The Grand Bazaar is one of Istanbul’s most famous tourist attractions and also the most famous bazaar in the world. The reason is probably both size and the exiting atmosphere in the covered bazaar. There are between 3.000 – 4.000 shops in the bazaar and the number of visitors each day probably more than 250.000. The first part of the bazaar was constructed in 1461 under Mehmet The Conqueror.
Though many of the shops in the bazaar are selling souvenirs to the tourists there seem to be quite a few dealers selling interesting Oriental rugs and textiles to collectors.
The first shop I visited was Yurdan Carpet in Sandal Bedesteni Sok. 32 where I met Ibrahim Yurdan. Later I visited Yurdan Carpet’s main store which is located in Divan Yolu Cad. 16., Sultanahmet. Yurdan Carpet has a large stock of mainly new rugs and kilims but is also selling old and semi-old Oriental rugs from Turkey and Iran. Ca. 20 % of Yurdan rug sales are through their website Yurdan.com.
Özturk Rug House – Özturkler – is located in Takkeciler Sok. 78 and has an interesting collection of old and antique rugs. I had a pleasant conversation with Murat Ôzturk who showed interesting examples of antique Caucasian, Persian and Turkish rugs from their inventory.
When I told I personally was most attracted to Persian rugs from the Malayer and Sarouk area he found a very nice ca. 100 years old Sarouk he just had bought.
In Gallery Sirvan, owned by the Internationally well known dealer Erol Kazanci, I saw some interesting Turkmen antique pieces in very good condition. Gallery Sirvan is located in Halicilar Cad. 50-54.
The Brothers Textile Arts, in Kavaflar Sok. 42, is primarily focusing on old and antique kilims and I saw some interesting kilims from their collection.
Adnan & Hasan, Halicilar Cad. 89-90-92 are selling both new high quality Ushak rugs of own production and old and antique rugs and kilims.
I have only visited a few of the dealers in the bazaar. I hope in the near future to return to Istanbul and explore the bazaar again.