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Turkish Markets – Love Your Local Market (Pazar)!

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Everyone should adore and cherish local Turkish markets! And here’s why…

Why We Love Turkish Markets

Once upon a time, there was a town in the Northwest of England called Wigan. Our home town. Wigan was a market town. It had an outdoor market square and an indoor market. Both sold British, seasonal fruit and vegetables and clothing and haberdashery, etc.

Fresh Produce

The open-fronted shops that surrounded the indoor arcades all sold fish, eggs, meat, cheese, bread and the like, and some of these shops had hares, rabbits and pheasants hanging from hooks outside.

The market was always packed with Wigan townsfolk and there was constant noise and chatter from the vendors; especially at the end of the day. Bargains galore and a May Day fairground just for good measure.

Green Beans In Olive Oil Recipe

Fresh green beans (taze fasulye) for sale on Çalış Market

No More Market

This fairytale didn’t have a happy ending for us as Wiganers. These are my memories from doing the twice-weekly shop with my nana during the school summer holidays when I was in junior school.

Now? Well, when we left Wigan in the 1990s, it was a medium-sized town (50,000 ish people) with no food market at all. The last fishmonger of the indoor market would write letters to the local newspaper asking for customer support. A desperate ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ plea that ultimately fell on deaf ears.

Enter The Supermarket Chains

There are numerous, sad reasons for the demise of the markets and, needless to say, supermarkets saw the possibilities and descended on Wigan in their droves.

Wigan was home to the largest store of the biggest supermarket chain in Britain when we left. This has no doubt since been usurped by larger stores in other towns but that was the case back then as we chose to come to Fethiye. Shoppers in the centre of Wigan, these days, have no choice but to go to the supermarkets for their fruit and veg.

Shopping At Çalış Sunday Market

Food shopping at Çalış Sunday Market

Shop Local, Eat Seasonal

Cue our love of all things Turkish markets! We’re both huge fans of the fruit and veg markets of the Fethiye area – and local produce generally – so we always make the effort to use local Turkish markets on a weekly, twice-weekly, sometimes thrice-weekly basis.

Why wouldn’t we? We really enjoy the experience: fresh produce, familiar faces – our potato and onion guy knows exactly the size of potato we look for and helps us to hunt them out from the huge mound. It’s cheaper and it’s taught us how to get the most from the seasonal produce. We cook loads of creations we would never have dreamt of cooking in the past; especially Turkish recipes.

Yesterday, we posted a link to an article on our Facebook page about market traders throughout Turkey saying they were losing out to supermarkets.

Don’t get us wrong, we are not completely anti-supermarket. They’re useful places for general shopping. However, they will not be receiving our lira for fruit and veg (or meat, fish and bread for that matter) on a regular basis. It’s off to the various different markets around Fethiye for our fruit, vegetables, olives, cheeses, yoghurts and eggs for us.

It’s a happy shopping experience, it’s local produce!

It’s a bit sad for us to see people shopping for fruit and vegetables in local supermarkets when we’re in such a beautiful setting that produces an amazing array of foodstuffs – Fethiye is an agricultural town – all of which are available on the markets at cheap prices and in such abundance. And of course there is the fact that you’re supporting local traders and farmers.

So, this is our ‘Love your local market (pazar)’ post…

Here is a list of the Turkish fruit and veg markets we’ve visited around Turkey. Please feel free to add a fruit and vegetable market from your area of Turkey in the comments box below so we can all enjoy the Turkish market experience, wherever we may be…

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Sue F

Friday 1st of January 2016

Don't forget about the more-permanent fruit and veggie stalls around the Fethiye fish market. Same great quality, awesome prices and exceptional and attentive service. We don't have the luxury of visiting the markets in person during the busy tourism season, so rely on specific vendors in the fish market to help keep us provisioned all summer long. They deliver too!

Turkey's For Life

Sunday 3rd of January 2016

Hi, Sue F Yes, we use that markey quite a lot and have written blog posts about it and the surrounding shops in the past. This was a very early post about the pop up markets around the area - and other people's areas. We've also written posts on the fish market, too. :) Nice that we have all this choice. :)

Turkey's For Life

Friday 19th of July 2013

@ Ozlem's Turkish Table: We love the seaosnality. Some fruits and vegetables shouldn't be available all year round and it's great to be able to look forward to the likes of cherries and pomegranates and enjoy them while they're out. :)

@ CD: Thank you. We'll always support Turkish markets. So important for us. :)


Thursday 18th of July 2013

SO glad you've mentioned this again, all over the world people are fighting to get back their local markets, they didn't know how good they were till they were gone.

Markets have so much life and soul and vibrancy, particularly in Turkey with such a wealth of colour and variety's available and abundantly displayed.

I know I bang on about this but I wish people knew about the greater nutrition benefits of the local Fethiye produce since a lot of it is bio-dynamic/organic because many local farmers have never used chemicals or pesticides. They just grow as the generations before them did so the plants have the benefit of soil that is packed with nutrients that people elsewhere pay an arm and a leg for in capsule form (because modern farming practices have depleted them from our soils).

All that goodness at a fraction of certofied organic prices. Oh how I envy you all, long may it last. Well done for doing so much to support these wonderful markets. - CD

Ozlem's Turkish Table

Thursday 18th of July 2013

Such a lovely post, so important to celebrate and support Pazar, Farmers Markets; we make the most of them when we have it in England, but there's nothing like it with the variety ans seasonality of what you can get in Turkey, enjoy it:)Ozlem

Turkey's For Life

Tuesday 16th of April 2013

@ Simon: Wow, thanks for this. We're hoping to get more markets around the local area so this list is perfect. I think when we walked through Kumluova market, it was on a Saturday but I can double check that from an old blog post. Thanks again for this. Really appreciated. :)

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