Turkish style-decor is timeless and is the perfect way to give your home a warm and welcoming glow, whilst maintaining a traditional look. So many of the handcrafted goods that are sold in markets throughout the country, and especially in Istanbul, are ideal for both interior and exterior accessorizing. Let;s take a look at the best authentic Turkish gifts and artisan crafts to pick up as gifts for others and ideal additions to your own collection:
The Museum of Innocence is a fantastic novel, written by Orhan Pamuk, that describes with impressive detail the buzz and clamor of life in Istanbul. The book brings the city to life, and the actual museum that was subsequently created by the writer is the perfect place to draw inspiration for your Turkish feature-furniture. The antique shops that fill crammed streets around the museum are the best place to find a hidden mid-century gem, if you look hard enough.
If you’ve ever caught sight of a typical Turkish lantern, you’ll recognise the colorful mosaic lighting and intricate glass form. Pick up a variety of sizes in the spacious Grand Bazaar to give a middle eastern touch to your garden soiree or add an exotic feel to a dinner party. For a unique alternative to the well-known lamp, visitors to Bodrum can pick up a handmade gourd lantern, which is first dried and then carved by hand. Head to Gümüşlük and source yours from the team at Le Kabbak, who sell these beautiful lamps at very affordable prices.
When it comes to carpets, Turkey boasts worldwide fame in production of the most eye-catching and elaborate hand-made rugs and floor carpeting. A large rug is the perfect way to break up a room without committing to full carpet and there’s a vast array to choose from. Due to the popularity of these decorative items, the vendors are often experienced in arranging delivery so don’t worry about exceeding your baggage limit, as they can be shipped directly to your home address in the US.
If you’re lucky enough to have time to spare for a little sightseeing in Istanbul, the best way to see the city from above is by riding the historic funicular up to the unforgettable Galata Bridge. This transport is the second oldest metro in the world, thwarted from the reigning title by the London underground. It’s worth the journey to enjoy views of the mosque’s bright dome roofs spread throughout the city. Pick up one of the many hand painted artworks of the dramatic vistas.
Turkish food is fresh and hearty. The kebab that can be purchased on a street corner at 2 in the morning is as lovingly-made as the fried mackerel that sizzles in the morning sun and the fresh olives that are pressed in vineyards that date back hundreds of years. The Izmir Gastro Fest is the highlight of the Turkish foodies calendar and seeks to recognise the importance of the market as the cultural center of this nation. Stuffed vine leaves are a tasty snack and a recipe that can be repeated at home to guests whilst entertaining Turkish-style. To wash it all down, freshly squeezed pomegranate juice is just one of the many beverages on offer, with the added bonus of heart and blood health benefits that this drink is known for.
Turkey is a fascinating country with a melting-pot history that combines many backgrounds, nationalities, religious followings and immigrants in a way that reflects American culture in some aspects, whilst its influences can be used in the home to express an eastern mysticism/
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