Sunday, July 20, 2008

Shopping in the Saman Pazar

Saturday I went with friends to the Saman Pazar (Straw Bazaar) in old Ankara. There is a mosque there that is centuries old, the oldest in Ankara and the fortress on the hill was so old that all the groups I knew (Byzantines, Crusaders, Seljuks, Ottomans), had simply added to it. Many of the buildings have been or are being renovated, though there are still some that look very old.
We went though a museum founded and funded by the Koç (Koch) family in memory of their patriarch who began the family fortune working in his father’s hardware store and expanded it in the 50’s and 60’s with a combination of business acumen and good connections. Koç senior brought General Electric, Ford and Fiat to Turkey in the 50’s. Koç Group accounted for some 9% (I was told) of the Turkish GDP a couple of decades ago though economic expansion has since reduced the percentage.
The shops sell mainly antiques. Beautiful old furniture likely from the houses of the rich during Ottoman times caught my eye along with metal work, carpets and ceramics. The skill of the craftsmen was so evident in every piece. I could only buy what I could carry home to Marianivka so settled for an old print. Tanya will tell me if it is Russian or not but I could not resist the step-dancing grandfather and child.


  1. I love your taste in art - this is a beautiful print! :)

  2. Thanks, Steph. Tanya says it is Russian and she likes it to. She just doesn't know where she will hang it yet.


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