The Tarihi Salı Pazarı (Historic Tuesday Market) is one of the most fascinating and vibrant bazaars that Istanbul has to offer. It´s a unique experience, not only because of its size but also due to its flea market atmosphere, over-filled stalls and surprising curiosities. In addition to the usual range of products available at Turkish bazaars (like textiles, curtains, household items, spices and fresh foods), its special feature is that you can find cheap second-hand stuff, antiques, furniture, books, vinyl records, lots of trinkets, and even quite uncommon things like bathtubs. For little money you can equip your entire household, acquire a vintage seasonal collection, or get antique Ottoman birthday gifts for your entire family.
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If you are passionate, patient and lucky enough, you can really receive a good bargain here! Sorted or second-hand clothes are sold for approximately 1-10 TL, small antiques can be purchased for 5-20 TL, and household stuff for 1-10 TL. Especially in the flea market section of the bazaar, prices are not fixed but negotiable. Basic Turkish language skills are extremely helpful though, since most of the traders don’t know English and prices are definitely better when they address you with abla or abi. Besides, most of the fresh foods are cheaper here than at most of the other bazaars in Istanbul. In general, prices get even lower at around 4-5 o’clock when the akşam fiyatları (evening prices) are announced.
The bazaar was once in Hasanpaşa but was moved to Göztepe not too long ago. To get there, you can take the Metro M4 from Kadıköy and exit at Göztepe station, which is the fourth station. It’s easy to find from the track: exit in the direction of travel and follow the exit sign #2 (Salı Pazarı) or depending on the time you are arriving you might also just follow the stream of pazar arabaları (shopping trolleys). Once you have taken the last escalator just turn right and you are directly at the main entrance. Or alternatively, you can take one of the various dolmuş or buses that are departing from Kadıköy and exit at Göztepe metro station.
The Salı Pazarı takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays, but most of the antiques and second hand sales can be found on Fridays. There are about four entries to the bazaar area, which is a huge open-air space that’s mostly covered with tarpaulins to ensure shopping pleasures even when it’s raining. If you enter the bazaar from the metro station, you are first passing a section where typical bazaar products such as new textiles, shoes, underwear, household items and curtains are sold. Left from the main alley is the sewing section where fabrics, wools, borders/trims, and buttons are offered. Once you reach the center of the bazaar, the flea market area begins. Also, most of the fresh food stalls can be found here. Since people tend to spend some time at Salı Pazarı, two covered food places where drinks, çay or small dishes like fresh made gözleme and döner sandwiches can be ordered are the best spot to have a breather or warm up. Besides, lots of mobile sellers offer water, tea, coffee and sweets from their baskets. In the evening hours, there are some unofficial sale places around the metro area where shoes and textiles as well as hand-made knitting wares can be found.
Captions – photos by: mv= Melanie Völker, ta= Talha Ayar