Istanbul shopping

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Cocoon (Sultanahmet; p135)
Mehmet Çetinkaya Gallery (Sultanahmet; p135)
Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir (Topkapı Palace &
Around; p136)
Sofa (Topkapı Palace & Around; p136)
Derviş (Bazaar District; p138)
Abdullah Natural Products (Grand Bazaar; p138)
Muhlis Günbattı (Grand Bazaar p139)
art.i.choke (İstiklal & Around; p141)
Gönül Paksoy (Teşvikiye; p143)
Kanyon (Levent; p143)

Over centuries, İstanbullus have perfected the practice of shopping, and then shopping some
more. Trading is in their blood and they’ve turned making a sale or purchase into a true art
form. Go into any carpet shop and you’ll see what we mean – there’s etiquette to be followed,
tea to be drunk, conversation to be had. And, of course, there’s money to be spent and made.
Whether you’re after a cheap souvenir or a family-heirloom-to-be, İstanbul is the city to find
it. Rugs (carpets and kilims), textiles, ceramics and jewellery are just a few of the temptations
laid out in more arcades, bazaars and stores than you could ever hope to flash a credit card in.
There’s also fashion, decorative arts and homewares that can hold their own against the stock
of any concept store or designer boutique in London, LA or Lisbon. And we won’t even begin
to rhapsodise about the delectable foodstuffs on offer…



The most common shopping hours are from
9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, but this is
by no means always the case. We have indicated specific hours in all reviews.


Turkey has a value-added tax (VAT) known
as the katma değer vergisi (KDV). This means
that 18% tax is added to (and hidden in) the
price of most goods and services.
If nonresidents buy an expensive item such
as a carpet or a leather garment from a shop
that participates in the national ‘Global Refund: Tax Free Shopping’ scheme and then
take the item out of the country within three
months, they are entitled to a refund of the
KDV. Unfortunately, there aren’t many shops
participating in this scheme. Still, it’s always
worth asking the shopkeeper if it is possible to
get a KDV iade özel fatura (special VAT refund
receipt). Ask for this when you’re haggling
over the price, rather than after you’ve made
your purchase. Some shops display a blue,
grey and white ‘Tax Free Shopping’ sign in
their window, conveniently signalling that
they are participants in the refund scheme.
If the shopkeeper issues the refund receipt,
take it with you to the airport when you leave.
Cocoon (Sultanahmet; p135 )
Mehmet Çetinkaya Gallery (Sultanahmet; p135 )
Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir (Topkapı Palace &
Around; p136 )
Sofa (Topkapı Palace & Around; p136 )
Derviş (Bazaar District; p138 )
Abdullah Natural Products (Grand Bazaar; p138 )
Muhlis Günbattı (Grand Bazaar p139 )
art.i.choke (İstiklal & Around; p141 )
Gönül Paksoy (Teşvikiye; p143 )
Kanyon (Levent; p143 )
© Lonely Planet Publications
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