Wednesday, May 8, 2013


On Friday nights, dozens of Turkish men arrive at a nearby covered parking lot to start setting up for Saturday’s pazar in Beşiktaş.

They precariously hang strands of light bulbs and electrical cords across the ceiling. Worn tables are covered in brilliant blue plastic tarps. Wooden crates are stuffed to the brim with fresh produce from around the Turkey.

On almost every Saturday morning (when we aren’t traveling), we wake up and head to the pazar to see what new fruit and veggies there are that week. This is my favorite weekend activity, and the Beşiktaş pazar is my favorite one in Istanbul!

Sometimes I’ll post my latest produce findings on Instagram; and every now and then, I’ll post a recipe using said produce. But earlier this spring, I finally brought along my good camera and took a ton of photos. Yesterday, I finally edited these photos and wanted to share them with you.

I love the vibrancy of the fresh greens splayed out on the tables! The stall holders meticulously lay out their wares every week in neat, organized piles. Some even get artistic with the displays.
I never turn down an offer for a free sample. Olives, cheese, tomatoes, mandalina, strawberries, oranges – you can taste them all before you buy!

The pazar is a bustling, bedlam filled with people clamoring and bargaining over the price of that day’s fruits and vegetables. I could spend hours here.

Afiyet olsun!
Finike is one of the coastal districts of the Antalya province and is known for its oranges.
You know it's spring when çağla (unripe almonds) appear at the pazar.
You can eat the whole fuzzy thing - tart, citrusy and strange. I don't like them.
This seller of üzüm yaprak (grape leaves) grabbed my arm when he saw my camera and wanted to pose with me. He was a very jovial man.
Şevketi Bostan translates to Golden Thistle. This common plant can be simmered or grilled and eaten with olive oil and vinegar (or lemon) as a salad. In the Aegean region, it is cooked with meat or with chickpeas.

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12 comments:

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i always love to see your trips to the pazars. i would love to visit one sometime!

Deniz Bevan said...

Sooo jealous...

Karen said...

You are just getting me more excited for my visit to Istanbul in June! Thank you for all that you share!

April said...

Wish I was there!

Ozlem's Turkish Table said...

Love the pazar!! it is so mesmerising isn't it, all the buzz, abundance of fresh produce, such great photos, brought lots of memories back :)
Ozlem x

Joy said...

@Joyce, thanks! You would have a heyday here! :-)

@Deniz and April, sorry! Wish you were here too. ;-)

@Karen, you are welcome! I hope you enjoy Istanbul as much as I have. If you have an open mind and heart, you will see so much!

@Ozlem, thank you dear! I know you love the pazars too.

Claudia Turgut said...

As you know only full well, I love pazars!

Joy said...

@Claudia, yes I do! I love the markets anywhere in the world. :)

CuriousKate said...

Just returned from my first trip to Istanbul and found your blog as I was googling to find recipes to recreate my favorite turkish foods. :) It's only been two days and I'm already longing to go back and missing the markets and delicious foods. Looking forward to reading through your posts!

Joy said...

@CuriousKate, thank you and welcome! I don't end up posting as many recipes as I should, but I hope you enjoy what you find! Also check out the blog: Ozlem's Turkish Table.

coskun Toktamis said...

Quite by accident I happened to roll over onto your `Turkish` page...but have suddenly discovered that you had moved out to Poland...!! I enjoy reading your diary abut Istanbul my hometown. I live in Cambridge/UK . God Bless.!!

Joy said...

@coskun Toktamis, Well, thanks for stopping by. Don't worry, I still have lots to share about Istanbul as well as my new city in Poland. :-)

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