Beyazıt Book Market: Hunting Out Cookery Books In Istanbul’s Student Zone

The photo below is of Beyazıt Camii in the Beyazıt neighbourhood of Istanbul. We always come to wander around this area when we visit Istanbul because it’s a student area and it has a pleasant vibe to it. This particular area is really pretty because you have the backdrop of the mosque, the gardens which you can see in the photo (obviously more colourful in the summer months) and the famous Istanbul University gates.

Beyazit Mosque istanbul Turkey

Winter’s morning in Beyazit

Amongst other attractions, the beautiful Süleymaniye Camii and one of the multitude of entrances to the Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Carşı) is in this area…and there’s also a fantastic book market. We both love anywhere that sells books and these book stalls are enough to keep you occupied for a while if you’re like us and like to wander around and rummage. The book stalls are there mainly for the students of Istanbul University and when you first glance, it’s mainly text books that are (obviously) written in Turkish. However, don’t lose heart. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll come across books you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

Istanbul university gates

The famous Istanbul University gates

The first time we went there we bought a ‘Teach Yourself Turkish’ course. We could open our own bookshop with the amount of books we’ve bought that promise us we’ll be able to speak Turkish at the end of the course. They’ve not worked. This course is fantastic and it’s thanks to this I can speak the little bit of Turkish I now know. We have never seen it on sale anywhere else apart from the Beyazıt book market. We also got it cheap because we only had a small amount of lira on us and the stall holder took pity on us and gave the course to us anyway…he must have realised how much help we needed with our Turkish!

Anyway, we couldn’t go to Istanbul this time without having another little nosey around the book market. We were in Istanbul on a strict budget but we had to go against it when we found another little gem. We’re always on the lookout for good Turkish recipe books. We already have one or two in the house and we use the internet, too – but a really nice looking, hardback, good quality Turkish recipe book was definitely missing from the kitchen bookshelf. Search over. We found one – and again, we’ve never seen this book anywhere else. When we try any of the recipes from it, we’ll be sure to post them on the blog.

When NOT to haggle…
The book was 35 lira and Barry was just about to haggle a little on the price. But then a student came into the shop area and bought two books for full price without haggling. We decided it would be the right thing to pay the full, marked price – anything to furnish our bookshelf!

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