The best thing that can happen to you in the first minutes of your visit to a city where you have never been before is to find yourself in the market place. It might be a little dizzying; however, you warm up to the city faster and you feel much better this way. Finding yourself in one of the marketplaces of Anatolia, on the other hand, is a blessing. You get the opportunity to see the warm-hearted man or woman or sometimes child sellers standing behind their stands that are filled with thousands of products that come from the fertile soils of Anatolia in these marketplaces.

We created a selection of marketplaces that you can visit in various locations of Anatolia.

It is Tuesday, the day for Tire’s marketplace… I wonder which great painter’s palette does it resemble more? A colorful fog is embracing Tire. Scarves compete with the rainbow on the stands set by women in the Tahtakale Square of Tire: “I have point laces; butterfly, peacock, boxwood, lemon blossom, honeycomb, fuchsia, grape bunch, cherry blossom, bird, violet, daisy, bird’s eye, blackberry… This is cockroach point lace; made in Ödemiş, we don’t like it much, that is how it got its name.” Tire is one of the Aegean towns that have been able to protect their identity the most. It is 80 km to İzmir. The town used to be the mint of the Ottoman Empire. The first thing that comes to mind about Tire is its marketplace. Everyone enjoys the Tuesday’s marketplace thanks to its friendly sellers who reflect the Aegean spirit besides the wide variety of goods. A portion of the population consists of Cretan immigrants; therefore, the characteristics of the Aegean cuisine, which is packed with herbs, are felt in every dish. The herbs that are picked from the mountains fill the stands in the marketplace: giant squash, cauliflower, ‘sugar’ carrots, ‘crisp’ leeks, farmers’ eggs, sweet mustard, and violets with earthy roots…

The historical market
The historical market that used to be set on Mondays but later moved to Tuesdays may not open with Ahi Baba’s prayers any longer; however, as everyone knows, trade day is abundance day as it has been for thousands of years. Today, it is still possible to see the traditional crafts practiced that are about to extinct such as tinsmith, felt making, saddler, patten making, lorimer, rope making, and leash making. Felts that used to be used to make cloaks for shepherds of old times are now in Tire’s marketplace and made as good as to grab attention from abroad and to be used in the interior decoration. You should eat the traditional Tire style meatballs, which are prepared with ground beef, tomatoes, and butter and kneaded with salt, in the Portakal Market Square. Do not forget to add tasting blackberry jam over curd cheese, stopping by the famous vendor Şambalici, and the Kaplan Dağ Restaurant into your things-to-do list.

Sürmene brings three things to mind: the Kastel Mansion, knives, and the Tuesday’s marketplace, which is the most colorful marketplace in the Black Sea Region. Starting from Sürmene, which is located at the 40th kilometer of Trabzon-Rize highway, tea enters the picture. The local women who are in their traditional red dresses called ‘keşan’ have been selling the produce that they bring from their villages at the same spot since 1967, the marketplace in the Çarşı Neighborhood. They all gather at the same place. They sell products that they have made or farmed such as corn, bean, squash, eggplant, pear, fig, kale, grape leaf, curd cheese, butter, and string cheese. Corn bread that is hot, delicious, and gives-power-not-weight is irresistible. They cover inside of the butter cans with chestnut leaves so the butter won’t stick while cooking.

200 stands
Women usually wear keşan over waistcloths called peştemal. One of them says, “We wear a scarf and a jacket when we go to Trabzon. We become jet-set there, but a villager here.” I ask about their husbands; she says, “They went for the second offshoot.” She meant harvesting the tea. I am eating karayemiş (Prunus laurocerasus); my mouth turned to red. A seller shouts: “Come on, if I had the money I would buy it!” Every week, approximately 200 stands are set. Especially corn bread, butter, and local cheeses are popular. According to the locals, they make the best knives in the world. They don’t accept that they are the second; they are convinced that they are better at this than the German brand Solingen. This is a hundreds of years old tradition. It used to be done in workshops or homes up until 20 years ago. It has been fabricated for the last five years. Don’t miss to see the Memiş Ağa (Kastel) Mansion, which is a great sample of the magnificence of the 18th century overlords, while you are here.

It is a great pleasure to walk around the marketplaces in Bodrum’s beautiful vicinities. A marketplace is set everyday; actually, more than one… Mondays Türkbükü; Tuesdays Bodrum Bez Pazarı (clothes market) where you can buy many varieties of the Buldan and Denizli fabrics; Wednesdays Gümüşlük, Bitez, Gündoğan, Ortakent; Thursdays Bitez, Bodrum (produce only) and Yalıkavak; Fridays Bodrum (produce only); Saturdays Turgutreis; Sundays Gümbet… The most popular is the one that is set in Yalıkavak on Thursdays for the last 43 years. They sell produce, wicker baskets, flower seeds, towels, t-shirts, bed covers made out of buldan, curtains, peştemals, rugs, decorative items…

A Bodrum story
When the subject is the struggles to make a living, the creativeness of the tradesmen can be a subject to a graduation thesis. One story tells about İsmet Ağa (landlord) who used to export fabrics in Milas. His colleagues called him ‘Yarımağa’ (Halfağa) because he was broke. However, this name took place with pride in the business cards of the company that was established by his sons.

This marketplace grabs interest from tourists and locals of the neighboring Greek islands. Local products are plenty in the marketplace that spans a 12-acre area where about 12.000 tradesmen that come from many different locations including Milas, Yatağan, Aydın, and Denizli set their stands. People who are after textile, accessory, and clothing items shop here. If you’d like to take a break in the marketplace, you can rest while tasting delicious pastries made with local products among the flowers, table clothes, and jugs.

İstanbul is like a miniature of Anatolia. Every town, city, and village left marks in this mega city. The Antiques’ Marketplace that is set on Sundays in Feriköy is not as cheap as the flea markets are. However, it is guaranteed that this place is going to take you to a travel in time among the antiques. This place is open to haggling. You can find anything in this market: kitchen items, magazines, tapes, lamps, cups, models, records, cameras, posters, shoes, and bags. Try the delicious pastries with eggplant, potatoes, and spinach, and fresh fruit juices (apple, pomegranate, and ginger are recommended) here.

Kastamonu market in Kasımpaşa
Kastamonu market that is set in Kasımpaşa on Sundays brings the local products that spreads healing to you: cheeses, chickens, eggs, mushrooms, jars of pickles, jam, and honey, farmer’s breads baked in stone ovens, pastries, noodles, tomato paste, and butter. Another name for the marketplace is the Historical İnebolu Market because the products come fresh from İnebolu every week.

Organic and antiques markets
Another healing market is set on Saturdays and called Feriköy Organics Market. This is the address for the ones who care about their health. The flea market that is set in Dolapdere on Sundays might surprise you with different antiques. This one is famous. If you want to walk around taking your time, visit this market early in the morning. Listen to the stories of the items that interest you; then you won’t be confused when you find out that one of the streets where the market is set is named ‘Feylesof Street’ (wrong spelling for philosopher).

The Çarşamba Market is among the most colorful and the largest marketplaces that are set in the center of İstanbul. The marketplace, which spans a large area, presents many items such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, textile products, linens, nuts, and kitchen utensils. You can try the roasted chestnuts and chat with the tradesmen while you wait for your artichokes to be peeled.

The Galla Market that is set on Tuesdays and Fridays on Hükümet Street in Bartın means “grains’ market” in Ottoman; however, in time, people pronounced it “garılar” (wrong spelling for women) and later “kadınlar” (women) market. Women sell produce that they grew in their gardens as well as dairy products, but especially organic farming goods. Water buffalo yogurt and cheese are popular in this farmers’ market with a two hundred year old history. About 500 women sell goods in large wicker baskets and plastic containers.

After spending a few days in Adana, you come to the following conclusion: the locals in this city that spans from the Taurus to the Seyhan definitely has the thing called the “spirit of Adana”. A local of Adana wakes early in the morning on Sundays to go to eat liver at the Kazancılar Market. This calling stops at nothing and they enjoy being in a smoke-filled environment as they sit around the tables settled in front of shops. After this, the ritual continues and the next thing to do is to go to the Kuş (bird) Market.

Many animal species are in here
Don’t be confused by its name; everyone with a canary, pigeon, duck, Doberman, and a gamecock or dog to fight is here. Nightingales, parrots, partridges, chickens, pigeons, canaries, budgerigars, and roosters are popular as well as cats, dogs, squirrels, rabbits, and peacocks. Observe this market closely, you will run into many interesting characters. The Bird Market, which used to be set next to the Historical Kazancılar Market and the Regulator Bridge in its early years, moved across the Pakyürek Factory located at Karataş Way 5 km away from the city center a year ago.