Jerkin’ it in Istanbul – How Bazaar

Posted: April 9, 2012 by jerkmagblog in VAULT -- archives

What can easily be called a circus and compared to Syracuse University’s campus store on the first days of school is Hasanpasa’s Tuesday Bazaar – located on the Asian side of the city. Not limited to solely fresh foods, the bazaar has everything from cooking utensils and cloths, to undergarments and electronics. Bras and panties literally hang from clothing lines that extend across aisles of tables overflowing with miscellaneous zippers and colorful ribbons. Like decorations, bed sheets and fabrics suspend from the clothing lines, too; the sun shines through the materials, acting like colorful filters on many of the products, waiting to be sold.

Women pull carriers of food like luggage, having only spent a few Turkish Lira, the equivalent to change. Younger ladies flock around the clothing stands searching through heaps of garments: stylish pants and kitschy, beaded shirts like that seen in the windows of many of the clothing stores in the women’s district. Cashmere and pashmina scarves are sold for a mere six dollars. Most of the sellers are male.

Favored for its cheap prices – unlike the University’s book store – locals and tourists swarm past stands of foods and unique patterns of textiles as sellers call to buyers, making deals and offering samples of fresh products. Buyers’ barter and sellers almost never decline. Unfortunately that’s not the game played in campus’ stores.

It is pure chaos and especially unlike the Saturday markets on Erie Boulevard or even the ‘intense’ University bookstore, it’s a weekly event and to the routine-goers, the beautiful market place and its chaos, match everything else in Istanbul.

-Beatrice Schachenmayr

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