Eastern cities are hard to imagine without a huge number of the commercial places. It is in the genes of the local citizens to sell and buy regardless their age and status. Despite the fact that Istanbul is semi-European city, the metropolis has prominent oriental features. So as to know exactly where to go and what to buy, OUTLOOK talks about the most spectacular markets after returning from Istanbul.
Istanbul citizens got used to the 21-st century with its malls, giant shopping centers, product supermarkets and Internet shops. In the big and modern metropolis which is not worse than American or Western European ones, the modern goods-and-money relationships (also in digital) are accepted. However, love to the market (in total they are nearly 200), these old and alive places where one could not only sell and buy but also talk about anything and everything, perhaps, will be in Turkey in all times regardless of international changes. The majority of Istanbul markets are real landmarks where one could make a purchase even not having such a purpose. This is the special cultural program. Indeed, it is hard to go ungifted away (if you intended just to look), as the salesmen paster so much that one should have iron self-control. In addition to that, everything is so bright, beautiful, tasty and pleasant to see and touch. Well, let’s dive into the depth!
Talking about the market of the planet, one could use only numbers. Particularly, Grand Bazaar or Kapalicarsi in Turkish language is66 covered trading streets with more than four thousand numerous shops. For instance, there are twelve mosques, eighteen fountains, several hundred ateliers, cafes, tea houses. It is unbelievable but there is even bath-house where salesmen go after the exhausting working day. Also, there is a school where children study. By hearsay, there is even a small cemetery where the ancestors are buried. The big market is a city in the city with its routine, rhythm, and rules. One is able to buy everything that is possible to imagine, from jewelry to the big animals. Let us say that prices for all the positions are overstated at least twice that’s why one should make terms compulsorily. Grand Bazaar opened its gates for the visitors in the middle of the XV century, almost immediately after occupation of Constantinople. Since than, it has become the main center of the city trade, in the last centuries there used to be banks, broker’s board and even places for the slave-trade. It is the rich heritage seen in the architecture of Kapalicarsi, its luxury streets, and magnificent gates. Wherever one looks, all the details savor gold. The richness in this place is penetrated in the air. Every day there are big money received for the tons of goods. According to the statistics, everyday Grand Bazaar is visited more than half a million tourists. This commercial wonder of the world is situated not far away from Blue Mosque. One could walk or go by tram several stations. The only day off is Sunday, not to mention the religious holidays. From 8.30 am till 7 pm everybody are welcome to buy what has not been sold.
Market of species
Misir Carsi or Egyptian market is the neighbor of Grand Bazaar. They almost flow to each other. However, Istanbul citizens differ them. Established in 1660, the Market of species was full of Egyptian traders with the main good of species and herbs. The rent has been taken from them. It was going to the building of mosques, particularly, New one which was built nearby as well a development of the market. The architect was the well-known master Kazim Aga. Today there are many tourists who come to get the herbs, tea, and sweets, but Carsi is more local then every Istanbul citizen has the places with products that are oriented not only at travelers. Of course, the prices differ from Grand Bazaar but one could make terms and try products, as well. In depth of the market there is magnificent restaurant of the national cuisine Pandeli, where such legendary people loved dining as Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Robert de Niro, Agatha Christi and other celebrities. What is interesting, even though cuisine is Turkish, and this place was established by Pandeli Chobanoglu. Despite the poor interior and discreet service, this food has been rejoicing guests for more than one hundred years.
The favorite place of Turkish clerisy is situated in the small avenue near mosque Bayezid. This is the unique book market famous in Turkey since XVIII century. Here the connoisseurs of rare books from different corners of Ottoman empire were going because verily in Istanbul, the multi-language and multi-national Babylon one could find the only paper treasures. Nowadays the market has got the modern book shops, and on the streets it is still possible to buy the true pearls. The atmosphere here like in the library openair. It seems that the visitors and salesmen communicate with the help of gestures and glances, using words and screams only when they needed to talk about the price. The local aged Istanbul citizens say that only recently Sahaflar withdrew from the fire that in 1950 destroyed many valuable books and scared collectors, second-hand booksellers from such chaotic place for the trade as the alley. The rare calligraphy, manuscripts, religious books from Middle East have returned to this place. This is the perfect place for rebooting in the noisy metropolis so as to try Silence and Eternity.
Certainly, the best product market in the city spread not far away from the same-name bay in Asian part of the city. Many local citizens call Kadikoy market ‘fishy’ that’s why there are a lot of fresh sea products, from the supplies from the fishermongers do not stop for one day that’s why in any seasons the sea smells and further travels. Spreading strictly on alive and narrow streets of the regions, the current market is the true paradise for the gourmands because there is not only magnificent fish, octopus, mussels, and lobsters as well as other products, such as vegetables, fruits, cheese, meat, nuts which were taken by the farmers from the suburbs of Istanbul. The prices were a bit lower than on European travel markets as not many tourists get to Asian part. In the cliques and shops one could cheaply buy different pickles, salines, incredible bread, rare sorts of species and tea. The black and white photos of grandmothers and grandfathers that are the producers of business give authenticity hanging on the walls of the shops. What is pleasant, the appetite comes on Kadikoy market, even after the ship sailing openair, one is able to taste food in the beautiful café Ciya. But it is hard to find it because there are three business units of this place with delicious Turkish pizza and flavored soups.
Noisy and fussy region Oq-Saroy is considered as not so benevolent in European part of the city because of the blossoming prostitution, slums buildings and immigrant ghetto. However, it does not let current swap meet be such colorful and attractive. Even more, Oq-Saroy and market Horhor situated not far away from the same-name street one should visit non glamorous Istanbul. When you see the showpieces, all the bad rumors and opinions about the region will be forbidden. The antiques, dishes, many-century furniture, house decorations, coins, and souvenirs are enough not only for seventeen-million Istanbul but also for all the tourists. This market appeared near the line of the tram T1 in 1980 when the merchants from the destroyed market Kuledebi moved there. Since then, everybody goes to Horhor to buy the hotchpotch where if possible one could find real museum showpieces dated back to the early Ottoman Empire quite cheaper than on the auctions. Nevertheless, one should not forget that here one could foist there true rubbish and forgery. Eastern salesmen are able to beg and deceive looking in the eyes. That’s why it is better not to make big purchases without guide or specialist on the old time. We recommend buying some pleasant things, looking at the verily process of the trade (with the compulsory prayers breaks) and going away till the evening.
Main photo lonelyplanet.com, rutravel.net