In our last post, we took you on a walk from Çalış to Çiftlik. If you remember, we were going to explore Çiftlik market. Well, for this week’s Turkish Food Focus, we’re concentrating on said market, real name, Çiftlik Perşembe Pazarı (Çiftlik Thursday Market).
We had no idea what to expect when we arrived but made an educated guess that it wouldn’t be a sprawling market, Çiftlik being a small village and all. We were right there. Çiftlik market is a world away from Fethiye Tuesday market, even a world away from Çalış market. At Çiftlik market, we’re more on a par with the Friday village market in Fethiye…and Çiftlik is even smaller than that.
Small it may be, but this market has everything the villagers – and wandering visitors like us – need. An outside area selling garden plants was a pleasant, colourful surprise. We were also surprised to see the permanence of the market by way of a corrugated covered section. You know us, we love to see our local markets being valued. Looks like the belediye (council) value the pazar here.
This covered section of Çiftlik pazar is an aisle or two of the usual clothing and household goods stalls that you see at many Turkish markets. This was the only section where one trader spotted the foreigners and called out to us. “Hello, yes please. Would you like sweatshirts?” We didn’t much fancy a sweatshirt so we continued to the food sections. Food was what we were here for, after all.
In southwest Turkey, you’re not going to see much difference between the markets with regards to the produce they sell. If it grows locally and it’s edible, it’s sold. What is different is the atmosphere of each market. Each evokes its own special feeling and we found Çiftlik pazar to have a similar feel the the Fethiye Friday market. No rush, no real crowds – Çiftlik is by no means heavily populated – and no hassle from traders.
The main difference we noticed here is that when we go off around the different markets of Fethiye and surroundings, you usually see some of the same familiar stallholders. Our regular peppers stall pops up at all of the local pazar sites. But Çiftlik is different. A whole different crowd of traders here, which makes us curious as to which other markets they go to to sell their produce. Maybe they head out towards Dalaman or in the opposite direction to the villages off the D400…
We were very excited to see two stalls selling bakla (broad beans). These are the beans you need if you want to make the real version of our alternative recipe for fava. They’re not in season at the moment and these were quite small, but at 4TL a kilo, we just had to buy some. Sucuk and bakla for dinner that night – perfect!
And then there was the cheese stall. On local Turkish markets, cheese stalls always sell yoghurt, olives, village eggs and the stall owner is usually keen to get you to ‘try before you buy’ with the cheeses. This one was no different except the stall owner was extra proud of his own cheese – the one he’d personally produced. And it was a tasty beyaz peynir (white cheese). But we’d come for Izmir tulum. We felt a bit guilty at not buying any of the trader’s beyaz peynir, or any of the other cheeses he’d carefully sliced slithers from for us to sample…but there’s only so much cheese two people can eat.
Our Izmir tulum was handed over with a smile and, after deciding Çiftlik Perşembe Pazar was most agreeable, we set off to walk back to Çalış. And then a dolmuş passed by with ‘Fethiye’ in the window. Our legs were aching and our shopping was heavy – not much discussion needed before we both jumped on the local public transport and headed on home.
Çiftlik Perşembe Pazarı – Useful Info
- Çiftlik market is every Thursday, year round.
- The market site is by the Çiftlik central mosque, opposite the Çiftlik Belediye building on Atatürk Bulvarı in the village centre. (View Çiftlik Market centred on our map of Fethiye)
- There are a couple of small eateries in the centre of Çiftlik and, at the market site, there was also a mobile stand with seating area selling döner kebabs and kokoreç.