Fatih Çarşamba (Wednesday) Market

Balat, Lokmacıdede Sk. No:34087, 34087 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

Every Wednesday morning in my neighborhood near Fatih Mosque, the traffic disperses, the roads are closed, plastic canopies are strewn from building to building, and thousands of stalls bursting with color and produce are set up across several blocks. It’s my favorite day of the week because not only do I get to rub shoulders with the locals, I can also grab a bargain of fruit and vegetables, cheeses, olives, herbs, spices, kitchen odds and ends, clothes, shoes, bags and haberdashery. Not all the fashions are geared to the western tastes, but wandering through the makeshift open-air markets is highly entertaining as vendors compete over offering the cheapest bargains with the loudest voice. It’s also an opportunity to better understand how the locals live—just keep in mind that the market is in a somewhat conservative neighborhood, so dress modestly to avoid becoming the main attraction.

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