Photo by John Newton
A Bazaar Moment
The shops of the Grand Bazaar are often derided as a tourist trap. Yes, you may want to see the historic setting, the common wisdom goes, but when it comes to actually shopping, you’ll get better quality at lower prices outside of the bazaar. There are so many exceptions to this “rule,” however, that it’s hardly worth repeating. One of the bazaar’s gems is Sivalsi Istanbul Yazmacisi at No. 57 on Yaglikçilar, the fabric “street." The small shop’s shelves are covered with embroidered pieces, ikat-dyed fabrics, and ones with traditional Turkish patterns, from light cottons and silks to heavy wools. In short, you’ll find pretty much whatever Turkish or Middle Eastern fabric you might want, appropriate for everything from upholstery to clothing. The owners, Murat and Necdet Bey, count designer Rifat Ozbek, New York’s ABC Carpet & Home, and interior decorators and architects among their clients, but they still have time for ordinary customers interested in Turkish textiles. Prices are pretty much set but fair, starting at around $25 per square meter and going up to $600 and beyond for hand-embroidered pieces.
By John Newton, AFAR Ambassador
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