Şirince, Şirince Mahallesi, 35920 Selçuk/İzmir, Turkey
Building the inventoryJust a short drive away from Selçuk, the usual base of operations for visitors to Ephesus, the small town of Şirince is nestled in the green hills. In March, we found hardly any other travelers around town, and spent the day strolling around its quiet lanes of Ottoman-style whitewashed homes, lunching under canopies of grapevines, buying handmade olive oil soaps and bargaining for textiles. Turkey's boldly colorful carpets have no shortage of fame, but in Şirince, the focus is on natural cotton, embellished with muted colors, openwork fringes and tassels. We also found a number of women working on small knit goods, like little slipper socks, all beautifully made. Selçuk in itself is a friendly little town, but this detour was one of the highlights of our time in Turkey.