Best Buys in Turkey
Your trip to Turkey is incomplete if you do not come home with a Turkish carpet as a keepsake. Turkish carpets are either knotted or flat woven. It is a form of craft prevalent in Turkey since ancient times. Originally woven as utility items, they soon became known for their beauty and durability. A Turkish carpet is a rare piece of art that will decorate your house as well as bring a slice of Anatolian tradition into your drawing room. Today they are the most popular shopping item for foreigners.
An exquisite piece of gold and silver jewelry, with or without stone setting, is something you should look for. Surprisingly, although the prices of gold and silver are fixed internationally, jewelry items in Turkey are cheaper than in other places. This is due to the low labor cost. A wide variety in design is available to meet the demands of various tastes. The craftsmanship is usually good, but you must inspect each piece to pick the best.
Turkey is also famous for its leather goods. In fact, some of the finest leather items manufactured in Turkey often find their way to shops in Italy. Premium grade leather is selected. This is then designed by fine craftsmanship into beautiful leather goods that speak of style and elegance.
Another unique souvenir that you can pick up from Turkey is a Meerschaum pipe. Meerschaum is a type of heat resistant sea foam. When wet, this becomes soft and pliable enough to be carved into pipes. These pipes are so interesting that you will easily be enticed to buy one even if you are not a smoker.
Traditional hand painted ceramics and porcelain made in Iznik, Istanbul and Kutahya, make attractive gifts items to carry back home. Similarly, copper vessels - which were common during the Ottoman Empire - make for a good collection of antique. Of course, you cannot cook in them unless the inside is lined with tin.