in Istanbul Turkey
visit Istanbul for the shopping alone. The Kapali Çarsi, or Covered Bazaar, in
the old city is the logical place to start. This labyrinth of streets and
passages houses more than 4,000 shops. The names recall the days when each trade
had its own quarter: Goldsmiths' street, Carpet sellers' street, Skullcap
makers. Still the commercial center of the old city, the bazaar is the original
shopping mall with something to suit every taste and pocket.
crafts, the world-renowned carpets, brilliant hand painted ceramics, copper,
brassware, and meerschaum pipes make charming souvenirs and gifts. The gold
jewelry in brilliantly lit cases blinds passersby. Leather and suede goods of
excellent quality make a relatively inexpensive purchase. The Old Bedesten, in
the heart of the bazaar, offers a curious assortment of antiques. It is worth
poking through the clutter of decades in the hope of finding a treasure.
Misir Çarsisi or Spice Bazaar, next to Yeni Mosque in Eminönü, transports you to
fantasies of 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 Çarsisi (Bazaar of Istanbul Arts) in the l8th century Mehmet Efendi
Medresesi, and the nearby l6th century Caferaga Medrese, built by Sinan, offer a
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 shopping and
sightseeing very convenient.
sophisticated shops of the Taksim-Nisantasi-Sisli 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 that sell elegant
fashions made from Turkey's high quality textiles. Exquisite jewelry as well as
finely designed handbags and shoes can also be found. The Ataköy Galleria Mall
in Ataköy and Akmerkez Mall in Etiler have branches of Istanbul's most elegant
shops. Bahariye Avenue, Bagdat Avenue, and Capitol Mall on the Asian side, offer
the same goods.
Istanbul's busy flea markets you can find an astonishing assortment of goods,
both old and new. Everyday offers a new opportunity to poke about the Sahaflar
Çarsisi and Çinaralti in the Beyazit district. On Sundays, in a flea market
between the Sahaflar and the Covered Bazaar, vendors uncover their wares on
carts and blankets. The Horhor Çarsisi is a collection of shops that sell
furniture of varying age and quality. The flea market in the Topkapi district,
on Çukurcuma Sokak in Cihangir, on Büyük Hamam Sokak in Üsküdar, in the Kadiköy
Çarsi Duragi area, and between Eminönü and Tahtakale, are open daily. After a
Sunday drive up the Bosphorus, stop between Büyükdere and Sariyer to wander
through another lively market