Located just besides one of the most important symbols of Istanbul, the Blue Mosque, the Arasta Bazaar has a dignified location. The place also includes Istanbul Mosaic Museum ( Great Palace Museum ) with ancient mosaics from the 6th century.
Most of the shops in the small bazaar are selling Oriental rugs and textiles and the bazaar is worth visiting for both rug collectors and tourists.
When I visited the bazaar in July I was lucky to meet Seref Özen, Cocoon, in his Arasta Bazaar shop. Later I visited his second store nearby in Kücük Ayasofia Caddesi – in a four-floor building with a outstanding view to the Blue Mosque from the roof terrace.
Seref Özen is an internationally well known dealer and an authority and lecturer on Central Asian textiles.
He has been collector for more than 20 years and has done his passion to his profession as dealer and textile designer the last 8 years.
There are other dealers in the bazaar – and I should have visited them – but that must wait until I return. And there will be another time – if any city is “CARPET CITY” it is Istanbul.