A part of experiencing a new place is to get a little piece of it back home with you. Shopping for souvenirs is one of the joys of traveling, but the real challenge lies in the quest of a cutting-edge product or that perfect gem which will always remind you of the cherished place you bought it from. Turkey is one such country which tops the chart of every shopper’s list. To make your souvenirs hunting task to this lovely country memorable, check out the list of the suggested gifts to buy and the best places to buy them from.
Sweet Lemon Delight
Made with love and passion the all natural Marsel lemon confectionery is made with no additives, no preservatives and no colourants. These small jelly like gums come in lemon flavour and are a great gift to carry back home. Despite being easily available everywhere, it is recommended to buy the original stuff from the family owned outlet of Hacir Bekir Effendi in Istanbul who are the acknowledged inventors.
The Evil Eye
These glass amulets are on sale everywhere but the right place to buy them is at the Grand Bazaar. The real story behind the Evil Eye dates back to Roman times when these amulets were used to ward off evil. This symbol is one of the most popular of all souvenirs in Turkey, from small keys and rings to large eyes made of ceramic and almost every person in Turkey carries one.
Turkish Carpets and Rugs
No one who has been to Turkey has not been attracted to one of these beautiful pieces of craftsmanship, the Anatolian rugs. These gorgeous carpets make for excellent keepsakes back home and can be easily shipped to any part of the world. A rug is a must buy souvenir for almost every tourist in Turkey and can be safely purchased from Sultanahmet Square.
Cappadocia Clay Pottery
The mysterious fairy chimneys have made Cappadocia a leading tourist destination of Turkey, especially the town of Avanos known for its traditional pottery making. The Red River which flows through this town has a special red clay that has been utilised for generations to make iconic pottery from ash trays to beautiful vases made from the mineral rich mud. One can make a definite stop in Avanos at Chez Galip, a master potter with an assortment of contemporary pottery designs.
Turkish Bath Towels
These towels are in a league of their own because of their durability and quality. Turkish towels are the perfect gifts to take back home as they can be given to almost anybody as a valuable present, as these are high quality and handmade and can weigh as much as one kilogram. Most departmental stores sell them but to get the authentic stuff head to Arasta Bazaar or Spice Bazaar.
Traditional Musical Instruments
It may sound unusual, but musical instruments make wonderful souvenirs even if you don’t know how to play them. Some pieces like the Turkish longneck lute, chalice drum and the kaval, a wood instrument, are great items for display. MuzikAletleri.com in Istanbul is the biggest online musical store in Turkey.
This Turkish water smoking pipe came originally from India, but found its way to Turkey during the rule of the Ottoman Empire and for centuries has been an icon of the Eastern Cafe culture. If you walk past a Nargile joint you can catch the whiff of honey, strawberry, mint or cinnamon. You can try and get one packed at either Tuncer Gift Shop or Aslan Gift Shop.