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Turkish Markets – The Best Grocery Shopping Experience

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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, fresh vegetables along with clothing and haberdashery, etc.

Fresh Produce

The open-fronted shops that surrounded the indoor arcades all sold a variety of products like fish, eggs, meat, cheese and bread.

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.

Dried red chillies hang above a Turkish market stall selling aubergines, peppers and tomatoes
Turkish markets have their own special atmosphere

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 had no choice but to go to the supermarkets for their fruit and veg.

A busy Çalış Market with a stall selling bananas.
Fortunately, many Turkish markets still attract crowds of shoppers

Obviously, there is now also added competition with the growth of online shopping.

It’s a wonder markets survive at all.

Turkish Markets – Shop Local, Eat Seasonal

Cue our love of all things Turkish markets! The pazar.

We’re both huge fans of the Turkish food markets of the Fethiye area – and of local produce, generally.

So, whenever we can, 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. Markets have their own atmosphere.

Throngs of shoppers, fresh produce, familiar faces of the traders, the colours, aromas, the sounds.

Green Salad Leaves And Herbs
We love the abundance of produce on some stalls

Best Price

Turkish markets are also generally cheaper than local supermarkets when it comes to fresh produce. Good prices that change depending on the season.

High inflation in the 2020s has meant the Turkish Lira is not stretching far for many shoppers. But the local market is still one of the best places to head for to fill the shopping bags.

And it’s also taught us how to get the most from the seasonal produce.

We cook loads of creations that we would never have dreamt of cooking in the past; especially Turkish recipes.

Don’t get us wrong, we are not completely anti-supermarket. They’re useful places for general shopping – but we do try not to rely on them, here.

We’re lucky to have two local shops that have quite a wide product range so we try to support those, too.

Confusingly, for British people, small family run Turkish grocery stores are called ‘market’ in Turkish. If you want to go to a local Turkish produce market, these are called ‘pazar’ in Turkish.

But the various different markets around Fethiye are our go to places for fruit, vegetables, olives, cheeses, yoghurts, eggs, etc, etc.

Turkish markets are a happy shopping experience.

Much of it is local produce! 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.

What Are The Best Markets?

We get asked that question quite a lot. And, well, just like everything else in life, it depends what you’re looking for, doesn’t it?

Turkish markets come in all shapes and sizes; from weekly markets to permanent halls and stands.

Something For Everyone

Here in Fethiye, we pretty much have all bases covered.

Our permanent covered market is also home to the fish market and shops selling various kinds of Turkish foods – charcuteries, turkish coffee kiosks, butchers and a small spice market.

Cash is king, of course, but some of these places will also accept debit/credit card.

We have the weekly neighbourhood markets; many of which also cater to tourists looking to buy souvenirs of Turkish Delight, a wide selection of clothes and jewellery as well as the local produce.

And we have the more intimate Friday villagers’ market – our favourite – that is growers selling their local produce and other goods, such as their homemade olive oil and pomegranate molasses.

Fruit and vegetable stalls in Selimiye weekly market
The small Wednesday market at Selimiye

Elsewhere in the country, there is everything from small village Turkish markets selling the essentials to the covered and open air markets of larger cities.

Istanbul Neighbourhood Turkish Markets

Obviously, in Istanbul, places like the Grand Bazaar and Egyptian Spice Bazaar need no introduction.

These are arguably two of the famous markets in the world and have been serving people since the days of the Ottoman Empire.

There’s Karaköy fish market where you can also dine by the Golden Horn; Beşiktaş fish market in the busy pedestrianised streets of Çarşı, the delightful food stalls of Kadıköy. Too many to mention!

Cherries, peaches and apples on a colourful Turkish market stall in Kadıköy, Istanbul
Shopping at Kadıköy is a favourite pastime

But elsewhere in the city, there are scores of weekly neighbourhood markets where you can not only pick up delicious foods and traditional Turkish products; you can also get a real feel of the vibe in that area.

If you’re staying in Istanbul and want to soak up the neighbourhood Turkish market atmosphere, this list and map is really handy.

Whether we’re travelling around or we’re at home, a trip to a Turkish market for us is a must!

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.

SundayÇalış market, Göcek market & Alsancak market (Izmir)
MondayHisarönü market & Köyceğiz market
TuesdayFethiye market
WednesdayBostanlı Pazar (Izmir), Selimiye market (Marmaris)
ThursdayÇiftlik market
FridayFethiye farmers’ market, Üzümlü market, Kaş market
SaturdayPatlangıç, Karaçulha market. Dalyan market

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Saturday 26th of August 2023

I fully agree with you & always try to do my shopping at my local markets! I usually do the bulk at Gokova on Saturdays with some topping up at Akyaka market on Wednesdays. The other really interesting & huge one is Muğla - especially when the full market is on on Thursday!

Turkey's For Life

Thursday 31st of August 2023

Hi Jen, thanks a lot for your comment. :) Thanks for those market day suggestions and glad you like shopping at the Turkish markets, too. Didn't know about the big Muğla one. Sounds like you're spoilt for choice where you are. :)


Friday 25th of August 2023

We are in Gocek and the market is on Sunday

Turkey's For Life

Saturday 26th of August 2023

Hi Keith, thanks a lot for your comment. Göcek is one of the Turkish markets we know well - and you've just shown us that we don't have it on oıur lisT Thanks a lot for that! :)

Ruth Sharratt

Friday 25th of August 2023

Just wondering whereabouts in Wigan you are from and what schools you went to, being a fellow Wiganer!!

Turkey's For Life

Saturday 26th of August 2023

Hi Ruth, we're from Standish and Kitt Green. :)


Wednesday 23rd of August 2023

Thank you so much for the map with markets in Istanbul!

Turkey's For Life

Thursday 24th of August 2023

Hi Rachel, hope you find it useful. We were happy when we came across the map then we can explore some of the markets around the city. :)

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. :)

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