How Bazaar?

Posted on November 25, 2012


(Friday Bazaar and Tuesday Bazaar in Kadıköy, İstanbul – Cuma Pazar ve Salı Pazar)

It can sometimes look as though the current Turkish administration is either ashamed or embarrassed of its own culture. There is a continuous spattering of laws and bans on everything from outdoor markets to nargile (waterpipe). Probobly, the saddest instance of this, was the brutal murder of Nevizade’s charming ambience. What used to be a bustling narrow backstreet of outdoor bars and cafes is now a cold wind tunnle for tumbleweeds.

One might gather from Prime Minister Erdoğan’s directives that he is against people being outside, period. Apparently, he even has a problem with outdoor markets. Well, I have to say there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to Kadıköy’s Friday (and Tuesday) Bazaar.

This market used to be located in the heart of Kadıköy when I first moved here four years ago. For some reason it has been moved to a much more inconvienient location, but don’t worry, there are FREE service busses that will deliver you to the market painlessly. They will pick you up from the parking lot behind Fenerbahçe Stadium (Şukru Saracoglu Stadyumu).

People almost never give a hard time for taking photos here in Turkey. As long as you aren’t taking a picture of a government building, no one seems to have a problem. For some reason, a guy shouted at me “Çekme! Çekme! Yasak!” (Don’t take pictures! It’s forbidden!) As I could see no good reason for that to be the case, I continued in spite of him. Of course, there can’t be any such rule, but I hate to make people feel uncomfortable. Why would my taking pictures bother this guy so much? Maybe he, like Prime Minister Erdoğan, feels some kind of shame in these cheap street markets. I don’t know where these notions are coming from, but I grew up going to flea markets in the hills of Tennessee and Georgia. People fly from around the world to go to the Camden markets in London.

One of the best parts about the Friday bazaar, are the sounds. Every seller has their own unique twist on calling out what they’re selling and for how much. “Sister Sister Sister you won’t find a cheaper jacket!” It’s a wonderful place to practice your Turkish. Just walk around listening to all of the numbers and adjectives shouted emphatically throughout the market.

This is your one stop shop for collars to liven up your drab ‘ol shirt.

And the cheapest avocados in town!

You can also find hog sized heads of cabbage to feed your family of eight for a month.

The Friday/Tuesday market is highly reccomended, and with free transportation, you have no excuse not to go. If you know of any more markets around the city, please let me know.