Bazaars. Turkey has a lot of them, but we don’t seem to get enough. Whether it is the chaotic yet welcoming atmosphere, pricing, or a reason to practice our Turkish, we almost always find ourselves in a bazaar. Home to some of the world’s oldest markets, Istanbul has proven that bazaars are more than just sightseeing spots. Everyone, from artists to farmers to fishermen, showcase their best products every week. And for nearly half the price of what you’d usually buy from your local hypermarket.

The Beylikdüzü Beygah bazaar, otherwise referred to as Thursday/Saturday bazaar, is the second largest bazaar in the area after the Beylikdüzü Beylik market. Moreover, the bazaar houses more than 80 shops and showcases products from the various districts of Istanbul. With some impressive prices this bazaar has been made a popular one among both locals and tourists.

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What does the bazaar offer?
On Thursdays, you can find clothing, household items, textiles, cosmetic and beauty products, bags, and shoes. Decorative items and Turkish souvenirs are a tourist-magnet; full of color, culture, and if you’re lucky, the souvenir vendor might even give you a gift! You can buy souvenirs in bulk for your family and friends living abroad.

The bazaar transforms on Saturdays, allowing its buyers to purchase both foodstuff and some of Thursday’s best items. Organic fruits and vegetables, dairy products, pickled goods, dried fruits, teas, and Turkish coffee are highlights of the Saturday bazaar. Normally, friendly vendors eagerly ask you to try their products, which are as delicious as you might think. However, the buyers’ favorites are the fishermen, who sell different kinds of fresh fish and shrimps.

Buyers largely prefer Saturdays as they offer a wider selection of items to buy. Furthermore, buyers show willingness to support local merchants, who are struggling with the current mainstream markets and competition.

Recommendations:
Thursday: The colorful carpets and rugs stand out, both in terms of affordability and prettiness. For 1/3rd of the price, items can be easily mistaken as high-end products due to their quality and finish. Many shops sell clothes for ridiculous prices like 3 TL per clothing item. Bags and boots look ‘too good to be fake’, but do pay attention to their finishing. For those of you who love to bake and cook, pastel-colored, silicon kitchen utensils are unbelievably cheap and durable. Finally, there are high-quality band and pop-culture T-shirts with designs that don’t fade away after a dozen washes. 10-20 TL a T-shirt? Yes, please!

Saturday: Pickle-lovers have a wide variety of pickled good to choose from. Dry fruits and nuts are delicious, and perfect for your morning smoothie bowls. Did you know that cheese makes you live longer? Try the mozzarella and halloumi from the bazaar (for your pizzas, sandwiches, or for outliving majority of the human race). For those of you who like fish, I strongly recommend the salmon. I baked salmon and steamed some vegetables the other day, and the whole meal was heavenly.

Location and hours
The bazaar is located in the Cumhuriyet district of Esenyurt. Fortunately, free municipality shuttle buses are available for those who want to save their energy for shopping. The bazaar is open on Thursdays and Saturdays, from 9 AM to 7 PM.

Have you been to the Beylikdüzü market before? Will you give it a visit? Let us know in the comments.

Images courtesy of the author.

Cumhuriyet Mahallesi, 1993. Sk., Esenyurt

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Suri Raeisi
Suri is an Iranian who was born and raised in Dubai. She is a psychology graduate from Middlesex University, and has worked as a student researcher and therapist assistant in Dubai and Tehran. Her love for video games resulted in her working for IGN Middle East. She is super picky about what she listens to and reads, and has a weird sense of humor. She is an art-enthusiast, photographer and traveler. She moved to Istanbul a few months ago with Pepper and Gooby (her pet dog and rabbit), and plans to pursue her MSc in Clinical Psychology next year. You can find her on Twitter, and her photography on her Instagram and website. (Feel free to follow her dog’s Instagram while you’re at it.)

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