Shopping in Istanbul (Turkey)

Aug 24th, 2012, 08:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 129
Shopping in Istanbul (Turkey)

We are heading to Turkey next month and will be in Izmir, Coppadoccia & Istanbul.
I want to buy good turkish bath towels and rug if possible.
Anyone has tips on where to find these? TIA!
p3t0t is offline  
Aug 25th, 2012, 04:36 AM
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The towels we bought recently were from Chakra, which has a number of shops. We bought them at the Astoria Mall shop. They are made in Denizli and some of the towels and bathobes use bamboo in combination with cotton, which makes them lighter and pleasant but they do not have vivid colours. By chance, i had a student in my graduate class this year who, hearing we were looking for bathrobes, said her father was one of the producers and sent a bathrobe to my address. I could not return it. Well! she deserved an "A" anyway

There is a shop at the Arasta bazaar near the Blue Mosque at Sultanahmet owned by, I think, a Canadian lady who has special towels and especially the thin traditional Turkish bath wraps (which are available at Chakra also) which she has made with her designs at small regional weavers.

Neither of these are cheap.

A standard large producer with retail shops is Ozdilek, available at quite a few places including their own large shop in the Cevahir Mall at Sisli. Some of their stuff is also quite good quality, fluffy and the kind that gave Turkish towels their name. they are also much cheaper and have vivid colours as well as the pastels.
otherchelebi is offline  
Aug 25th, 2012, 04:50 AM
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Some rules for buying carpets :

1. Visit some oriental carpet shops in your home town or nearby large city to find out about them in general. designs, number of knots/cm, dyes, wool versus cotton versus hemp, etc. and of'course prices

2. Check for regions and designs and decide on which designs you prefer, then investigate prices of knew and old on the web including e-bay.

3. have all your notes with you when visiting a carpet dealer.

4. You will have better possibility of getting real Yahyali, Nigde, Kayseri carpets at village shops at Cappadocia than in istanbul where Chinese replicas are quite common.

5. used carpets should not be Chinese replicas since the replicas started appearing at most ten years ago.

6. Do not buy Iranian carpets in Turkey unless you are an expert.

7. I would not be too sure about Turkmen and Afghan carpets either.

8. Except for Milas and Kayseri and some Konya carpets most Turkish carpets have vivid colors, especially, reds and navies. Pastel Yahyali, Yagci Bedir, Nigde Taspinar carpets may not have been died with natural dyes and may have lost their colours under the sun.

9. I have no idea how you can trust a carpet dealer or a guide who takes you to one.

We have usually bought our carpets during our road trips at villages or at border towns on the East.
otherchelebi is offline  
Aug 25th, 2012, 07:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 15
The lovely little shop in Arasta market is owned by
Jennifer, I believe. I asked for her shop and most of
the shop keepers in that market will direct you to her
store. She has some lovely items.
Xenii is offline  
Aug 26th, 2012, 09:38 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 129
Thx for the replies, I appreciate them.

May I ask the price range of these towels? And how do you by the good (better) quality ones?

Wow, carpet shopping sounds like a hard task! I am a little afraid now (after hearing so many scams happened)
p3t0t is offline  
Aug 26th, 2012, 10:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,550

If you do buy a carpet and arrange for it to ship home sign the label on the back of the carpet. Also take a photo of the carpet. That way when you receive it you are certain there has been no "bait and switch".
worldinabag is offline  
Aug 30th, 2012, 02:28 PM
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Posts: 1,707
Just got back from Istanbul and bought some lovely blankets from Jennifer's shop. She has 3 in the Arasta Bazaar-it's called Jennifer's or something like that. Everyone knows her!
Skiergirl is offline  
Sep 6th, 2012, 12:55 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
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otherchelebi, thank for such a full review on carpet business))) when i was in Turkey i was thinking about buying a little one, but I did not dare
Adjani_Marso is offline  
Sep 6th, 2012, 11:49 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 110
is there any shop in istanbul or urgup / goreme (cappadocia), even expensive where i can buy a (small) carpet without being cheated or driving a hard bargain?
shwets is offline  
Sep 11th, 2012, 03:45 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 602
Just got back from Turkey and my friends bought three carpets in Goreme at Sultans Carpets. They had looked around a bit and were happy with the prices and the quality at that shop. It is owned by the same people who own Sultan Cave suites. One friend had his packed to carry home and the other friend was having hers shipping for what seemed like a fair price.
ttraveler is offline  
Sep 13th, 2012, 08:28 AM
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Dear All, I just came across a location for buying carpets at the lowest floor of Cevahir Mall at Sisli of all places.

They have taken over a large portion of a side lane and have a reasonable number of Doseme Alti, Canakkale, Yagci Bedir, Milas carpets with a few Yahyali and Nigde Taspinar.

The location is owned and run by an association of carpet manufacturers and their prices are extremely good. They have a small, possibly 5-10% margin for cash sales if you negotiate and seemed to be very honest and reasonably knowledgable.

We bought one small Yagcibedir and one Canakkale to take to the US for about $400 for both, and are very happy with the quality, designs and price. (total area about one square meter each)

There was one larger Yahyali which we loved but it was too large and beyond our budget for a present.

The lane is off to the side of the Sony shop.
otherchelebi is offline  
Sep 13th, 2012, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
A good book that everyone should read before buying a rug in Turkey : " All you need to buy before BUYING ORIENTAL CARPETS - Revealing all the secrets about hand-made carpets " Its' writer is a Turkish tour guide. The book is in English and available at the museum shops such as Topkapı Palace Museum...just e-mail me to reach this guide..
Hakan1964 is offline  

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