day is the families come for buying marriage outtits
and the living picture they draw. Prospective bride is accompanied by her mother and
relatives who assist her with their sense of taste and purse. If the candidate groom is
with them, they feel more comfortable. Continuing validity of the old tradition presenting
gold or jewellery made out of gold as much as the groom and the relatives of both sides
can afford giving to the bride, is one of the reasons which explains the abundance of
jewellery shops in the market.
Formerly weddings in rural areas
were made at the end of harvest reason and after products were sold, therefore the
jewellers used to wait unpatiently until the end of summer season. Now, since almost no
one engaged in agriculture is left in Istanbul, such an expectation does not exist either.
Work-shops around the Covered Bazaar which are engaged in such works meet the requirements
of entire Turkey. This of course is the clear indication of gold processing capacity of
the Covered Bazaar.
Just in front of all three main
entrances of this market, there is a separate world and shopping centers. While entering
the market from Beyazit side, the Historical Booksellers selling used books, coppersmith
shops, scrap metal sellers and antique dealers create a great picturesque atmosphere.
After entering the Covered Bazaar using this entrance, if you walk on the main street from
one end to the other, you shall end up in a courtyard where the Nur-u Osmaniye Mosque is
located. After walking through this courtyard you shall see the most interesting and the
richest rug stores of the world These stores, where also jewelht ies sold are noted for
their spec~ ity and quality in their subject. Getting out of the Covered Bazaar at the
beginning of Mahmutpasa street, you all of a sudden fmi yourself in a crowd while trying
tı understand what the cloth and ap parel sellers are shouting out fııi You may see
around all kinds a people, the brides who have just completed their shopping in the
Covered Bazaar, candidate grooms, boys to be circumcised and their families.
These people run from one shop to another to buy their wedding dresses, their special
circumcision dresses. Heıjİ to Mısır Carsisi (Spice Bazaar) is full of shops
preferred by medium and low-income groups. A week to ten days before the religious
holidays, enthusiastic crowd seen in all markets of Istanbul, form distinct and more
colorful scenes between Mahmutpasa and Eminonu. Creators of this atmosphere are peddlers
who sell extremely inexpensive goods. Hundreds of them may appear and disappear suddenly.
Being subject to penalties imposed
by the municipal police, they don't want to lessen their profits to be obtained from their
business, even though it is contrary to regulations. Therefore, they have the ability to
disappear all of a sudden, as soon as they receive the signals which they all understand,
before the municipal police appears. Thus, the amusing chase continues. Secret to the
sales by peddlers at such a low price, are the wholesale stores on the side streets of the
Mahmutpasa slope. It is possible to obtain all kinds of clothing, ranging from socks to
overcoats, cheaper than any part of the country. As a matter of fact, number engaged in
textile and apparel business has an enormous weight compared to other professions.
Even before entering the Spice
Market, the spice aroma penetrated so deeply in, through centuries, reaches your nose.
Today in some of the shops of this market, electronic equipment and tools not fitting here
at all, even contrary to its nature, are being sold. However, there can not be any other
error as great as missing the surroundings of the Spice Market, to really see and live the
traditional commercial life of Istanbul. Here, you also have all opportunities and a wide
range of selections which would please your stomach. If you believe, you may find remedies
for the pains and aches in your body, with dried herbs and even get an aphrodisiac
prescription tried for centuries. You may lose your consciousness and live the past
centuries with the aroma in the Spice Market. Be attracted by the tales related to charms
and all of a sudden, regain consciousness with the fluttering wings of the pidgeons of the
As soon as you walk out of the aft
doors of the market you run into a different world. This is Tahtakale, nowadays whose name
is frequently mentioned in the economic life of Istanbul as one of the major banks.
If you can not find an item of
native or foreign origin in Tahtakale, which earlier you were unable to find anywhere in
Turkey, then you are really out of luck. Here, all retailers and wholesellers, that is the
sellers of all kinds of needful goods are all together in one place, important thing is to
know where you can find the things you need.
First coffee houses in
Turkey were opened in Tahtakale (1555). Today, these coffeehouses are no more existing,
but the most delicious coffee can be bought here.
Eminonu and Sirkeci sections, not
only from the standpoint of commercial liveliness, but also for being exit points of the
train station and urban buses are the most crowded places of Istanbul. Any time during the
day it is possible to see people coming in and going out, running around in hurry. Yeni
Camii (the New Mosque), Spice Market and many other buildings, some modern and some still
bearing traces of the last century have turned grey from the boat smokes thru years, are
the spectators of this human traffic. Sea gulls on the sea side and the pigeons of the New
Mosque on the land side of the screen formed by the boat smokes live in close contact with
Enchanting Istanbul, which the
travellers and writers never ceased talking and writing about for centuries, starts here,
and has such a dense formation in the BeyazitSirkeci-Eminonu triangle, which ranges from
small handicraff shops, governmental departments, business piaces to historical and
touristical centers, that leads to a big difference between day and night population of
the area. The district, whose population increases up to 800.000 during the day,
practically abandoned at night, because there is no residence here.
Proceeding from Eminonu to Karakoy,
crossing the bridge on foot is more pleasant and amusing. As soon as you arrive at Karakoy
amongst the shoutings of fishermen selling raw and grilled fish in boats and the smells of
fish and moss, if you get on the mini metro, you find yourself at the beginning of
Istiklal Caddesi of Beyoglu section within a very short time. Now, in front of you, is
laid a long shopping street vividness of which varies from one place to another and ends
in Nisantasi Section. As you proceed on this street, prices increase a little, but the
quality gets better, too. This series of streets connected to each other have the highest
quality and level ready to wear clothing stores in the Middle-East and the Balkans. All
fashion houses and luxury boutiques also take place in these areas More than half of the
apparel items are manufactured in Istanbul. Therefore, almost whole export is realized
therefrom. Major firms closely follow and implement the latest fashion trends of the
world. Furthermore they introduce their new creations at the international level thus
realizing a significant progress also in the marketing area.
While Beyoglu-Nisantasi and Osmanbey
sections meet the clothing requirements of intermediate and high income groups, the prices
are at an attractive level for foreigners led by Arab tourists. These noble sections
resided 50 years ago, now we engaged in the effort of promoting elegance of people.
Big development witnessed in
leatherware sector during recent years started adding new species in display windows of
these elegant stores. In reality, Istanbul is considered to be the only center in Turkey
which processes the leather and makes various effects such as suit, shoe, bag, etc.
Small and large factories located on
100 km road between Istanbul and Izmit may give an idea about other branches of industry
in Istanbul. It must not be forgotten that Istanbul's place in Turkey's manufacturing
industry from the standpoint of added value is approx. 35 %.
Source : Sabahattin Turkoglu ICOC